Chiropractic: A Natural Approach to Boosting Immune Function
Researchers are beginning to understand the specific biological benefits of chiropractic adjustments. A 2010 study indicated that chiropractic adjustments can assist the body's response to inflammation and pain.1
The study compared 10 healthy participants with 10 participants who had low-back pain for at least 3 months. Researchers took blood samples of the participants at the beginning and end of the study to calculate changes in cytokines – the protein molecules that cells use to communicate with one another and trigger immune responses. Having high levels of two types of cytokines known as IL-6 and CRP indicate that the body is actively engaged in an inflammatory response to injury or pain. These levels normalize as the body heals.
After 9 chiropractic adjustments, low-back pain patients had markedly lower IL-6 and CRP levels. This points to a correlation between chiropractic adjustments and improved inflammatory responses.
Although this is a small study and more research is needed to fully understand the biological effects of chiropractic adjustments, the study shows promising results for low-back pain patients.
A newer study sheds more light on how chiropractic can support the body's immune responses to injury and stress–we'll write a post on that study shortly.2
- Roy RA, Boucher JP, Comtois AS. Inflammatory response following a short-term course of chiropractic treatment in subjects with and without chronic low back pain. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 2010;9(3):107-114. doi:10.1016/j.jcm.2010.06.002.
- Ogura T, Tashiro M, Masud M, Watanuki S, Shibuya K, Yamaguchi K, Itoh M, Fukuda H, Yanai K. Cerebral Metabolic Changes in Men After Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation for Neck Pain. Alternative Therapies. 2011, November/December; 17 (6): 12-17.