Chiropractic Care Can Boost Your Immune System
In the midst of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, people around the world are looking for ways to boost their immune systems. Getting plenty of rest and boosting nutrition with vitamin C are two obvious ways to do that, but one not so obvious immune boost can come from regular chiropractic care. Let’s find out how.
What is chiropractic care?
Chiropractic care is a modern alternative to traditional medicine. Chiropractic therapy focuses on spine health. When the body is injured or stressed, the vertebrae become misaligned. These misalignments are called subluxations, and they cause disruptions in how the nerves send signals.
During a chiropractic adjustment, the chiropractor manual manipulates the vertebrae to put the spine back in proper alignment. Once aligned, nerves function in an optimal fashion. These spinal adjustments are tailored to the individual and gentle enough for everyone, from infants to the elderly.
How does chiropractic care help the immune system?
While many patients find pain relief from these spinal manipulations, realignment also has tremendous benefits for the immune system. Why? Because subluxations of the spine cause immune system issues as they compress nerve pathways. When nerves do not properly function, the body is not optimally responsive, and that means the immune system does not properly respond.
The immune system and the nervous system are linked. They share messenger molecules that help both systems communicate with each other. For example, one of these messenger molecules, interleukin-2 (IL-2), was thought to exist only in the immune system. Studies like this one showed that IL-2 was also present in the nervous system. This means that when the nervous system is not functioning properly, the body may not be fully equipped to fight infection.
For many years, chiropractors have observed that their patients’ immune issues improve with chiropractic treatment. Interestingly, doctors have observed this in patients of all ages. As their patients received chiropractic care, the patients’ allergy symptoms improved, and they had colds less often. When they did get a cold or respiratory infection, it seemed less severe and patients recovered more quickly.
Researchers have measured the effects of chiropractic adjustment on IL-2 production in studies like this one. Interleukin-2 definitely increases after chiropractic adjustment and directly influences the activity of T-cells, a type of immune cell that fights bacteria and viruses. Some researchers have followed immune-compromised patients, like in this study, to observe how six months of chiropractic care affected HIV patients. After six months, patients who received chiropractic had a nearly 50 percent increase in the number of T-cells. Patients not receiving chiropractic care had nearly a 10 percent decrease in T-cells.
There is a multitude of published research that now shows how chiropractic adjustment positively influences several types of immune cells. In these studies, the number of cells increased, or the biological activity of the cell increased after chiropractic adjustment.
Chiropractic care also decreases stress, and that means decreased cortisol, a hormone that is produced when the body is stressed. In cases of prolonged stress, the body keeps cranking out cortisol, which directly inhibits the immune system. So when you read about stress making you sick, it is really true. Much like the immune system and nervous system are linked, the endocrine system, which makes the hormone cortisol is also linked to these two systems. If you are stressed and producing cortisol, then you are suppressing your immune system. If you have subluxations, you are suppressing the nervous system, which in turn suppresses the immune system.
In summary, it is important to remember that the nervous system controls all of the body’s functions, including the immune system. Chiropractic adjustments reduce interference of the nervous system by correcting subluxations that are blocking the nerves’ ability to transmit a proper and full signal. Many people are walking around with vertebral subluxations. Left uncorrected, these misalignments leave the body in a perpetual state of stress. Once corrected, the body is restored to its normal resting state with full nervous system and immune system function, and that means you are more prepared to fight a cold, the flu or other respiratory illness.
If you have an injury that is causing pain, come see us so that we can determine the origin of the pain. We will realign your spine, while not only decreasing or eliminating your pain, but also restoring your nervous system and boosting your immune system all at the same time. If you experience chronic neck or back pain, chronic muscle pain, or persistent headaches, these are all signs that you might need chiropractic care. Schedule your initial consultation or treatment here.