Changes in Vertebral Artery Blood Flow in Different Head Positions and Post–Cervical Manipulative Therapy

Christopher Yelverton, Jessica Joy Wood, Diana Lopes Petersen, Cynthia Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the hemodynamics of blood flow through the V3 region of the vertebral artery contralateral to the side manipulated during different rotary head positions and post–cervical spinal manipulation. Methods: This quasi-experimental study was performed on 25 healthy, asymptomatic participants, both male and female, between 20 and 30 years of age. Each participant presented with a C0/C1 or C1/C2 cervical facet restriction (as determined by motion palpation). Participation was voluntary, and participants had no symptoms of vertebrobasilar artery insufficiency or contraindications to cervical spinal manipulation. Doppler ultrasound was used to measure vertebral artery blood flow (V3 region) hemodynamics, contralateral side of manipulation, as close to C1/C2 region as possible in 4 positions of cervical rotation (neutral, 45°, maximum, and post-manipulation neutral). Doppler ultrasound parameters included peak systolic flow velocity, end diastolic flow velocity, mean flow velocity, vessel diameter, and flow rate. The nonparametric Friedman test was used for analysis across each head and neck position, and post manipulation. Results: No clinical or statistically significant results (P > .05) were found for any of the hemodynamic parameters in any of the head positions. Conclusions: Hemodynamic measurements of the V3 region of the vertebral artery do not show significant changes in the measured head positions or following manipulation of the upper cervical spine in patients without pre-existing risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-151
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Chiropractic
  • Hemodynamics
  • Manipulation, Spinal
  • Vertebrobasilar Insufficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chiropractics


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