Chiropractic and Your Immune System

Many factors affect the body’s ability to maintain optimal balance. Nutrition, posture, exercise, stress, fatigue are important, but so is the health of your spine.

Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to boost the coordinated responses of the nervous system and immune system by enabling optimal nerve signals throughout the body.

Here’s Why

The nervous system controls all organ function of the body.  Spinal misalignments, also known as subluxations, cause compression and irritation of the nerves. The nervous system controls the function of lymphoid organs such as the spleen, thymus, lymph nodes, and bone marrow that produce the body’s immune response.

Logically, this means that misalignments create conditions that lead to reduced immune function and increased susceptibility to a variety of diseases.


A significant amount of evidenced based research suggests that chiropractic adjustments may lead to a boost in antibodies that are linked to the immune response. Additionally, spinal manipulation may enable the increase of the creation of tiny cells called leukocytes which support the white blood cells in fighting off a threat.

Chiropractic care was first linked to improved immunity during the deadly flu epidemic of 1917 and 1918. The unexpected outcome was; chiropractic patients fared better than the general population. This observation spurred a study of the field. The data reported that flu victims under chiropractic care had an estimated .25 percent death rate, a lot less than the normal rate of 5 percent among flu victims who did not receive chiropractic care.

One study, from the National College of Chiropractic in Lombard, Illinois, found that disease-fighting white blood cell counts were higher just 15 minutes after chiropractic manipulation was applied.

A similar study investigated the immune system response in HIV-positive patients under chiropractic care. After six months of treating spinal misalignment, the group receiving the chiropractic treatment showed a 48 percent increase in white blood cell counts. Conversely, the group that did not receive chiropractic manipulation experienced a 7.96 percent decrease in immunity cells.

Another study in 1992 measured 107 individuals who had received long-term Chiropractic care. The chiropractic patients were shown to have a 200% greater immune competence than people who had not received chiropractic care, and a 400% greater immune competence than people with cancer or serious diseases.

For the same reason Inflammatory based disease is influenced by both the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems. Nerve stimulation directly affects the growth and function of inflammatory cells. Researchers found that dysfunction in this pathway results in the development of various inflammatory syndromes such as rheumatoid arthritis and behavioral syndromes such as depression.

Wellness based chiropractors, like my colleagues and I, analyze the spine for subluxations and give corrective adjustments to reduce the stress on the nervous system.

These immunological changes show us why chiropractic does more than decrease pain and improve mobility, it is essential to overall wellness.

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