Evaluation of changes in autonomic balance following chiropractic care in patients with Covid-19 post-viral syndrome

While researchers and medical care professionals are working tirelessly to develop effective care strategies and a solution to the present SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic, many patients are looking for ways to boost their body’s own natural defenses. In addition to supplementation, chiropractic care is one of the leading complementary and integrative medicine modalities that patients utilize. According to a report from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 53% of patients utilize spinal manipulative therapy – such as chiropractic – for wellness care, with 11% specifically utilizing the therapy for immune support. The purpose of this study is to pilot test an initial study protocol for the evaluation of the effects of Axial Stability Method (ASM) chiropractic care on autonomic function in individuals who are experiencing prolonged symptoms of COVID-19.

A practice-based survey designed to understand the symptoms and severity of COVID-19 disease among patients receiving chiropractic care.

Help us understand more about COVID-19 in a national research survey. This information could be important and may help develop an understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on patients under chiropractic care and the relationship between COVID-19, patient characteristics and chiropractic care. This is valuable information as we continue to face this pandemic. If you are a practicing chiropractor and would like to participate in this study, please register at

Technique Lab of the Future

The Dr. Sid E. Williams Center for Chiropractic Research (CCR) is dedicated to the advancement of the chiropractic profession through engagement in research of significance. picture1 Our researchers are at the forefront of studying the biomechanics of the chiropractor’s most important tool, the adjustment. In addition to knowledge of anatomy and joint biomechanics, and the skill to correctly identify anatomical locations on patients, students need training in several physical components of performing adjustments. All of these motor skills need to be accomplished in a coordinated manner, with proper body mechanics, to produce an adjustment that is effective and safe for the patient and the doctor.

To address this need, the CCR, in collaboration with the Chiropractic Sciences Division, has developed a Technique Lab of the Future (TLOF). This unique educational tool provides an entirely new and state-of-the-art methodology for the technique faculty to utilize as a part of student learning. The technique lab features 13 full-spine mannequins developed at Life University. These palpation and adjusting trainers (PATs) have the look, feel, size and weight of an average person and include 64 pressure sensors at key spinal landmarks. Software enables students to scan for structures beneath the mannequin’s silicone skin and know with certainty when the structure has been located.

Using an adjusting bench with a built-in force plate, students are taught to reproduce the magnitude, line of drive, and speed of thrusts similar to targets provided by their instructors. Future developments will include a force and orientation tracking glove and motion tracking equipment to provide students advanced performance feedback during early technique training.

None of these tools replace the human-to-human adjustment and palpation skills training in the technique program. They do, however, provide a repeatable and safe way for students to learn to control their thrusts through repeated practice on the mannequins, before they apply those skills to humans.

A randomized wait-list control trial evaluating the effect of team-based applied clinical neuroscience care on self-reported symptoms of depression and cerebellar function in adults with medication-resistant depression

A pilot study design that operationalizes the multimodal manner of care while evaluating changes in depression symptoms, dysmetria, and balance for medication non-responders.

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Stroke study: Does chiropractic care change post-stroke ADLs and brain activation patterns

During a stroke, a region of the brain experiences a decrease in blood supply and loss of oxygen. This can happen when the blood supply to the brain becomes blocked (ischemic stroke) or when an artery in the brain leaks or hemorrhages blood (hemorrhagic stroke). A stroke may also be referred to as a cerebrovascular event. Individuals in the United States who have experienced a stroke may be faced with a decline in their quality of life. (1) While the likelihood of dying from a stroke has decreased, the number of individuals living with stroke related disabilities has increased. (2)

One challenge is that the increase in individuals living with chronic symptoms post-stroke has resulted in greater demand for rehabilitative services. (3) Despite advances in acute and rehabilitative care, the quality of life for these patients may remain less than optimal. Complicating recovery and therapeutic intervention success are the differences in pathophysiology and possible long-term cortical and functional implications that result from the different type, severity and location of an individual’s stroke. To address the unique and increasing needs of individuals experiencing symptoms post-stroke, additional insight into how the different types of stroke respond to alternative therapies could be beneficial. (4)

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Assessment of inter-limb symmetry in walking: establishment of methods (phase 1)

The primary purpose of this project is to study upper extremity movement characteristics during walking. We will build a database of typical ranges and symmetry values, examine methods to analyze contralateral arm and thigh coordination, and evaluate inter-examiner visual observation. The knowledge gained from this project will be used in a follow-up clinical study of a relevant patient population.

Autonomic dysfunction: a feasibility study of methodologies

This feasibility study will use a series of tests and data analysis methods on a generally healthy population to determine which measures to standardize for the projected series of autonomic studies. This study will take patient comfort into account along with the quality and quantity of data able to be elicited in order to determine which methods are best suited for our projected line of study in populations with autonomic dysfunction.

Practice-Based Research Network: Lifetime Care Project

Research exploring aspects of chiropractic care and longevity. This initiative has two primary goals: to study the attitudes of chiropractic patients toward health and longevity, and to study the long term benefits of chiropractic care as assessed through evaluation of patient well-being.

Angular kinematics of supine cervical spine adjustment thrusts on Life University PAT mannequins

Supine cervical adjustments are frequently used by chiropractors but there has been little study of their movement characteristics. This study is using methods previously developed with human patients to examine supine cervical adjustment thrusts, as performed by chiropractors and chiropractic students. In this case, the “patient” will be a mannequin specifically designed for palpation and adjustment training. With the recipient of the thrusts being consistent for each participant, the investigators will be able to compare the overall results to those found previously with humans, examine consistency between thrusts, and compare the results for students at the beginning of their training, students with patient care experience, and experienced, licensed DCs.

WHEEL Clinic Data Initiative

The WHEEL Clinic Data Initiative is a multi-phased approach designed to distill and study patient information collected daily within the Life University Clinic System. The initial phase includes the development of a data dictionary that will inform the development of past and future research study data needs and provide an opportunity for evaluation of data redundancy to assist in maximizing clinic efficiency.

Does chiropractic care change post-stroke ADLs and brain activation patterns

Stroke, whether ischemic or hemorrhagic can culminate in devastating clinical outcomes, and the different stroke onset types may result in differing responses to care.  Emerging research is beginning to show a change in outcomes with chiropractic care, and links to a few chiropractic and post-stroke patient studies are provided below. Because of the differences in pathophysiology between ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, this 12-week chiropractic care study aims to understand what brain-based and performance-based differences, if any, are present between the two stroke subtypes. Our study is specifically recruiting individuals who have been released from rehabilitative care post stroke, but who feel they have not fully recovered.

Effect of chiropractic care on risk factors of cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease is a major health concern and tackling it one condition at a time requires a considerable amount of resources and effort. This research is designed to focus on key risk factors foundational to a number of cardiovascular conditions, evaluating the underlying neurophysiologic mechanisms of action and how chiropractic can be of benefit.

Comparison of EEG changes over time following application of chiropractic adjustive force vs non-force simulation

Chiropractic is a profession founded on the premise that correction of abnormal joint position and motion restores proper function to the nervous system. While much of chiropractic research has been focused on the pain-based results of care, investigators are beginning to explore the effects of chiropractic care on brain function.  However, there has been little attention given to understanding the mechanisms responsible for the adjustment-based brain changes. The purpose of this study is to test a study protocol designed to evaluate the physiologic and brain-based differences between the touch and force components of the adjustment.

Seasonal Infectious Disease Patient Reported Outcome (SID-PRO)

Creation of a survey tool that can be utilized by healthcare professionals to track the symptoms of specific seasonal infectious diseases over time.

The relationship between stress scores, a single-session of chiropractic care, heart rate variability, and electroencephalography patterns.

This study aims to assess the relationship between stress scores and EEG patterns during resting state and a P300 assessment. A secondary aim will be to evaluate the impact of a single session of chiropractic care on the resting state and P300 time locked response after a one-week wait period. An additional outcome assessment for this study will be the recording of the electrocardiogram (ECG) of each participant that will be used to analyze their heart rate variability (HRV).

Changes in feedforward activation patterns following chiropractic care utilizing the Global Mechanical Assessment as a surrogate for neuromuscular dysfunction

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the utility of the Global Mechanical Assessment (GMA) method as a surrogate assessment for observing changes in neuromuscular function following a single chiropractic adjustment. To serve as an accepted standard of comparison, proprioception will be evaluated using the NeuroCom Dynamic Equitest Sensory Organization Test (SOT) and time-locked surface Electromyography (EMG) will be used to assess abdominal core responsiveness to GMA testing. Abdominal care responsiveness has been used in previous studies to represent feedforward activation as part of an individual’s anticipatory preparation for movement onset.