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Many people know that chiropractic is an effective way to treat a number of pain conditions, but a growing body of data indicates it can also enhance immunity. In our office in Daphne, AL, we help patients with both musculoskeletal problems and general wellness.
Earlier research has indicated that spinal adjustments can improve 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 presentation at the 9th Chiropractic, Osteopathy, and Physiotherapy Annual Conference in the UK, Jack Neil of the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic analyzed the existing research on spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) and immune responses.
After examining the research up to January 2012, Neil found 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 an increase in antibodies linked to the immune response. Furthermore, SMT may enhance 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 behind these systems are still unclear, however. There isn't enough research yet to know whether these inflammatory reductions 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 suggests that chiropractic adjustments can result in positive changes in the immune system. These immunological changes may explain why chiropractic can decrease inflammation and pain while supporting general wellness.
We have worked with many people in Daphne, AL boost their health. If you would like to experience the benefits of chiropractic care, call Back In Motion Chiropractic & Acupuncture at (251) 621-2224 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.
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