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Since 1895, chiropractors have been adjusting spines and allowing individuals to enjoy a pain-free life.
Did you know that the curves in your spine may be influencing your overall health. Let’s take a look at what the research says.
Many health conditions have been studied as well as their physiological responses to spinal adjustments — including hormone levels, circulation changes, blood pressure changes and a large number of other health parameters. TOP Fails Compilation 2015 However, one major question remains: how important are spinal curves in the overall health picture of an individual?
Can alterations in the “normal” curve lead to a troublesome future or be the cause of a current condition?
With medicine, both traditional and alternative, constantly evolving, there is constantly new research being conducted and researchers are finding new and cutting-edge means of treating a variety of health conditions.
A recent study in the chiropractic field reported results after conducting a systematic critical literature review. This literature review gathered 54 published studies between 1942 and 2008. The content of these published studies was reviewed for quality and content. The studies used during this literature review followed more than 20,000 patients combined and reported the association between the sagittal curve and a number of different health conditions.
A sagittal curve is the curve you can see when you turn to the side.
Included in this review of research on spinal curves was a number of different types of studies and methods that were used to evaluate the sagittal curves of the lumbar spine (or lower back), thoracic spine (or mid back) and the cervical spine (or neck). Thirty eight studies examined the lower back.
Thirty four studies examined the middle back. Six studies took a look at the cervical spine.
Data was obtained by:
25 studies used plain x-rays
1 study used MRI
3 studies conducted by visual analysis or by the eye.
21 studies used a variety of instruments to collect data.
A strong association was reported in five of the studies when it comes to an increased angle in the thoracic spine (referred to as kyphosis or “humpback”) with lung disorders that can lead to difficulty breathing. Poor physical function and pelvic organ prolapse were also associated with spinal curves of the middle back.
Researchers found that when the curve of the lower back was reduced (lordosis), subjects in these studies experienced lower back pain. Similarly, osteoporotic compression fractures of the thoracic spine were moderately associated with kyphosis.
Kyphosis is also moderately associated with uterine prolapse, heavy household activities and even death in three of the studies that researchers looked at.
It is also important to note that many of these studies found no association with spinal curves and health conditions.
It is clear that more research needs to be conducted in order to determine if there is a