Evidence Based Care

One of the things I thoroughly enjoy each month is reviewing chiropractic research. Here are some of my favourites. Each has tremendous potential for further investigation and further research is needed before clear public health messages can be developed. I hope you enjoy the read.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and Chiropractic

Decreased heart rate variability may be associated with all-cause mortality, depression, diabetes, air pollution, impaired cognitive performance, and memory retrieval. A growing body of evidence across disciplines suggests the HRV may be used to address adaptive capacity and autonomic nervous system balance. The authors wrote, “Heart rate variability (HRV) analysis has been used extensively as a measurement of fitness level, and recent studies now indicate that it may be a useful tool in detecting and following disease processes. Heart rate variability analysis determines the balance between PNS and SNS using time and frequency domain measurements. Heart rate variability has been used clinically to determine the balance of the autonomic nervous system.” In this study, the authors collected pre and post HRV data on 625 patients in 96 chiropractic practices. 132 patients were followed for a four week period. The authors reported that “The chiropractic care group showed a significant improvement in HRV on both the single-visit and the 4-week visit groups, but not in the control group.”

Zhang J, Dean D, Nosco D, Strathopulos D, Floros M: Effect of chiropractic care on heart rate variability and pain in a multisite clinical study. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2006 May;29(4):267-74.


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