The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a study on July 5, 2018, documenting the case of a child who was suffering with a compromised immune system being helped by chiropractic. Having a compromised immune system means that the body does not fight off bacteria and viruses, leaving the person more susceptible to infectious disease and illness.
The authors of the study begin by explaining the function, and importance of the immune system. "It is understood that as we develop and throughout life our bodies will need to be overcome immune challenges. Every day we are exposed to innumerable microorganisms that have the potential to cause illness. The immune system is primarily responsible for keeping us well and for attacking microbial invaders when necessary. Getting infections when we are young primes our immune system to deal with future instances of infection more efficiently and more rapidly than the first time."
In this case, a 5-year-old girl who was suffering with recurrent respiratory illnesses related to dysfunction of the immune system, was brought to the chiropractor. The girl's mother reported that since her birth, her daughter had repeated episodes of coughing every 2-4 weeks during the winter months with frequent pneumonia often occurring three times per year. The girl was currently suffering with congestion for the past two weeks before her visit to the chiropractor. She had been prescribed a variety of medications, mainly antibiotics, for her problems, in addition to other daily medications for allergies and asthma.
The girl's history showed that she was regularly on antibiotics since birth, A prior full blood work-up determined that she was borderline immuno-deficient. As a baby, she had suffered with constipation and constant ear infections which eventually led to surgery to have tubes placed into her ears.
A chiropractic examination along with spinal x-rays of the girl's neck were performed. The x-rays showed that the girl had a severe decrease in what should be the normal forward curve of the neck. From these procedures, it was determined that multiple areas of vertebral subluxation were present in the girl's spine. With this information, specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were started.
After chiropractic adjustments had been started, the girl's mother commented that her daughter had remained symptom-free for the majority of her time since starting chiropractic. According to the girl's mother, this represented the longest time her daughter had gone without getting sick since birth. It was also reported that the girl was also able to get off all of her medications with the exception of her inhaler for allergies and asthma, which she only rarely used at night.
It was reported by the mother that the girl missed very few days of school, was able to concentrate more efficiently, slept better, was behaving better both at home and at school, and she noted an increase in energy levels. Four months after starting chiropractic, a follow-up set of neck x-rays showed that the girl's neck curve had improved from severely decreased to only mildly decreased.
In explaining the premise of how chiropractic could have a positive effect on the immune system the authors wrote, "Chiropractors often contend that many adult conditions originate in the childhood years due to nervous system interference and resulting aberrations of physiology. Previous research has identified chiropractic care as an effective treatment option for childhood conditions, including but not limited to respiratory illnesses, which are directly related to the functioning of the immune system. Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that chiropractic intervention has the potential to benefit cases of childhood immuno-deficiency."
In their conclusion, the authors summed up this case by saying, "This case study provides supporting evidence on the benefits of chiropractic care in increasing immune system function in the pediatric population. By identifying the vertebral subluxation complex and correcting it through chiropractic adjustments, neurological function may be improved which can effectively restore balance to the immune system."