Many people understand that chiropractic is a simple yet effective way to alleviate a variety of pain conditions, but a growing body of research suggests it can also improve immunity.
In our office Juneau, AK, we help patients with both musculoskeletal conditions and general wellness.
Earlier research has shown 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 presentationat the 9th Chiropractic, Osteopathy, and Physiotherapy Annual Conference in the UK, Jack Neil of the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic evaluated the current research on spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) and immune responses.
After reviewing the data up to January 2012, Neil found that spinal adjustments are linked to with a central anti-inflammatory response. Research shows that SMT may lead to a down regulating of pro-inflammatory cytokines and an increase in antibodies linked to the immune response. Furthermore, 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 systems are still vague, however. There isn't enough data yet to know whether these inflammatory reductions 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 investigation is required, current evidence indicates that chiropractic adjustments can result in positive improvements in the immune system. These immunological changes may show us why chiropractic can decrease inflammation and pain while promoting overall health.
We have helped many patients in Juneau, AK improve their health. If you would like to discover the benefits of chiropractic care, call at (907) 789-1344 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.