Chiropractic Can Boost the Immune System

Most people are aware that chiropractic adjustments are a successful way to alleviate a number of pain conditions, but an increasing body of research indicates it can also boost our immune system. In our office in Urbana, OH, we help patients with both musculoskeletal problems and overall wellness.

Previous research has shown that spinal adjustments can improve specific immune responses in both healthy participants and back pain patients. However there have been no major literature reviews of the overall effect of chiropractic care on immunity. In a recent presentation at the 9th Chiropractic, Osteopathy, and Physiotherapy Annual Conference in the UK, Jack Neil of the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic analyzed the current research on spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) and immune responses.

After reviewing the data up to January 2012, Neil confirmed that spinal adjustments are associated with a central anti-inflammatory response. Research suggests that SMT may lead to a down regulating of pro-inflammatory cytokines and boost in antibodies involved in the immune response. In addition, SMT may increase the creation of tiny cells called leukocytes which assist the white blood cells in fighting off a threat. SMT may also affect Natural Killer cells, interleukin-2 activity, TNF-a levels, cortisol, and b-endorphin levels.

The mechanisms behind these systems are still unclear, however. There is not enough data yet to know whether these inflammatory reductions correlate with a reduction in symptoms. "Most research to date has focused on asymptomatic patients with short-term improvements. The challenge now is to clinically observe long-term health benefits in symptomatic patients," Neil concluded.

Although more research is necessary, current evidence indicates that chiropractic adjustments can produce positive improvements in the immune system. These immunological changes may show us why chiropractic can lessen inflammation and pain while supporting overall health.

We have helped many patients in Urbana, OH boost their health. If you would like to discover the advantages of chiropractic, call Donay Life and Wellness Center at (937) 653-5353 for a consultation today.

Neil J. Manipulative therapy and immune response: A literature review of the chiropractic and osteopathic evidence. Clinical Chiropractic 2012; 15(3): 186.