Objective: To determine whether spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) beneficially affected reaction time and/or core proprioception in individuals with spine pain during two sport-specific simulation tasks.
Methods: Fifty-four college students each stood on a force plate while holding a basketball in the triple threat position. After receiving a visual computer prompt to jump left their reaction time was recorded in milliseconds. Next, participants stood in a football player receiver position with fixed footing and were asked to rotate their body 90° to the left while being recorded with motion analysis cameras. Their ability to attain exactly 90° with their hips/core was recorded. Participants were then assigned to study groups based on absence or presence of spine pain; the latter group was further allocated to SMT or no SMT intervention groups. Following the intervention phase all participants repeated the baseline tests. A between-within repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) using between-subjects factor “group” and within-subjects factor “time” (baseline and post-test) was used to analyze study data.
Results: There was no statistically significant difference for the reaction time task for group*time F(2,51) = 1.577, p = 0.219, r = 0.17. Similarly, for core proprioception angle there was no statistically significant effect for group*time, F(2,51) = 0.273, p = 0.762, r = 0.07.
Conclusions: Preliminarily, a single spinal manipulation did not improve reaction time or the ability to increase approximation to 90° during the hip/core rotation task for chiropractic college students with low levels of spine pain.
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