Can Chiropractic Help with Symptoms of Lupus?

Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic autoimmune disease that is characterized by inflammation and destruction of tissues in the body. This disorder can impact any system in the body, but has a tends to most affect the connective tissues, which includes joints, skin, blood cells, and the tissues lining the organs. Lupus is generally considered to have a genetic component that then requires an environmental exposure to trigger active expression of the predisposition. Once activated, the behavior of T and B cells in the body change to begin attacking the body’s own tissue. T and B cells are the workers of the immune system, destroying and removing invaders. Turned on one’s own body, those same cells create inflammation and damage. Chiropractic care can not only improve the function of the disordered immune system, but it can also help to reduce pain and suffering, as well as improve quality of life for those suffering from lupus.

Signs and Symptoms of Lupus

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Malaise (a sense of general illness and weakness)
  • Fever, often without any infection present
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Malar rash across the face, commonly called a butterfly rash
  • Sensitivity to sun exposure
  • Joint pain, usually starting with the small joints of the hands and feet
  • Muscle pain, which may lead to a diagnosis of fibromyalgia
  • Anemia, low red blood cells, hemoglobin, and/or hematocrit
  • Low white blood cell counts, also called neutropenia
  • Low platelets
  • Severe headaches
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Neuropathy
  • Kidney dysfunction
  • Shortness of breath
  • Recurrent heart inflammation
  • Nausea and vomiting

As one can see, lupus has multiple manifestations in the body that can lead to pain and disability. This disease afflicts women substantially more than men, and it tends to impact younger adults more than other autoimmune diseases. Individuals may have clinical signs of the disease for many years before they test positive and meet the full diagnostic criteria for the disorder. For that reason, treatment may be solely for symptom management until a clear diagnosis is made.

The broad range of symptoms and presentations can make it very difficult to accurately diagnose and create a plan of care. Chiropractic care can be a vital part of the puzzle, helping to identify those who may have lupus early when seen for joint pain, and later in reducing pain and maintaining function in those already diagnosed. It’s important to find a provider who will listen to your concerns and who is skilled at caring for those with autoimmune diseases.

Dr. Grant Lisetor at Greater Life Chiropractic can help practice members achieve improved quality of life by creating a plan to address each symptom the individual is experiencing. This may mean chiropractic techniques that can improve range of motion, reduce joint pain, and restore function to the nervous system and immune system. With a reduction in pain often comes a reduction in depression and anxiety, which can help individuals enjoy life again.

Reach out to Greater Life Chiropractic to schedule your evaluation with Dr. Grant Lisetor today.


Chou C-T. Alternative therapies: what role do they have in the management of lupus? Lupus. 2010;19(12):1425-1429.

Justiz Vaillant, A. A., Goyal, A., Varacallo, M. (2022). Systemic lupus erythematosus. In: StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing