Many people know that chiropractic is an effective way to relieve a number of pain conditions, but an increasing body of data suggests it can also enhance our immune system.
In our Joplin, MO office, we help people with both musculoskeletal issues and overall health and wellness.
Earlier studies have indicated 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 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 research on spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) and immune responses.
After examining the research up to January 2012, Neil determined that spinal adjustments are associated with a central anti-inflammatory response. Research shows that SMT may lead to a down regulating of pro-inflammatory cytokines and a boost in antibodies involved in the immune responses. Furthermore, SMT may increase 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 driving these systems are still unclear, however. There isn't sufficient data yet to be sure 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 necessary, current evidence indicates that chiropractic adjustments can produce positive changes in the immune system. These immunological changes may explain why chiropractic can decrease inflammation and pain while boosting overall wellness.
We have helped many people in Joplin, MO improve their health. If you would like to discover the advantages of chiropractic care, call Advanced Health & Rehab at (417) 782-2504 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.