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Chiropractic Increase Athletes Vertical Jump Height

1024px-Volleyball_gameNew studies now indicate that Chiropractic adjustments to the pelvis can increase vertical jump height. These new studies give further proof, that is already known to many professional and collegiate teams, now providing Chiropractic care for their athletes. In addition to injury prevention this research proves that chiropractic care results in an increase in sports performance. Read below from the study. Article From: Circle of Docs


[Purpose] This study aimed to investigate the effect of pelvic adjustment on vertical jump height (VJH) in female university students with functional leg length inequality (FLLI). [Subjects] Thirty female university students with FLLI were divided into a pelvic adjustment group (n = 15) and a stretching (control) group (n = 15). [Methods] VJH was measured using an OptoGait. [Results] After the intervention, jump height improved significantly compared with the pre-intervention height only in the pelvic adjustment group, while FLLI showed statistically significant improvement in both groups. [Conclusion] Pelvic adjustment as per the Gonstead method can be applied as a method of reducing FLLI and increasing VJH.


The pelvis, a structure located between the hip joint and the lumbosacral spine and attached to several muscles, regulates the movement of the hip joint and lumbosacral spine. The position of the pelvis is the most critical factor determining the sagittal alignment and posture of the human body1). Only when the pelvis is in the neutral position can be in the right posture, move the upper and lower body in the dynamic posture, and improve daily movements and ambulatory ability2).

Functional leg length inequality (FLLI) worsens due to pelvic tilt in the medial plane and pelvic rotation in the sagittal plane3). Therefore, FLLI might be improved by pelvic adjustment. High-velocity and low-amplitude (HVLA) adjustment has been widely utilized as a general chiropractic adjustment method4). Many studies have indicated that leg length inequality (LLI) causes posture alteration3), limiting exercise and causing tension of the muscles and other soft tissues5). LLI is accompanied by several clinical symptoms6) such as lumbar pain7) and hip pain8). Correcting leg length inequality reportedly reduces pain, increases mobility, and improves posture9).

Vertical jumping is practiced to enhance the muscular strength and endurance of the leg and serves as a barometer of muscular strength10). There have been studies in which plyometric training was undertaken to improve leg muscle strength11), dynamic stretching was applied after jogging for 5 minutes to improve vertical jump height (VJH)12), or HVLA manipulation was performed for talocrural joint dysfunction13). However, there has been no study in which FLLI was corrected and VJH was measured as a barometer for leg muscle strength. Many studies have assessed the effect of pelvic adjustment on FLLI14), posture4), pressure on the foot, and balance15). However, no study has investigated the changes in FLLI and VJH resulting from just a single adjustment. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the immediate effects of a single pelvic adjustment on FLLI and VJH in female university students with FLLI.


A total of 30 female university students with an FLLI of more than 10 mm between the left and right legs were selected and randomly assigned to one of two groups: the pelvic adjustment group (adjustment group, n = 15) and control group (stretching group, n = 15). The exclusion criteria were as follows: anatomical LLI; degenerative osteoarthritis; muscle, bone, or nervous system problems; ankle joint, knee joint, hip joint, or lumbar pain; limited range of motion due to burn or postsurgical scarring; and regular leg exercise. This study was approved by Korea Nazarene University’s Institutional Review Board, and the safety of all subjects was protected during all parts of the experiment. All subjects understood the purpose of this study and provided written informed consent prior to participation in accordance with the ethical standards of the Declaration of Helsinki.

The age, height, and weight of the subjects in the adjustment group were 23.5±4.7 years, 163.0±5 cm, and 54.1±5 kg, while those in the stretching group were 22.2±6.3 years, 162.7±6 cm, and 53.1±6 kg, respectively. Gender was analyzed using the χ2 test, while age, height, and weight were analyzed using the independent t-test. As these analyses detected no statistically significant differences (p>0.05), the two groups were deemed identical.

The pelvic adjustment performed in the adjustment group consisted of an HVLA technique administered in the prone posture in accordance with Gonstead’s theory. Subjects were instructed to lie prone, their pelvic height was checked, and the posterior-inferior innominate bone was given an anterior-superior impact while the anterior-superior pelvis was given a posterior-inferior impact. When making these impacts, the therapist put one of his hands on top of the other, placed them on the posterior-superior iliac spine or the ischial spine, and then gave the impact using his own weight, gravity, and acceleration14). This adjustment was performed 3–5 times by one skilled physical therapist with more than 10 years of clinical experience. The control group stretched the backbone erector, rectus abdominis, iliac muscle, psoas major, quadriceps muscle, leg adductor, and quadratus lumborum adjacent to the pelvis in order to resolve muscular imbalance that could further the pelvic imbalance. In the process, the therapist assisted the subjects in performing additional height training for each muscle and maintaining each posture at the maximum height for 10–15 seconds. The subjects then resumed the initial posture, rested for 5 seconds, and repeated the stretching one more time. Stretching was done three times per posture for a total of 15 minutes4).

For leg length measurement, subjects lay straight on a bed, and the tape measure method (TMM) was used to measure the leg from the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS) to the medial malleolus. Beattie et al. reported that LLI as measured by the TMM did not show a significant difference from radiological findings. We were therefore confident in the reliability of using the TMM for measuring leg length16). The measurement started from the ASIS so that pelvic bone-related problems such as pelvic tilt and pelvic asymmetry could be included.

We used an OptoGait (Microgate Srl, Bolzano, Italy), a system for optical detection, to analyze ambulation and measure VJH. On its signal-sending bar, there are 96 LEDs that communicate via an infrared frequency. The signal-receiving bar has an identical number of LEDs. We installed the signal-sending and signal-receiving bars of the OptoGait one meter apart on a flat surface. When a subject performs a vertical jump between the bars, the bars calculate the time at which the subject touches the floor or stays in the air and communicates this information by sending and receiving 1,000 signals per second, generating accurate data. Based on this basic data, the OptoGait software calculates the precise VJH.

Leg length and VJH were measured before and after the intervention. The measured data were analyzed using the statistics program SPSS 12.0 KO (SPSS, Chicago, IL, USA), and the collected data are presented as averages and standard deviations. The significance of pre- and post-intervention differences was tested using the paired t-test, and the significance of between-group differences was tested using the independent t-test. The p-value α was set at 0.05.


In the pre- and post-intervention comparison, VJH improved significantly only in the adjustment group, while FLLI improved significantly in both the adjustment group and the stretching group (p<0.05) (Table 1). When comparing the pre-intervention data, post-intervention data, and changes between the pre- and post-intervention data, VJH showed statistical significance only for the changes between the pre-and post-intervention data, while FLLI showed statistical significance for post-intervention data and changes between the pre- and post-intervention data (p<0.05) (Table 2).

This research was supported by Korea Nazarene University Research Grants in 2014.


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