Most people know that chiropractic adjustments are a simple yet effective way to alleviate a number of pain conditions, but a growing body of data suggests it can also improve immunity. In our office Henderson, NV, we help people with both musculoskeletal conditions and overall health and wellness.
Previous studies have shown that spinal adjustments can improve specific immune responses in both healthy people and back pain patients. However, there have been no major literature review articles on 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 research up to January 2012, Neil determined that spinal adjustments are linked to 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. At the same time, SMT may boost 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 research yet to know whether these inflammatory changes result in 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 study is needed, current evidence suggests that chiropractic adjustments can result in positive improvements in the immune system. These immunological changes may show us why chiropractic can lessen inflammation and pain while supporting overall wellness.
We have worked with many people in Henderson, NV to improve their health. If you would like to discover the advantages of chiropractic care, call Advanced Spine & Rehabilitation at (702) 990-2225 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.