The Secret Connection: Chiropractic and the Immune System

Little girl receives cranial massage.

Recently, the relationship between chiropractic care and a strong immune system has sparked interest and discussions within the healthcare community. While chiropractic adjustments have historically been associated with the relief of pain from musculoskeletal issues such as headaches, low back pain, and sciatica. There is emerging  evidence suggesting a chiropractic adjustment can have a positive impact on the strength of the immune system. People often look puzzled when a friend or a colleague might suggest such a connection, so let’s explore this intriguing connection and see how science and research support this chiropractic secret. 

Understanding the Basics

The major premise of Chiropractic focuses on the spine and the nervous system. The central nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord, and spinal nerves are intricately connected to the spine,  and plays a crucial role in communication between the brain and the rest of the body. When this communication is hindered or interfered with, the efficiency of every function of the body can be altered, this includes the function of the immune system and lead to various health issues. 

Brain Body connection

Research has shown that the nervous system and immune system are closely interconnected. The brain and immune system communicate through neurochemical transmitters, and any disruption in this communication may impact the body’s ability to fight off any bacteria or viruses. When a patient receives an adjustment, the body immediately releases more chemical transmitters to elicit an immune response.  

What does the research say?

The research is still ongoing, however there are many studies that have been performed that show positive evidence with chiropractic patients having increased immune system function following an adjustment.  Recent studies have explored the effects of  adjustments on specific immune markers, showing positive correlations within as little as twenty minutes and lasting hours post adjustment. 

Chronic stress

Not only does the adjustment offer a positive neurochemical response increasing the strength of the immune system, adjustments have been shown to reduced the stress response. Chronic stress is known to suppress the immune system, making the body more susceptible to illness. By alleviating tension and stress with chiropractic adjustments, the immune function can also be improved.

Healthy lifestyle

As I often say, chiropractic isn’t always the only  answer! In most cases, it’s a great addition to a healthy lifestyle. We all know and understand that eating well, exercising and getting sufficient sleep are foundational pieces to great health and if you add in regular chiropractic adjustments, this will strengthen and enhance your natural immune response. 

While the link between chiropractic care and immune function is an intriguing area of study, more research is needed to establish concrete connections and mechanisms. Individuals considering chiropractic care for immune support should consult with healthcare professionals and consider it as part of a broader approach to wellness. As our understanding of the intricate relationship between the spine, nervous system, and immunity evolves, chiropractic care plays a role in promoting overall health and resilience against illnesses.

  1. CDC says “Take 3” actions to fight the flu. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Accessed Nov. 22, 2018. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/preventing.htm
  2. Allen JM. The effects of chiropractic on the immune system: A review of the literature.Chiropractic Journal of Australia. 1993;23(4):132-135.
  3. Teodorczyk-Injeyan JA, McGregor M, Ruegg R, Injeyan HS. Interleukin 2-regulated in vitro antibody production following a single spinal manipulative treatment in normal subjects.Chiropractic & Osteopathy. 2010;18:26.

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