Many people understand that chiropractic adjustments are an effective way to relieve a variety of pain conditions, but a growing body of data suggests it can also improve our immune system.
In our office in Depew, NY, we help people with both musculoskeletal conditions and overall wellness.
Previous studies have 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 literature on spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) and immune responses.
After examining the research up to January 2012, Neil determined that spinal adjustments are linked to with a central anti-inflammatory response. Research indicates that SMT may lead to a down regulating of pro-inflammatory cytokines and an increase in antibodies involved in the immune response. At the same time, SMT may enhance 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 mechanics behind these processes are still unknown, however. There isn't enough data yet to know whether these inflammatory improvements result in a reduction 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 study is needed, 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 promoting overall wellness.
We have helped many patients in Depew, NY improve their health. If you would like to discover the benefits of chiropractic, call Buffalo Chiropractic Center at (716) 668-2225 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.