Objective: The aims of this study were (1) to determine if there were statistically significant immediate effects of anterior upper thoracic chiropractic manipulative therapy on cardiovascular response in normotensive individuals and (2) to quantify responses if any were found.
Methods: Thirty-six chiropractic college students (age, 26.8 ± 4.6 years; height, 1.71 ± 0.12 m; body mass, 75.6 ± 20.0 kg; mean ± SD) were equally randomized into a single-blind, controlled trial involving 3 study groups: anterior thoracic manipulation of T1-4, Activator-based placebo manipulation, or a “no T-spine contact” control. Outcome measures were electrocardiogram, bilateral pulse oximetry, and bilateral blood pressure measurement performed at baseline, post 1-minute intervention, post 10-minute intervention, and post 24-hour (±1 hour) intervention. Between-group dependent variables were analyzed through 1-wsay analysis of variance at each of the 4 time points. Within-group dependent variables were analyzed through 2 paired-samples t tests comparing baseline to post 10 minutes and again between baseline to post 24 hours (±1 hr).
Results: No statistically significant difference was shown amongst any between-group or within-group cardiovascular dependent variables in this study.
Conclusions: The results of this study suggest cardiovascular physiologic responses are not affected in the short term by anterior upper thoracic spine chiropractic manipulative therapy in young normotensive individuals.
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