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Chiropractic Can Enhance the Immune System

Most people understand that chiropractic adjustments are a successful way to treat a variety of pain conditions, but an increasing body of data indicates it can also improve immunity.

In our office Parma Heights, OH, we help people with both musculoskeletal conditions and overall wellness.

Earlier research has indicated that spinal adjustments can affect specific immune responses in both healthy participants 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 evaluated the existing literature on spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) and immune responses.

After reviewing the data up to January 2012, Neil confirmed that spinal adjustments are associated with 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. At the same time, SMT may increase the creation of tiny cells called leukocytes which assist the white blood cells in fighting off a threat. Spinal manipulation may also affect Natural Killer cells, interleukin-2 activity, TNF-a levels, cortisol, and b-endorphin levels.

The mechanics driving these systems are still unknown, however. There isn't enough data yet to know whether these inflammatory changes result in 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 research is necessary, 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 general wellness.

If you're looking for natural pain relief and improved wellness, call our office in Parma, OH at (440) 888-6979 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).

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September 18, 2014
Team Member
Dr. Robb Baker