Do you feel weak in your lower limbs?
People with musculoskeletal pain, whether its knee, hip or low back pain can present with weakness in the muscles. Muscles that are weak may fatigue faster which could be problematic if you spend most of your day standing. There is growing evidence that spinal manipulation may increase muscle strength in healthy people and people with musculoskeletal and neurological disorders (1).
A recent study had shown that spinal manipulation helped improve voluntary force and limb joint position sense that reflects improved sensorimotor integration and processing (2). It reported that participants of the study who were receiving a single session of spinal manipulation or 12 weeks of chiropractic care showed an improvement in their ankle and elbow joint position sense (2). This suggests that manipulation may have an impact on the integration and processing of somatosensory information from the limbs (2) which can improve one’s balance and muscle strength & control.
Another study where an early randomized controlled trial found that quadricep strength was increased after spinal manipulation to the L3-L4 lumbar segments (3). However, this study did exclude people with previously diagnosed pathology which limited the clinical applicability.
Two studies looked at a specific muscle, the Tibialis Anterior (the muscle in front of your calf), and whether there was an increase in strength and motor control after a single session of spinal manipulation. It showed that the maximum voluntary control force increased in muscle strength suggesting that motor control was altered (1).d
The basic science does allow a better understanding of the mechanism behind the effects of spinal manipulation. However, there still needs to be further research on the longer term and potential functional effects on patients who exhibit increased muscle strength and function after spinal manipulation (1,2). Manipulation may be the starting point for a strengthening program that would be best integrated with other therapies for functional and strengthening improvements (3).
If you feel weak in your lower limbs or anywhere in your body, come down to Sprouting Health, we are here to help you!
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