Immediate Effects of Thoracic Spinal Manipulation on Pulmonary Function in Stroke Patients: A Preliminary Study

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2018 Sep;41(7):602-608. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2017.12.005. Epub 2018 Aug 16.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the immediate effects of thoracic spinal manipulation (TSM) on pulmonary function in stroke patients.

Methods: Thirty-six volunteers with stroke (20 men, 16 women) were recruited and randomized to a TSM group (n = 18) and a sham group (n = 18). All participants underwent initial pulmonary function test and then rested supine for 10 minutes before the intervention. Pulmonary function test was repeated immediately after the intervention. Forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume at 1 second, maximum voluntary ventilation, and residual volume were measured by a spirometer in preintervention and post-intervention.

Results: Significant between-group differences were observed in forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume at 1 second in the TSM group (P < .05). No significant changes in dependent variables were seen in the sham group.

Conclusion: The pulmonary function values for patients in the TSM group were significantly enhanced with no significant improvement in maximum voluntary ventilation and residual volume. Mechanical factors may be responsible for the improved pulmonary function in the TSM group.

Keywords: Manipulation, Spinal; Respiratory Function Tests; Stroke.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manipulation, Spinal*
  • Middle Aged
  • Stroke / physiopathology*
  • Thoracic Vertebrae*
  • Vital Capacity / physiology*