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Webinar Dr. Heidi Haavik – The contemporary understanding about segmental spinal dysfunction and the impact of the adjustment on neuromuscular function

Course Date

Start: 17th November 2022 @ 20:00pm
End: 17th November 2022 @ 22:00pm

Course Location

WEB - Associazione Italiana Chiropratici
Via Dardanelli 46, Roma, ITALY, Italy


Course Description

Talk Description: 

What is becoming clear from scientific studies is that spinal dysfunction negatively impacts brain function, and that spinal manipulation directed at dysfunctional spinal segment (AKA adjustments) can reverse this. Major shifts are occurring in neuroscience, including a new understanding about the impacts of stress and emotional trauma on the brain, body and health and a new understanding about the major role of the brain in maintaining chronic musculoskeletal pain (the brain learns to be in pain!). This new understanding is congruent with the latest research showing how important the spine is for proper brain function. Dr Heidi Haavik, a passionate and popular speaker, will present this latest scientific information in a fun and informative manner. She will in particular share the growing evidence that the function of the vertebral column actually impacts the way the brain controls muscle function (and not just the muscles of the spine!). Over the past few decades many studies have shown that both spinal function and dysfunction and interventions such as spinal adjustments and manipulations alter the way the brain controls muscles of the spine, arms, legs, head and pelvis. As part of this presentation she will cover the contemporary model of segmental spinal dysfunction, which in the neuroscience literature is called a central segmental motor control (CSMC) problem. She will discuss how this contemporary understanding of spinal dysfunction can alter neuromuscular function. The current scientific literature shows that spinal adjustments of CSMC problems impact motor control in a variety of ways, including increasing muscle force and preventing fatigue. Heidi will summarise the contemporary, biologically plausible understanding about how spinal adjustments enable more efficient production of muscular force so that you can convey this information using easy-to-understand language to patients on Monday morning. She will also share with you how physical injury, pain, inflammation, and acute or chronic physiological or psychological stress can alter the vertebral column’s central neural motor control, leading to a CSMC problem, and how over time such segmental spinal dysfunction may become a self-perpetuating problem, with accompanying maladaptive plastic changes both at the brain level and also at the level of the spine itself. The many gaps in the literature will also be highlighted, along with suggestions for future studies. Dr. Haavik will share with you a summary of where we are at today and will discuss what future implications this has for us and our patients in practice.

Talk outline, hour by hour:

Hours 1: ·       

  • The brain and central nervous system·       
  • The effect of stress and trauma for the brain and body, including its impact on the small deep paraspinal muscles ·      
  • The impact of spinal dysfunction (including chiropractic subluxations) on the brain and the body·       
  • How pain becomes chronic, the maladaptive neuroplastic role of the central nervous system·       
  • How to simplify the above scientific information so that your patients and the public understand this complex neurophysiology and clinical research      

Hour 2   

  • The effects of spinal adjustments on the brain and body·       
  • The effects of spinal adjustments on brain function in stroke survivors ·     
  • How the brain in usual situations contracts muscles
  • What influences motor control
  • How the spine influences motor control
  • How chiropractic adjustments impact motor control  
  • How to simplify the above scientific information so that your patients and the public understand this complex neurophysiology and clinical research

Learning Outcomes

LO1 Be able to summarise the latest contemporary model of 

 And the mechanisms of chiropractic HVLA adjustments

LO2 Be able to summarise the important role the prefrontal cortex plays in executive functions, pain processing, endocrine function, immune function, inflammation levels and emotional control and mental health, 

LO3 Be able to summarise the negative impacts of stress and how this shuts off the prefrontal cortex and heightens the limbic brain, promoting poor health and function


  1. Haavik, N. Kumari, K. Holt et al., “The contemporary model of vertebral column joint dysfunction and impact of high-velocity, low-amplitude controlled vertebral thrusts on neuromuscular function,” European Journal of Applied Physiology, pp. 1-46, 2021. 

Heidi Haavik Biography
PhD, PG Dip(science), BSc(chiro), BSc(science)

Dr. Heidi Haavik, a chiropractor and Ph.D. trained neurophysiologist, is one of the most popular chiropractic speakers in the world today. Director of Research at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic, Dr Haavik is best known for her ground-breaking research on the impact of chiropractic adjustments on the brain and central nervous system.
She is the author of the best-selling book ‘The Reality Check: A quest to Understand Chiropractic from the inside out’. This book describes in easy-to-understand language what happens in the brain when a chiropractor adjusts the spine . Dr Haavik runs a company with the mission of enlightening the world about the science of chiropractic (@ and runs an online learning academy (@ for students and chiropractors who want to understand the physiology of the vertebral subluxation, the effects of the chiropractic adjustment, effects of stress and nature of pain amongst many other topics.


Course Credits


Course Contact Name

John Gordon Williams

Course Contact Email