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We’ve written before about the many benefits of chiropractic care beyond helping patients with that sore neck or aching back, and usually, we mention the immune system boost related to chiropractic care. It surprises many people when they hear that chiropractic care can help the immune system, which is understandable. Here’s how it works.

Studies to Back Up the Claim

Dr. Ronald Pero, chief of cancer prevention research at New York’s Preventative Medicine Institute and professor of medicine at New York University, conducted a study that showed the positive effect chiropractic care can have on the immune system.

In his three-year study, he measured the immune systems of 107 patients who had received chiropractic care for five years or longer against people who had not received chiropractic. The patients seeing a chiropractor had 200% greater immune competence than those going without chiropractic care, and this immune system disparity didn’t seem to lessen with age.

Dr. Pero is quoted as saying, “When applied in a clinical framework, I have never seen a group other than this chiropractic group to experience a 200% increase over the normal patients. This is why it is so dramatically important. We have never seen such a positive improvement in a group.”

Another study, this time conducted by Patricia Brennan, Ph.D., found that “phagocytic respiratory burst of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) and monocytes were enhanced in adults that had been adjusted by chiropractors.”

In 1994, a study from the Sid Williams Research Center looked at a group of HIV patients receiving chiropractic care over a six-month period. These patients, who were measured independently at their own medical centers, showed a 48% increase in CD4 cells, a critical immune system component. What’s more, the control group of patients (those who were not receiving chiropractic care), not only didn’t show this immune function increase, they actually showed a decrease of 7.69% over the same time period.

Another study from 2010 showed increased antibodies following chiropractic adjustments. This led the authors to theorize that the adjustments were effectively “priming” the immune system and making it more effective against infection and illness.

So How Does it Work?

The nervous system is connected to the immune system through the endocrine system. By improving the function of the nervous system through improved movement of the spinal bones (which protect the spinal cord), you may be able to positively impact the immune system.

To learn more about how chiropractic care might help your immune system, particularly as we enter cold and flu season, schedule an appointment with Dr. McSweeney today.