Research News Staff
Chiropractic, Fever and Upper Respiratory Infections

New Research Sheds Light on Role of Chiropractic

Recent research reporting on improvement in an 11 year old boy undergoing chiropractic care reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in managing children with upper respiratory symptoms and fever. 

The research, reported in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic, includes a review of the literature supporting the role of chiropractic in co-managing children suffering from respiratory infections and fever and calls for more research in this area.

“Research is revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system and the immune response” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. McCoy added, “Since the nervous system has a direct effect on the immune system and because the spine houses and protects so much of the nerve system it is important to have your child’s spine checked regularly for any interference but especially when their immune system is challenged.” 

The unique aspect of this case study is the reduction of fever and related symptoms that accompanied the chiropractic care. After antibiotics had failed to reduce the child’s symptoms, the parents of the child brought him to a chiropractor who checked the child’s spine for vertebral subluxations, found them and then reduced them. Abnormal position or movement of the spinal vertebra can develop and this can lead to nerve interference. It is this interference, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct. 

“With everything we know about the dangers of antibiotic abuse, chiropractic co-management makes perfect sense in the case of childhood illnesses” remarked Dr. McCoy. “This child was experiencing symptoms including fever, fatigue, and disposition changes as well as muscle tension, neck pain, and headache with a medical diagnosis of unspecified upper respiratory infection and the medical intervention was not helping. It wasn’t until the chiropractic intervention that the child improved and in a very short time.”  

McCoy stressed that chiropractic is not treating the infection or the fever but instead the adjustments are meant to reduce interference to the nervous system in order to allow the body to better function and heal. 

The 11-year-old male reported on in this case had symptoms including fever, fatigue, and disposition changes as well as muscle tension, neck pain, and headache with a medical diagnosis of unspecified acute upper respiratory infection.  He underwent medical bacterial screenings and pharmaceutical intervention of 250mg of amoxicillin without change to his illness, fever or musculoskeletal symptoms. 

The patient was managed with chiropractic adjustments directed to the cervical spine, thoracic and lumbar spine.  The child had resolution of fever as well as musculoskeletal symptoms approximately 60 minutes after one visit. 

The authors call for more research on the role of chiropractic in the management and c-management of childhood illness.  

Contact Information: 

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH

Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic

McCoy Press