Objective: This review of the literature focuses on research investigations in which visceral physiological responses to chiropractic adjustments have been observed. The primary objective of this review is to correlate published findings with current knowledge and research in physiology, providing direction for future research investigations into mechanisms of responses to chiropractic reduction of subluxations.
Data Source: Computerized searches were performed of Medline and Mantis databases using the key indexing terms of chiropractic, physiology, respiration, hypertension, gastrointestinal, urinary, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, AIDS. Correlation with established principles of physiology and pathophysiology included textbooks and original published articles.
Study Selection: Forty-five original chiropractic research studies, five chiropractic case studies, twenty-three review articles, and eight animal studies were included in this report. Studies and reviews were utilized if they included observations relevant to visceral physiological or pathophysiological mechanisms.
Data Synthesis: Reduction of subluxations has been shown to decrease blood pressure in normal and hypertensive individuals, increase pulmonary vital capacity and velocity of expiration in normal volunteers and patients with asthma, increase T-cell numbers in a few HIV positive patients, relieve symptoms of inflammation in osteoarthritis, enhanced immune function of PMN's and monocytes, and improve intestinal and urinary functions. These findings were correlated with possible physiological mechanisms.
Conclusion: There is direct evidence for consistent responses to chiropractic adjustment in many areas of physiology and pathophysiology. Further detailed studies at the cellular and biochemical levels in these areas, particularly as related to the autonomic nervous system, would provide insight into the mechanisms of the effects of subluxations and the responses to chiropractic adjustments.
Author Keywords: physiology, chiropractic adjustment, spinal manipulation, hypertension, asthma, immunology, osteoarthritis, inflammation, AIDS, alternative medicine
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