Pulmonary Function and Neck Curve Improved with Chiropractic Care
A study published on October 12, 2009 in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health looked at 11 different cases to see how specific chiropractic care would affect the curve of the neck (cervical lordosis) and pulmonary function.
The authors of this study note that cardio respiratory activity is heavily influenced by posture and body movements. They point out that abnormal posture of the head and neck significantly influences respiration, oxygenation, and sympathetic nerve system function. They note that, "homeostasis of autonomic function are intimately related with posture such that when postural efficiency is optimized, not only is breathing also optimized, but other visceral and somatic functions are also seen to improve." In layman's terms, good posture leads to good nerve system function and proper breathing and heart function.
In this study 11 cases were reviewed to look for changes in neck curvature on x-rays as well as testing for pulmonary function as tested with a Buhl spirometer. Patient chiropractic care plans ranged from 18 clinic visits to 41 clinic visits within a 3-6 month time period. Patients ranged in age from 19-47 with 8 females and 3 males.
The results showed that after chiropractic care, for each of the patients in this study, there was a statistically significant increase in their respective cervical lordosis. A "lordosis" is the normal forward curve that should be present in a normal healthy neck. These patients also showed an increase in pulmonary function as demonstrated by increased measurements in peak expiratory flow, (full exhale).
The conclusion of the study stated, "The presence of abnormal posture of the head and neck, a commonly associated finding with vertebral subluxation complex, may considerably influence respiration, oxygenation, and sympathetic (nerve) function."