Chiropractic Manipulation to Increase Hormones

Did you know that the relief you feel after receiving a chiropractic adjustment is scientifically documented and can demonstrate the reason why you feel better after an adjustment?

The University of Spain undertook a study to find out what happens physiologically before, directly after and two (2) hours after a chiropractic adjustment.  The University studied 30 students that had no symptoms and allocated them to three (3) separate groups.  Group 1 received cervical adjustments, the next group received thoracic adjustments and the final group received no chiropractic adjustments.  A blood test was performed prior to the chiropractic adjustments, directly after and two (2) hours later. The study was aimed at identifying and understanding what hormonal changes occur after manual chiropractic manipulation.

What Happened Physiologically?

The study followed four (4) hormones in the blood plasma: Neurotensin, Oxytocin, Cortisol, and Orexin A.  Neurotensin is believed to nullify pain brought on by stress.  Interacting in the brain with serotonin neurons, which regulate mood, appetite and sleep.  Serotonin is also linked with cognitive function and helps to contribute to a feeling of wellbeing.

Oxytocin is a peptide hormone that plays a role in social bonding and intimacy.  Oxytocin is also released into the bloodstream during childbirth and while breastfeeding.  Oxytocin is often referred to as the “love hormone” due to its relationship with trust and attachment between humans.  However, oxytocin also has a relationship between fear and anxiety, heightening the flight and fight response.

Cortisol is a steroid hormone, produced in the adrenal glands and released into the bloodstream, it acts to decrease local edema and pain by blocking early stages of inflammation.  High levels also promote wound healing.  Studies show that an increase of cortisol is a good painkiller.

Orexin-A is a neuropeptide that is associated with pain control.


How Hormones Change Post Chiropractic Adjustment

After the chiropractic adjustment, the levels of neurotensin, cortisol and oxytocin increased in the blood stream of the test subjects.  This demonstrates that chiropractic adjustments can increase neurotransmitters and hormone levels, providing pain relief and a positive impact on the entire central nervous system.  The body interpreted the chiropractic adjustment as a mechanical force on the tissues that caused them to synthesize the neuropeptides.

We are always passionate and committed to bringing you the latest research regarding the outstanding benefits of chiropractic adjustments.  The amazing power that stems from a highly skilled individual trained to understand the human body from the inside out.  Chiropractic works and now we know more about the how and why.  Definitely better than pain-killing drugs that have significant side effects and the ever-concerning risk of addiction.  You may become addicted to how good you feel under Chiropractic care but that will not require rehab!


Plaza-Manzano, G., et al. Changes in biochemical markers of pain perception and stress response after spinal manipulation. Journal Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy 2014;44(4):231-9.  doi: 10.2519/jospt.2014.4996.

This information should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice. Any and all health care concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a health care professional who is familiar with your updated medical history.

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