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Table 3 Description of nine studies included in a systematic review on the effect of spinal manipulation on ‘brain function’, comparing spinal manipulation to another physical stimulus

From: Unravelling functional neurology: does spinal manipulation have an effect on the brain? - a systematic literature review

1st author Yr Ref Design Type of study subjects Number of study subjects (males/females) -Age (range) -Mean -Type of spinal manipulation -Type of control How was cerebral activity measured? When was cerebral activity measured? Clinical outcomes assessed (measurement tool and time of assessment)
Dishman 2008a [18] Randomized controlled trial Healthy: healthy chiropractic students, volunteers. 72 (21 / 5) intervention group / (15 / 8) control 1 / (14 /9) control 2 -? (3 groups, said to be between their 20s and 30s) -? (3 groups) -HVLA L5-S1 (X1) -Control 1: L5-S1 preloading -Control 2: side posture positioning MEP amplitudes Before (10 MEP recorded during 100 s) After: immediately (10 MEP recorded during 100 s) None
Gay 2014 [22] Randomized controlled trial Symptomatic: volunteers from a previous clinical trial, recruited at the local university, hospital and surrounding community, who completed an exercise-injury protocol to induce myalgia in the low back. 24 (1 / 5) manipulation group / (1 / 7) mobilization group / (5 / 5) therapeutic touch group (7 / 17) -? /? /? (required to be between 18 and 44) −21 manipulation group / 21 mobilization group / 23 therapeutic touch group -HVLA (X1, probably in the lumbar spine) -Control 1: grade III lumbar spinal mobilization -Control 2: therapeutic touch (light pressure with a contact to the sacroiliac joints) Functional connectivity Before After: immediately Pain intensity (101-point numerical rating scale) (before and immediately after in each group)
Haavik-Taylor 2007aa [20] Crossover controlled trial (order of interventions randomized) “Subclinical neck/spinal pain”: volunteers (unknown origin) with a history of recurring neck pain or stiffness and with evidence of cervical spinal dysfunction, pain free at the time of the study. 13 (5 / 8) −22-45 −31 -HVLA cervical (X2 to 3 per subject) -Control 1: passive head movement without loading and thrust -Control 2: nothing MEP amplitudes CSP durations Before After: -within 0–10 min -within 10–20 min -within 20–30 min None
Haavik-Taylor 2008 [23] Crossover controlled trial (order of interventions randomized) “Subclinical neck/spinal pain”: adults (unknown origin) with a history of reoccurring neck pain or stiffness and with evidence of cervical spinal dysfunction, pain free at the time of the study. 12 (7 / 5) −19-45 −27 -HVLA cervical (nb unknown, may be at several levels) -Control: passive head movement without loading and thrust MEP amplitudes CSP durations SICI SICF Before After: exact time unknown None
Haavik 2016 [24] Crossover controlled trial “Subclinical neck/spinal pain”: volunteers (unknown origin) with a history of spinal symptoms and with evidence of spinal and/or pelvic dysfunction but who did not yet sought treatment for this and pain free at the time of the study. 12 (?) -? −28 -HVLA cervical (nb unknown, may be at several levels) -Control: passive head movement without loading and thrust MEP amplitudes Slope of the steepest part of the curve (k) Stimulus intensity required to obtain a response that is 50% of the max (S50) Before After: exact time unknown None
Haavik-Taylor 2007b [25] Two groups “pseudo-randomized” trial “Subclinical neck/spinal pain”: volunteers (origin unknown) with reoccurring neck problems and evidence of cervical spine dysfunction, pain free at the time of the study. 24 (7 / 5) intervention group / (4 / 8) control group −20-53 intervention group / 21–35 control group −30 intervention group / 27 control group -HVLA cervical (X2 to 3 per subject) -Control: passive head movement without loading and thrust SEP latencies and amplitudes: P14–18 complex, N20 (P14-N20 and N20-P27) and N30 (P22-N30) peaks Before After: -within 0–10 min -within 10–20 min -within 20–30 min None
Haavik-Taylor 2010a [26] Crossover controlled trial (order of interventions randomized) “Subclinical neck/spinal pain”: volunteers (origin unknown) with reoccurring neck problems and evidence of cervical spine dysfunction, pain free at the time of the study. 13 (5 / 8) −18-40 −28 -HVLA cervical (nb unknown, may be at several levels) -Control: passive head movement without loading and thrust SEP MU/M + U peak ratios: P14-N18 complex, N20-P25 complex, and P22-N30 complex ratios Before After: within 25 min None
Niazi 2015 [27] Crossover controlled trial (order of interventions randomized) “Subclinical neck/spinal pain”: volunteers (origin unknown) with recurring, intermittent low-grade spinal pain, ache, or tension, with evidence of spine dysfunction, but which did not sought treatment for this problem and are pain free at the time of the study. 10 (10 / 0) -? (required to be between 18 and 40) −28 -HVLA (where needed, in any spine level or sacroiliac joints, nb unknown _ may be at several levels) -Control: passive and active movements of the subject’s head, spine, and body into the manipulation setup positions, without loading and thrust V-wave amplitude Before After: exact time unknown None
Christiansen 2018 [28] Crossover controlled trial (order of interventions randomized) “Subclinical neck/spinal pain”: elite Taekwondo athletes, from the Auckland area, with “subclinical spinal pain” and evidence or spine dysfunction, pain free at the time of the study. 12 (6 / 6) -? (required to be between 17 and 50) −25 -HVLA (where needed, in any spine level or sacroiliac joints, nb unknown _ may be at several levels) -Control: passive and active movements of the subject’s head and spine into the manipulation setup positions, without loading and thrust V-wave amplitude Before After: -immediately −30 min −60 mins None
  1. Articles are presented by (i) type of study subjects, i.e. healthy, symptomatic or “subclinical neck/spinal pain” subjects, (ii) type of outcomes or family of outcomes, and (iii) consecutively by year of publication
  2. CSP Cortical silent period, HVLA High-velocity low-amplitude, MEP Motor evoked potential, nb Number, SEP Somatosensory evoked potential, SICF Short interval intra-cortical inhibition, SICI Short interval intra-cortical facilitation, SM Spinal manipulation
  3. aArticle presented in Tables 2 and 3