New Research Sheds Light on Immunity & Allergies

Research News Staff
New Research Sheds Light on Immunity & Allergies

Chiropractic May Play Role in Alleviating Suffering

Recent research reporting on improvement in a 48 year old woman undergoing chiropractic care reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in managing people with autoimmune disorders and allergies. The research, reported in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research includes a review of the literature supporting the role of chiropractic in people suffering from autoimmune disorders and calls for more research in this area.

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“Numerous case studies and some clinical studies are revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system and the various problems related to allergies and autoimmune disorders” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. “These types of structural shifts in the spine cause obstructions of the nerves and cause a ripple effect through the nervous and immune systems. By removing the structural shifts chiropractic may improve the function of the nervous and immune systems.” 

McCoy added “With everything we know about the relationship between the nervous and immune systems, chiropractic makes perfect sense in the case of autoimmune disorders and allergies. In fact, chiropractic is not treating the allergies or immune dysfunction but re-establishing normal neurological function which benefits the immune system of the patient.”  

There is an intimate connection between the functioning of the immune and nervous systems. The immune system has even been described as a continuation of the nervous system, with immune cells functioning as the effector cells of the nervous system as it alerts and guides the immune system, mediated by numerous factors such as neurotransmitters and cytokines. This close association of the two systems has long been acknowledged in chiropractic as an underlying feature of why people improve under chiropractic care for various problems. 

The woman reported on in the study was 48-years-old and presented to the chiropractor with a history of the autoimmune disorder called Sjögren’s Syndrome along with pain and numbness in her legs. She could not walk or stand for longer than 30 minutes at one time.  

She had been under the care of a family physician (MD), an orthopedist and a physical therapist with no resolution of her problems. She was taking 7 different medications along with allergy shots. She was constipated and told by her medical doctor that she would eventually develop ulcerative colitis. She fell out of a tree when she was 5 and suffered from chronic ear infections and allergies throughout childhood. 

The chiropractor examined the woman and found tension in the spinal muscles, decreased range of motion of the spine, and most significantly structural spinal shifts in her neck, mid and low back that were obstructing her nervous system. These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct. 

Following the introduction of chiropractic care her inflammation levels decreased and she reported that she is taking less medication, has less stress in her life and has an overall increase in energy.  

The authors called for more research on chiropractic and management of immune related disorders such as Sjogrens Syndrome.      

Contact Information: 

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH

Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research

McCoy Press