Chiropractic Adjustment Impacts Brain Function

Recent research furthers understanding of how chiropractic care influences spinal function


Dr Heidi Haavik, Director of the Centre for Chiropractic Research, and her team won first place at The Parker Experience Seminars in Las Vegas, USA, for their research poster based on the study Chiropractic adjustments alter sensorimotor integration in the pre-frontal cortex – A brain source localisation study.

Dr Haavik was in Las Vegas to present two research studies and also speak at the conference and accepted the award on behalf of her team.

"We are delighted to have won this award. The team are doing some wonderful research, and I would like to thank all of our supporters whose donations have made this possible."

The research project was a collaborative study between the Centre for Chiropractic Research at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic and universities in Denmark, Canada, and Australia.

The study furthers the understanding of how adjusting the spine alters brain function, by showing where in the brain such changes take place in the brain. 

Since the main finding in this study (the N30 SEP peak changes following adjustments) has been demonstrated for the fourth time and in someone else's laboratory by independent scientists, it is very strong and definitive evidence that adjusting the spine changes the way the brain processes information from the arm. Showing that spinal function impacts brain function. 

According to Dr Haavik, the study was a continuation of her PhD research conducted at University of Auckland in the early 2000s, which was when she and Dr Bernadette Murphy first found this N30 SEP peak change. 

The study has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed, open-access journal Neural Plasticity.