Most people understand that chiropractic adjustments are an effective way to treat a variety of pain conditions, but an increasing body of research indicates it can also improve our immune system. In our office in Singapore, we help patients with both musculoskeletal pain and general wellness.
Earlier research has shown that spinal adjustments can affect specific immune responses in both healthy participants 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 analyzed the current 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. Additionally, SMT may boost 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 mechanisms driving these systems are still vague, however. There isn't enough research yet to be sure whether these inflammatory changes correlate with 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.
Although more investigation is required, 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 general health.
We have worked with many patients in Singapore boost their health. If you would like to experience the benefits of chiropractic, call Back II Life Chiropractic at 62351220 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.