Chiropractic Care Can Enhance Immunity

Many people understand that chiropractic adjustments are an effective way to alleviate a variety of pain conditions, but an increasing body of research suggests it can also boost our immune system. In our office in Charlotte, NC, we help people with both musculoskeletal pain and general wellness.

Earlier research has indicated that spinal adjustments can improve specific immune responses in both healthy people 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 literature on spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) and immune responses.

After examining the data up to January 2012, Neil found that spinal adjustments are associated with a central anti-inflammatory response. Research indicates that SMT may lead to a down regulating of pro-inflammatory cytokines and an increase in antibodies involved in the immune response. At the same time, SMT may boost the creation of tiny cells called leukocytes which support 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 driving these processes are still vague, however. There isn't sufficient research yet to know whether these inflammatory changes correlate with an improvement 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.

While more study is necessary, current evidence indicates that chiropractic adjustments can result in positive changes in the immune system. These immunological changes may explain why chiropractic can lessen inflammation and pain while supporting overall wellness.

We have worked with many patients in Charlotte, NC boost their health. If you would like to experience the advantages of chiropractic, call Gomez Advanced Wellness Center at (704) 377-0800 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.