Science In Brief

Chiropractic Literature Review


The Study: The influence of pelvic adjustment on vertical jump height in female university students with functional leg length inequality

The Facts:

  1. The authors took 30 female university students who all had functional leg length inequality.
  2. They divided them into two groups.
  3. One group was the control who performed stretching exercises.
  4. The other group was the adjustment group and those subjects were adjusted.
  5. The adjustment used was to place the subject prone and adjust for both PI and AS misalignments "in accordance with Gonstead's theory".
  6. The adjustments were performed by "one skilled physical therapist".
  7. The vertical jump height improved only in the adjustment group. But, the functional leg length inequality improved in both the adjustment and stretching group.

Take Home:
Stretching did affect functional leg length inequality but adjustment improved the functional leg length inequality as well as the jump height.

Reviewer's Comments:
Am I really surprised? No! I think both stretching and adjustments can have an effect on patients. I also think that adjustments are pretty effective in lots of cases. It appears that the adjustments in this article had a greater impact on the function (in this case vertical jump height) than did stretching and that doesn't surprise me either. But what disappoints me is that I see more and more of these types of studies done by physical therapists in a time when it appears that many chiropractors are moving away from tying structural alignment with function. Many chiropractors feel we don't need to be very concerned about alignment. Well don't worry about it. Surgeons are using alignment as an outcome measure and physical therapists are very interested in the link between alignment and function. There will always be providers who recognize the importance of structural alignment. I'm just wondering who will be doing it and what it will be called. So send me your thoughts. I'll probably get too many to answer but I am interested in what you think.

Reviewer: Roger Coleman DC

Editor's Comments: Honestly, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. Here we have a study in which physical therapists are not only researching a traditional chiropractic treatment method (Gonstead) but unabashedly appropriating the term "adjustment" as well. Meanwhile we adopt terms like "manipulation" to better emphasize our focus on function instead and distance ourselves from the structural based roots of chiropractic. On the one hand we continue to have a sizeable portion of the profession clinging to late 19th century models of subluxation to explain what we do. On the other, we see a huge chunk of the profession which would rather abandon our birthright totally than do the heavy intellectual lifting required to understand chiropractic in modern terms. And finally we have PTs who are more than happy to embrace what we threw out with the bathwater. They pick up our discarded concepts, clean them up, and eventually will adopt them as their very own. We fiddle. Rome burns.

Editor: Mark R. Payne DC

Reference: Gong W J Phys Ther Sci. 2015;27:251-3.The influence of pelvic adjustment on vertical jump height in female university students with functional leg length inequality. J Phys Ther Sci. 2015;27:251-3.

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