Chiropractic Can Enhance Immunity

Most people understand that chiropractic is an effective way to relieve a number of pain conditions, but a growing body of research indicates it can also enhance immunity. In our office in Mandeville, LA, we help people with both musculoskeletal conditions and general health and wellness.

Previous studies have indicated that spinal adjustments can improve specific immune responses in both healthy participants and back pain patients. However there have been no major literature review articles 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 evaluated the existing research 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 suggests that SMT may lead to a down regulating of pro-inflammatory cytokines and an increase in antibodies involved in the immune response. Additionally, SMT may increase the production 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 mechanics driving these systems are still unknown, however. There is not enough research yet to be sure whether these inflammatory improvements 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.

While more investigation is required, current evidence indicates that chiropractic adjustments can result in positive improvements in the immune system. These immunological changes may explain why chiropractic can reduce inflammation and pain while supporting overall health. We have worked with many patients in Mandeville, LA boost their health. If you would like to discover the benefits of chiropractic care, call Sports & Family Chiropractic at (985) 809-3135 for an appointment today.

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