Spinal Manipulative Therapy, HRV and pain, SPARC

Spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) has been found to be an effective, non-invasive and cost-effective treatment for back pain, and has both local and regional pain-reducing effects. Recent research has suggested that SMT may affect the nervous system, through influencing the incoming/ascending pain signals and/or the sympathetic nervous excitability of the central pain regulating mechanisms.

SPARC is a multicentre randomized clinical trial, that aims to determine the effects of a treatment series consisting of stretching and SMT on heart rate variability (HRV) and pain in a clinical setting in a population of patients with recurrent or persistent neck pain.


Institutet för Kiropraktisk Neuromuskuloskeletal forskning, IKON


The effect of spinal manipulative therapy on heart rate variability and pain in patients with chronic neck pain: a randomized controlled trial. Galaasen Bakken A, Axén I, Eklund A, O'Neill S. Trials. 2019 Oct 12;20(1):590.


Neurophysiological Effects of High Velocity and Low Amplitude Spinal Manipulation in Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Humans: A Systematic Literature Review. Wirth B, Gassner A, de Bruin ED, Axén I, Swanenburg J, Humphreys BK, Schweinhardt P. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2019 Aug 1;44(15):E914-E926. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31335790

Profile image

Iben Axén

Principal Researcher
Content reviewer:
Anna Frantz