A Narrative Review

Medicina. May 27, 2021; Vol. 57; No. 6; pp. 536

Heidi Haavik, Imran Khan Niazi, Nitika Kumari, Imran Amjad, Jenna Duehr, Kelly Holt: This study cites 301 references. HVLA = High-Velocity Low Amplitude

In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the quest for healthcare solutions that bolster the immune system has gained paramount importance. A recent review delves into the intriguing realm of high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) controlled vertebral thrusts and their potential role in modulating the intricate dance between the nervous and immune systems. The implications of this link for clinical practice and the pressing need for future research take center stage in this exploration.

  • The Immune Imperative in the COVID-19 Era
  • The urgency to fortify immunity has never been more critical than in the current global health crisis. Amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, finding effective healthcare solutions that support and enhance the immune system has become a priority.
  • HVLA Thrusts and Immune Mediators: Unraveling the Connection
  • The review uncovers a compelling body of evidence suggesting that HVLA controlled vertebral thrusts possess the potential to influence immune mediators. Out of 21 published papers exploring this connection, a significant effect was observed in 86% of cases. This influence extends to various immune mediators, including neuropeptides, inflammatory markers, and endocrine markers.
  • The key mechanisms underlying this impact are rooted in changes in proprioceptive processing within the central nervous system (CNS), particularly the prefrontal cortex. As a hub for regulating the autonomic nervous system, the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis, and the immune system, the prefrontal cortex emerges as a crucial player in the interplay between HVLA manipulation and immune modulation.
  • Biologically Plausible Mechanisms: Bridging the Gap
  • The review highlights biologically plausible direct and indirect mechanisms linking HVLA controlled vertebral thrusts to the immune system. Stress-induced alterations in neuro-immune interactions, coupled with the impact on proprioceptive processing, form the foundation for understanding how chiropractic adjustments may influence immune function.
  • HVLA Thrusts and Immune Mediators: A Multifaceted Impact
  • The manual or mechanically assisted application of HVLA controlled vertebral thrusts, commonly known as chiropractic adjustments or spinal manipulation, emerges as a multifaceted influencer of neuroimmune chemical concentrations. These adjustments have been shown to impact interleukins, key cytokines in immune function, by decreasing pro-inflammatory cytokines and increasing anti-inflammatory cytokines.
  • The CNS-Immune Axis: Unveiling the Intricacies
  • The interconnected relationship between the central nervous system (CNS) and the immune system takes center stage. Chiropractic HVLA controlled vertebral thrusts, by affecting the CNS, particularly the prefrontal cortex, establish a plausible biological mechanism for impacting immunity.
  • Chronic Stress, Immunity, and Vertebral Subluxations
  • Stress, a major factor in immune suppression, is proposed as a potential cause of vertebral subluxations. The review draws attention to the cascading effects of chronic stress on immune response, highlighting its role in various physical and mental health conditions.
  • Bridging Basic Science and Clinical Relevance
  • While basic science evidence suggests the modulatory effects of HVLA controlled vertebral thrusts on immune mediators, the review underscores the need for cautious optimism. It emphasizes the necessity for larger, high-quality studies to ascertain the clinical impact of these thrusts on immune function, especially in immunologically mediated conditions.
  • The Road Ahead: Urgent Calls for Further Research
  • As we tread this fascinating intersection of chiropractic care, neuroimmune dynamics, and immune function, the call for further research resonates. Larger studies, particularly those exploring the link between HVLA controlled vertebral thrusts and the immune response in various conditions, are essential to validate and understand the clinical implications of this intricate connection.

In conclusion, this review not only sheds light on the potential of HVLA controlled vertebral thrusts to modulate immune function but also underscores the imperative for continued research in this promising field. As we stand at the crossroads of chiropractic care and immune health, the quest for knowledge remains integral to shaping the future of holistic healthcare practices.