Can Chiropractic Care Naturally Enhance Your Immunity?

Chiropractic and Immunity

In this study, seventy-six asymptomatic subjects were randomized to receive an upper thoracic (upper mid-back) spinal manipulation (chiropractic adjustments) with cavitation (sounds) or without cavitation, or were included in a control group. All subjects had their blood drawn before, 20 minutes and two hours after the intervention. Production of IL-2 in mononuclear cell (key element of immune system) cultures was activated with staphylococcal protein A (SPA). Induced secretion of IL-2 increased significantly in manipulation with and without cavitation.

The paper concludes that in vitro T lymphocyte (immune) response to a SPA stimulus became enhanced after spinal manipulation. Therefore, this effect may be independent of joint cavitation/audible. This finding suggests manipulation may influence IL-2 immune-regulated biological responses.

Dr. Wu DC’s comment:

We all know how wonderful chiropractic adjustments can be for sore neck, lower back pain and joint issues.  But do you know chiropractic adjustments can also enhance your immune system as well?   In this study, researches evaluate effects of upper mid back spinal manipulation (chiropractic adjustment) on the production of interleukin 2 (IL-2) – a key element of innate immune system signal response to foreign body infections such as bacteria, viruses and parasites.  IL-2 also play a major role with T-cell-dependent immune response system which helps you to fight off these nasty and gnarly microbial infection.  Pretty cool stuff, isn’t it?

Teodorczyk-Injeyan JA, Injeyan HS, McGregor M, et al.
Enhancement of in vitro interleukin-2 production in normal subjects following  a single spinal manipulative treatment.
Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2008;16:5.

The next miracle trace mineral : Magnesium

Recently most of the emphasis has been focusing on the miracle vitamin D (especially D3) and let’s not forget there are other trace minerals and vitamins just equally important.  In this blog, we will focus on one of the most important trace mineral in the body, Magnesium (Mg).

In the book “The Magnesium Factor: How one simple nutrient can prevent, treat, and reverse high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions” by Mildred S. Seelig and Andrea Rosanoff, they stated “Magnesium is a necessary catalyst for all sorts of life reaction.   Amount the enzymes that have been studied intensively, over 350 need magnesium, directly, to do their job properly.” (p.11)  What does this mean? That means without adequate Mg in the body, majority of bodily systems (such as heart and muscles to name a few) will not function at the highest level.

Here are some of the potential signs and symptoms if you are Mg deficiency

  1. High blood pressure
  2. Angina (chest pain due to heart disease)
  3. Muscle contraction
  4. High cholesterol
  5. Type 2 diabetes
  6. Obesity
  7. Low energy
  8. Anxiety

Besides signs and symptoms, how else can we know if we are Mg deficiency?

Serum (blood)  magnesium represents only 1% of magnesium stores. Magnesium is homeostatically controlled in the serum and measuring serum magnesium levels provides many false negatives. By the time an individual’s serum magnesium is low, they are very deficient in magnesium, as the body cannot maintain the serum magnesium levels. RBC magnesium is definitely a better choice and the most accurate test out there.

Why are we so Mg deficiency?

The reason lies in our soils.  Soils today are very different from 20 years ago.  Due to the evolution of farming practices, pesticides and herbicides play a major role of depleting micronutrients in soils.  In addition, incomplete grown fruits and vegetables harvested before they are fully ready for transportation purposes hence reduced the vitamins and trace minerals even more. Lastly, refined processed foods such cookies, croissant and others will rob even more Mg from our body.

What food groups contain most Mg? list from most to least in each categories.

Vegetables: butter beans, soy flour, legumes, beet green, red seaweed, chard, spinach and collards.
Fruits: Coconut, dates, dried apricots, and dried figs.
Meat and poultry: Liver, bacon, corned beef, roast beetf, steak, chicken and turkey.
Nuts: Cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts, peanuts, pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts.

How much Mg supplements should we take?

Everyone is different, and a good general rule of thumb in our office is 300 mg of Mg for every 100 pounds of body weight.  This might seems a bit over daily recommended dosage and the reason is because majority of population is Mg deficiency.   Based in our clinical experience with adults, we started with 300 mg of Mg/day and slowly added 100mg a day after until that dosage cause loose stool then we back off 100mg.  For example, we started John with 300 mg of Mg on Monday,  400 mg on Tuesday, 500 mg on Wednesday and 600 mg on Thursday and he reported with loose stool; then we back off to 500mg and that’s the dosage we stay with until further evaluation.  This process is called “up to tolerance” which can be apply to vitamin C as well.  However, if you are experiencing kidney disorder, Crohn’s disease or  taking antibodies it is imperative to work with your physician on this subject.
It is extremely important to know if  you have adequate Mg because it tights to so many chemical reactions in your body.   However, we don’t recommended blindly start taking Mg supplements and to hope change your current health conditions; it is strongly recommended to work with health care professional certified in functional medicine to perform necessary laboratory testing to determine how much Mg you really need.

Yours in health,

Dr. Wu DC

Curvy Back, less lower back pain?

Lumbosacral sagittal alignment in association to intervertebral disc diseases.

This is a nice study to know.   In this study, authors were studying the relationship between the lumbar lordosis (lower back curve), intervertebral disc pathologies (disc herniation and

/or degeneration) and pain.  Here are the fact

  1. 2 different groups of 50 subjects with lower back pain.
  2. First group is lower back pain with disc pathology and second group is lower back
    pain without disc pathology.
  3. Took MRI of each group and calculated the lumbar lordosis (lower back curve).
  4. People with disc pathologies has straighter lower back curve than without disc pathology.
  5. Authors concluded that “patients with intervertebral disc lesions seem to have more straightened lumbosacral profiles, but it has not been proven which comes first: disc degeneration or changes in sagittal alignment.”

Dr. Wu DC comment:

If you have been to my office then you would known I am very keen on spinal curvatures.  Curves work as suspensions and they are there to protect and preserve your spine.  Too much or too little curves could potentially speed up degeneration (aging) process.  This study has stated the relationship between these two but weren’t sure which one comes first.  Chiropractic has long been known to correct misalignment of spine (we called it subluxation) which can potentially change curvatures of spine. My take is, does not matter which one comes first, loss curve or degeneration of disc, it is important to get your spine check periodically before you hit either one of these.  Prevention always triumph treatment.

Dr. Wu DC

Published online 2014 Dec 17. doi:  10.4184/asj.2014.8.6.813

Text Neck and Blood Flow to the Brain.

Decreased Vertebral Artery Hemodynamics in Patients with Loss of Cervical Lordosis

Med. Sci Monit, 2016; 22:495-500

Key points:

  1. The authors wanted to determine the relationship between vertebral artery (blood vessels in the neck) and cervical lordosis (neck curve).
  2. Loss of cervical lordosis (neck curve) causes disrupted biomechanics, triggering a degenerative process in the cervical spine.
  3. The loss of cervical lordosis (neck curve) is associated with neck, upper thoracic, and shoulder pain, tension and cervicogenic headaches, and POORER HEALTH-RELATED QUALITY of the life outcomes.
  4. The evaluation parameters included lumen diameter (LD: size of blood vessel), peak systolic velocity (PS: blood going into vessel), and end-diastolic velocity (ED: blood going out of vessels), and flow volume (FV).
  5. The results of the study revealed that vertebral artery parameters, including LD, FV and PS, were significantly different between groups, with patients with LOSS OF CRVICAL LORDOSIS SHOWING LOWER VALUES in comparison to controls.
  6. Axial load (weight of head) is shifted from posterior to anterior (back to forward) is lost, and the increased compressive forces triggers and accelerates the degenerative process.

Dr. Wu DC’s Comment:

  • Spine is a very delicate structure especially at the neck region because of nerves and blood vessels.
  • When you put your head forward to read phone or tablet, you are slowly changing the curvature of your neck.
  • “Text Neck”, is no longer a catchphrase but an actual medical diagnosis.
  • You are changing the function and health of your body when you change the position of your head, such as this article stated, reduced blood flow to the brain.
  • Posture is extremely important to the health; good posture can lead to better health.

 

Incidence of Spontaneous Resorption of Lumbar Disc Herniation

Incidence of Spontaneous Resorption of Lumbar Disc Herniation: A Meta-Analysis

Ming Zhong, MD, Jin Tao Liu, MD, Hong Jiang, MD, phD, Wen MO, PhD, Peng-Fei Yu, MD, Xiao Chun Li, MD, and Rui Rui Xue, MD
Pain Physician 2017; 20:E45-E52

Key points:

1. Studies of acute Lumbar Disc Herniation (LDH) have found that 2 and 5 years after diagnosis there was little difference between patients who underwent surgery and those who did not.
2. Since 1990 magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) have provide evidence that conservative treatment allows resorption of the herniated disc.
3. …the overall incidence of spontaneous resorption after LDH was 66.66% ….
4. Spontaneous regression of disc herniation at repeat epidurography has been described since 1945.
5. IN 1990, an article was published in Spine in which Saal et al first identified the phenomenon of spontaneous resorption as observed by MRI and CT. This phenomenon showed us that LDH could be treated conservatively.
6. Overall incidence of LDH reabsorption was around 66.66%. In japan, the resorption rate was 62.58%, which is close to the average level.
7. In the United Kingdom, the incidence was much higher, at 82.94%.

Dr. Wu DC comment:

• This is a really good review article for people who are suffering from the lumbar disc herniation (LDH). LDH can cause debilitating discomforts such as leg weakness, nerve pain shoots down the leg to even affected organs functions. However, LDH could also be incidental finding which means it is completely asymptotic and benign.
• The conventional treatment for LDH is usually operation/surgery, but as this article stated, the surgical outcome is not much different from conservative treatment.
• The conservative treatments in this paper includes: bed rest, oral steroids, NASIDS, massage, physical therapy; and may I add the specific chiropractic adjustment to the list as multiple other studies have shown.
• It is also interesting to see the age demographic in this article, as it ranges from 20s to 80s. In other words, the body is always attempting to heal itself as long as we provide a good environment to allow it to do so, in regardless to the age.
• I have always remembered what my professor told us in the class: if you have a hammer in your hand, everything looks like a nail. If you have a symptomatic disc herniation, depends on whom you talk to first, could very well decided ending up on the operation table or not. Surgery or conservative treatment, the decision is yours, but I know which one I am going to choose first.

Have any questions about disc herniation? drop a line to us or schedule an appointment at www.ICONchiropractic.com or call (408)796-7300.

ICON Chiropractic