Background: Recent events related to the coronavirus pandemic have brought the relationship between the nervous and immune systems to the forefront within and outside of the chiropractic profession. This includes assertions by researchers within the chiropractic profession that there is no credible evidence supporting claims of effectiveness of spinal adjustment and/or manipulation in boosting or strengthening the immune system and that there is no credible, scientific evidence that spinal adjustment and/or manipulation has any clinically relevant effect on the immune system.
Methods: An ad hoc team made up of individuals with experience in research, law, public health, and chiropractic from the Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation and Sherman College of Chiropractic developed a rapid outline to serve as a guideline for the development of projects related to chiropractic and immunity.
Discussion: This outline describes a multi-pronged approach to complete a scoping review of chiropractic, immunity and biomarkers, a comprehensive, integrative review of the scientific literature on chiropractic and immunity, the development of research protocols, feasibility studies, development of a prospective longitudinal health outcomes study, and the development of policy and best practice statements for practitioners and patients in an evidence informed framework.
Conclusion: It is well established that the nervous system controls and coordinates all functions and systems of the human body including immunity and the immune system. Many in chiropractic consider that this relationship confers salutogenic benefits in people undergoing chiropractic care. The chiropractic profession is encouraged to further explore these relationships.
Author keywords: Chiropractic, immunity, neuroimmunity, neuroimmunology, psychoneuroimmunology, neuroimmunoendocrine system, immune biomarkers, supersystem, vertebral subluxation, adjustment, spinal manipulation, best practices, health policy
Author affiliations: MM: Vice President, Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation; CK: President, Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation; AS, CK, SMC-P, CL, BM: Research Fellows, Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation
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