Spinal Manipulation-Biomech-Physiology link

This review found that spinal manipulation changed biomechanics and physiology. This article offers a potential model upon which to develop hypotheses for the effects of manipulation and clinical reasoning.  Enjoy the read!

Neurophysiological effects of spinal manipulation

Pickar, J2002


Despite clinical evidence for the benefits of spinal manipulation there is relatively limited evidence for the biological mechanisms underlying its effects. This hinders acceptance by the scientists and health-care professionals.


To examine the neurophysiological basis for the effects of spinal manipulation.

Study design:

A review article discussing primarily basic science literature and clinically oriented basic science studies.


Medline peer-reviewed literature and books. A theoretical model is presented describing the relationships between spinal manipulation, segmental biomechanics, the nervous system and end-organ physiology.


Spinal manipulation changes biomechanics creating physiological consequences via inflow of sensory information to the central nervous system.


A body of evidence exists indicating that spinal manipulation impacts primary afferent neurons from paraspinal tissues, the motor control system and pain processing.

  • The Spine Journal 2 (2002) 357–37