Absence of Neuroplastic Changes in the Bilateral H-Reflex Amplitude following Spinal Manipulation with Activator IV
Structural and chiropractic
Medicina (Kaunas).2022 Oct 25;58(11):1521.
A Fragoso, B Martínez, M E Ceballos-Villegas, E Herrera, J J Saldaña, A L Gutiérrez-Lozano, E Manjarrez, J Lomelí
Background and Objectives: Chiropractic spinal manipulation is an alternative medical procedure for treating various spinal dysfunctions. Great interest exists in investigating its neuroplastic effects on the central nervous system. Previous studies have found contradictory results in relation to the neuroplastic changes in the H-reflex amplitude as a response to manual spinal manipulation. The discrepancies could be partly due to differences in the unilateral nature of these recordings and/or the variable force exerted in manual techniques applied by distinct chiropractors. Concerning the latter point, the variability in the performance of manual interventions may bias the determination of the significance of changes in H-reflex responses derived from spinal manipulation. To investigate such responses, a chiropractic device can be used to provide more precise and reproducible results. The current contribution aimed to examine whether spinal manipulation with an Activator IV instrument generates neuroplastic effects on the bilateral H-reflex amplitude in dancers and non-dancers. Materials and Methods: A radiograph verified spinal dysfunction in both groups of participants. Since there were significant differences between groups in the mean Hmax values of the H-reflex amplitude before spinal intervention, an assessment was made of the possible dependence of the effects of spinal manipulation with Activator IV on the basal conditions. Results: Ten sessions of spinal manipulation with Activator IV did not cause statistically significant changes in the bilateral H-reflex amplitude (measured as the Hmax/Mmax ratio) in either group. Furthermore, no significant difference was detected in the effects of spinal manipulation between groups, despite their distinct basal H-reflex amplitude. Conclusions: Regarding the therapeutic benefits of a chiropractic adjustment, herein carried out with Activator IV, the present findings suggest that the mechanism of action is not on the monosynaptic H-reflex pathway. Further research is needed to understand the mechanisms involved.