Chiropractic Care May Boost the Immune System
Many people know that chiropractic is an effective way to alleviate a variety of pain conditions, but an increasing body of data indicates it can also enhance our immune system.
At our office in Omaha, NE, we help patients with both musculoskeletal issues and general wellness.
Earlier studies have shown that spinal adjustments can affect 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 reviewing the research up to January 2012, Neil confirmed that spinal adjustments are linked to a central anti-inflammatory response. Research suggests that chiropractic adjustments may lead to the regulating of pro-inflammatory cytokines and a boost in antibodies that are linked to the immune response. Additionally, spinal manipulation may increase the creation of tiny cells called leukocytes which support the white blood cells in fighting off a threat. Chiropractic adjustments may also affect Natural Killer cells, interleukin-2 activity, TNF-a levels, cortisol, and b-endorphin levels.
The mechanisms driving these systems are still vague, however. There is not enough research 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.
While more research is required, current evidence suggests that chiropractic adjustments can result in positive changes in the immune system. These immunological changes may show us why chiropractic can decrease inflammation and pain while promoting overall wellness.
We have helped many patients in Omaha, NE boost their health. If you would like to discover the advantages of chiropractic care, call Spinal Balance Health Center at (402) 452-3400 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.