Most people are aware of the benefits of chiropractic care for back and neck pain, but a lesser known advantage of chiropractic treatment is improving immune function. The immune system is the body’s line of defense designed to fight off bacterial and viral infections. Many factors contribute to a person’s immune system’s ability to maintain optimal health. Nutrition, exercise, posture, stress, and fatigue are important, but so is the health of your spine.
Chiropractic care specifically corrects spinal misalignments called vertebral subluxations. These misalignments of the bony spine can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves which exit at each level of the spine. This can cause stress and interference of the nervous system. Simply put, whatever message that is trying to be sent from the brain and out to the body does not get sent properly. Picture a kink in a garden hose. Chiropractic adjustments correct spinal abnormalities thus relieving stress from the nervous system and allowing it to function properly.
The immune system, like every other system in the body, is coordinated and controlled by the nervous system. Specific immune organs including the spleen, thymus, and lymph nodes are all in communication with the master control – the brain – through nerves which connect them. Picture a telephone wire. During an immune response, the brain and the immune system “talk to each other” and coordinate the body’s response to the exposure. This process is essential for maintaining homeostasis or balance in the body. If the nervous system is not functioning properly, then the immune system cannot function properly, and the body becomes susceptible to bacteria, viruses, and illness which it can usually fight off.
Along with correcting spinal misalignments and allowing for a stress free nervous system, the actual adjustment causes an immediate immune boost. A study found that disease fighting white blood cell counts were significantly higher just 15 minutes after chiropractic adjustment. Another study found that increased levels of certain antibodies appear in the bloodstream up to 2 hours after an adjustment which suggests a priming effect of the immune system and a possible faster response to a new infection.
Also, along with an adjustment , its important to have healthy lifestyle practices such as diet, exercise, sleep, nutrition, and ergonomics that can positively influence the nervous system and immune response. During this cold and flu season, add chiropractic care to boost your immune function and enhance your body’s natural line of protection.
At West End Chiropractic and Wellness, our doctors and staff have helped numerous people suffering with a wide variety of conditions. Contact us today to see how we can help you at (952) 500-8477 or visit us online at westendchiromn.com to learn more.