Many people understand that chiropractic adjustments are an effective way to relieve a number of pain conditions, but an increasing body of data suggests it can also improve our immune system. In our office Federal Way, WA, we help patients with both musculoskeletal issues and overall wellness.
Earlier research has shown that spinal adjustments can affect specific immune responses in both healthy people and back pain patients. However there have been no major literature review articles of the overall effect of chiropractic 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 determined that spinal adjustments are linked to a central anti-inflammatory response. Research indicates that SMT may lead to a down regulating of pro-inflammatory cytokines and boost in antibodies linked to the immune response. In addition, SMT may boost the production 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 vague, however. There isn't sufficient research yet to be sure 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.
Although more research is required, current evidence indicates that chiropractic adjustments can result in favorable improvements in the immune system. These immunological changes may explain why chiropractic can lessen inflammation and pain while boosting overall wellness. We have worked with many patients in Federal Way, WA improve their health. If you would like to discover the benefits of chiropractic, call Ball Chiropractic Center at (253) 838-6909 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.