top of page

Neuroplasticity and Back Pain: A Revolution in Back Pain Care

Chronic back pain is not only a prevalent health issue but also a profound challenge that affects the quality of life for countless individuals. Dr Heidi Haavik’s research in the field of neurophysiology has shed light on how spinal health and brain function are intricately linked, particularly through the concept of neuroplasticity. This post explores how understanding neuroplasticity can revolutionize the way we approach back pain care.

Understanding Neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity refers to the brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. This ability allows the brain to adjust activities in response to new situations or changes in one's environment. In the context of back pain, neuroplasticity plays a critical role as the brain adapts to chronic pain signals, potentially leading to persistent pain even after the original cause has been addressed.

The Impact of Spinal Function on the Brain

Dr Haavik’s research has demonstrated that spinal function affects how the brain perceives what’s happening in our bodies. When there is a misalignment or dysfunction in the spine, it can alter the way the brain processes and responds to sensory information. These changes can lead to a "maladaptive" neuroplastic response, where the brain becomes more sensitive to pain signals, often resulting in chronic pain.

Chiropractic Adjustments and Neuroplastic Changes

Chiropractic adjustments can play a pivotal role in addressing these maladaptive neuroplastic changes associated with chronic back pain. By correcting spinal dysfunctions, chiropractic care may help reset the brain's perception of pain. Scientific studies have shown that regular chiropractic adjustments not only improve spinal function but also induce positive neuroplastic changes, potentially decreasing the brain's sensitivity to pain and thus alleviating discomfort.

Evidence from Neurophysiological Research

In one key study various neurophysiological techniques were used to measure how the brain responds before and after chiropractic adjustments. The results indicated significant changes in somatosensory processing and motor control after chiropractic spinal adjustments. These findings suggest that chiropractic care could influence the central nervous system, leading to a reduction in pain perception and an improvement in function.

Implementing Neuroplasticity in Pain Management

Understanding and harnessing neuroplasticity opens up new avenues for the care of back pain. It emphasizes the importance of an integrated approach that includes chiropractic care to promote healthier neuroplastic changes. Additionally, incorporating lifestyle changes such as exercise, proper ergonomics, and stress management can further support the development of positive neural pathways,

aiding in the recovery and prevention of back pain.


The concept of neuroplasticity has profound implications for the treatment of back pain. As a chiropractor, I am excited about the potential of these findings to improve our understanding of pain. By integrating neurophysiological insights into clinical practice, we can offer more effective, personalized care that not only alleviates pain but also enhances overall well-being.

Follow the link below to a great video about the brain and spinal function.



Dr Mark has a special interest in helping recreational athletes of all ages perform better and prevent injury. Correct breathing and postural alignment are critical for top performance and injury prevention and is an integral part of “The Over 40 Athlete System” that Mark has developed.

Dr Julie has a special interest in helping mothers and “mothers to be”. Her Post Graduate qualifications in Paediatric Chiropractic and as an ex-midwife give her a unique ability to help pregnant women, new mums and their young children.

Yours in Health,

Dr's Mark & Julie


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Instagram
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page