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There is growing evidence that spinal manipulation can increase muscle strength in healthy individuals as well as those with some musculoskeletal and neurological disorders. 

In this study, the researchers wanted to see if a single spinal manipulation could have a significant impact on the strength of the tibialis anterior muscle. This is the muscle that runs along the outside of your shin and helps dorsiflex your ankle. This helps us with activities like walking and running. Engaging this muscle helps us bend our foot backward to clear our toe from the ground, preventing us from tripping. Pressure on nerves, such as from an L5/S1 disc herniation, can cause this muscle to become weak. 

They looked at 25 participants with low level recurring spinal dysfunction. Following one spinal manipulation, they found that there was a significant increase in both muscle strength and muscle conduction velocity

More research needs to be done to determine what the long-term effects may be, and what degree of function might be achieved. Clinically, over the years many of us have observed patients with foot drop improving over time with our treatment. This research is one more step in helping us to gain a better understanding of our observations. 

Reference: 

Imran Khan Niazi, Ernest Nlandu Kamavuako, Kelly Holt, Taha Al Muhammadee Janjua, Nitika Kumari, Imran Amjad, Heidi Haavik: The Effect of Spinal Manipulation on the Electrophysiological and Metabolic Properties of the Tibialis Anterior Muscle. Healthcare (Basel) 2020;8(4):E548

Nutritional Help for Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis that people develop. There is a cascade of degenerative changes that lead to osteoarthritis in the spine. We first see changes in the disc, such as the loss of chemicals called glycosaminoglycans (GAG). These changes can be seen as early as adolescence. 

GAG holds water in the disc and aids in the health of the disc. As GAG diminishes, the disc begins to breakdown, we see destruction of cartilage in other areas of the joints, inflammatory changes, pain, spur formation and eventually stenosis of the spine. 

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