Symmetry and Adjustments

Symmetry and  Adjustments, and therefore Performance  

This study in BMJ looks at symmetry (or lack thereof) and the effects of spinal manipulation.

The researchers in this study used what is called a symmetry index which uses motion capture technology to look at bilateral symmetry of the body. 

0% – perfect symmetry

100% – totally out of whack

They measured this statically, in a jump and a squat – pre and post adjustment.

There is a manipulation group and a control group (sham manipulation)

Pre-adjustment the manipulation group had a score of 16.3% which is quite out of alignment, the control group scored 10.7%.

Post adjustment – manipulation group had an improvement of 4-13%, no change in sham group.

This is a statistically significant change – 4% is almost perfect!

Now there was no change through a squat or jump – this may be because it is more difficult to capture changes dynamically – or – there was just no change. There was however an important change statically with only 1 adjustment – could this result in dynamic changes if there is more than 1 adjustment or maintenance care which in previous studies shows continued reduction of pain for those who get regular care – I would think so.

Asymmetry is due to over use and compensation which increases risk of injury and decrease in performance.

For athletes young and old wanting to perform their best and prevent injury – getting your alignment checked and corrected is a great idea!!

Here’s the reference to the study:

BMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine

The effects of a single session of lumbar spinal manipulative therapy in terms of physical performance test symmetry in asymptomatic athletes: a single-blinded, randomised controlled study. 

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YYC Sport and Spine