Object: The purpose of this article is to discuss a theoretical basis for wellness chiropractic manipulative care and to develop a hypothesis for further investigation.
Methods: A search of PubMed and of the Manual, Alternative, and Natural Therapy Index System was performed with a combination of key words: chiropractic, maintenance and wellness care, maintenance manipulative care, preventive spinal manipulation, hypomobility, immobility, adhesions, joint degeneration, and neuronal degeneration. Articles were collected, and trends were identified.
Results: The search revealed surveys of doctors and patients, an initial clinical pilot study, randomized control trials, and laboratory studies that provided correlative information to provide a framework for development of a hypothesis for the basis of maintenance spinal manipulative therapy. Maintenance care optimizes the levels of function and provides a process of achieving the best possible health. It is proposed that this may be accomplished by including chiropractic manipulative therapy in addition to exercise therapy, diet and nutritional counseling, and lifestyle coaching.
Conclusions: It is hypothesized that because spinal manipulative therapy brings a joint to the end of the paraphysiological joint space to encourage normal range of motion, routine manipulation of asymptomatic patients may retard the progression of joint degeneration, neuronal changes, changes in muscular strength, and recruitment patterns, which may result in improved function, decreased episodes of injuries, and improved sense of well-being.
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