Most people are aware that chiropractic is an effective way to relieve a variety of pain conditions, but a growing body of research indicates it can also enhance our immune system. In our office in Midtown East, NY, we help people with both musculoskeletal issues and overall wellness.
Previous research has shown that spinal adjustments can improve 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 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 evaluated the current literature on spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) and immune responses.
After reviewing the data 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 linked to the immune response. In addition, SMT may increase the production 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 mechanics driving these processes are still unclear, however. There isn't sufficient research yet to know 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 necessary, current evidence suggests that chiropractic adjustments can produce favorable improvements in the immune system. These immunological changes may explain why chiropractic can reduce inflammation and pain while boosting overall wellness.
We have worked with many patients in Midtown East, NY improve their health. If you would like to discover the benefits of chiropractic care, call at (917) 338-7917 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.