Allergy sufferers everywhere are constantly seeking new treatment options to offer relief from their allergies. How do allergies even occur and what happens in your body when you have an allergic reaction?
When your body views an outside object as a threat, your immune system immediately kicks into high gear, creating antibodies and histamines to fight against it and protect you. While protecting yourself is important, these attacks on so-called invaders are typically unnecessary, as the allergens being attacked are generally harmless. So what can be done?
The most common treatment of allergies in the U.S. is medication. Antihistamines, decongestants, corticosteroids, allergy shots and more are the typical go-to treatment for allergy sufferers. However, significant research and various case studies have been done to explore and prove the substantial benefit of chiropractic care in the treatment of allergies, and the results are nothing but encouraging and hopeful to those suffering from allergies of any kind.
The immune system is the part of the body that tells the brain about the allergen and its threat, and it is responsible for creating the histamines and antibodies to “fight off” the allergen. Since we know that allergens are not harmful in and of themselves, we can conclude that for an immune system to react so aggressively, there must be a problem.
When the communication pathways between the immune system and the brain are interrupted, we see these types of unnecessary and aggressive responses. An interruption like this is typically the result of a vertebral subluxation, or spinal misalignment. When nerve interference is present in the spine, the body cannot react to outside substances effectively and appropriately, leading to allergic reactions of various severities. So it’s an obvious conclusion that if spine health is optimized, immune function will be optimized as well.
In addition to typical allergic reactions, allergy sufferers commonly experience respiratory problems, and respiratory health has also been linked directly to spinal subluxations. Lymphatic drainage must occur for proper respiratory health, and vertebral subluxations, specifically those in the upper thoracic and cervical spine, can cause a lack of proper drainage. When subluxations are corrected with chiropractic adjustments, lymphatic function is restored and the body is able to function properly.
A large study published in 2003 concluded that “significant alleviation” of various diseases, including allergies, was attainable due to chiropractic treatment. The study stated that “there is a high possibility that allergic disease relates to the innervation of organs that relate to the immune function which are affected by changes in the vertebrae caused by the chronic vertebral misalignment.” Essentially, allergies are related to immune function which is related to spinal subluxations. Additionally, chronic vertebral misalignment, specifically of the 8th to 10th thoracic vertebrae, are present in most allergy sufferers.
Dantzer, R., Wollman, E.E. “Relationship between the Brain and Immune System.” Journal of the Biology Society, 2003; 197(2): 81-88.
Fysh, P. “Upper Respiratory Infections.” Dynamic Chiropractic, 1994; 12(26).
Takeda, Y., Arai, S. “Relationship between Vertebral Deformities and Allergic Diseases.” The Internet Journal of Orthopedic Surgery, 2003; 2(1).