When most of us sneeze, we put it down to a cold or even allergies, and our first thoughts are to pop an antihistamine pill instead of calling a chiropractor! But did you know that a chiropractor could help you overcome your allergy problems? Most people associate chiropractors with back and neck issues, and while it’s true that chiropractors can help with such health conditions, they can also help the body achieve optimum health by ensuring the spine is correctly aligned.

A study from the University of California [1] found that signals from the nervous system influence the function of the immune system. While our immune system is there to fight against viruses, disease and infection, and helps to keep the body performing at its peak, it also works to dispel foreign contaminants that enter the body.

When we sneeze because of an allergy, it’s because our body detects the presence of a foreign object in the system, such as dust, mites, pollen, etc. and it produces chemicals to neutralize and expel the allergens. These chemicals are known as histamines. In the case of allergies, the immune system overreacts to the presence of the allergens in the body.

Most traditional treatments for allergies, such as antihistamines, only deal with managing the symptoms and do not eliminate the cause. The safety of anti-allergy medication is under debate, and the long-term use of antihistamines or combined with other medication may in fact cause cancer. A study conducted in lab rats with brand name anti-allergy medication found that cancerous tumors in the rats grew much larger with the intake of antihistamines [2].

Proper chiropractic care will help by removing the nerve interference from compressions in the spine, and as a result the immune system is able to function optimally once more.  In other words, releasing the stress on the nervous system leads to a better functioning immune system, and those benefits include reduced allergic expression. Patients with misaligned spinal vertebra will typically have irritated nerves, which apply pressure and stress the system. Once the trapped nerve is released, the nervous system can more freely adapt to stress and the body can then work more effectively to neutralize the allergy-causing chemicals found in the body.

Spinal health is as beneficial to the body as is good nutrition. Therefore, here is another way that proper chiropractic care can help the body to achieve optimal health and improve the quality of life.

[1] Goetzl EJ, Voice JK, Shen S, Dorsam G, Kong Y, West KM, Morrison CF, Harmar AJ., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Nov 20;98(24):13854-9. Epub 2001 Nov 6.

[2] Brandes LJ, Simons KJ, Bracken SP, Warrington RC., J Clin Oncol. 1994 Jun;12(6):1281-90.