This post is the fifth, and final post, in a series taken from the article by Keith Wassung entitled “Asthma and Chiropractic: A Research Review”. This series focuses on Asthma, the epidemic, the anatomy of an asthma attack, conventional treatment, and chiropractic care. This week’s post looks at Vertebral Subluxations and Chiropractic care.

Vertebral subluxations are devastating to a person’s health and are well documented by leading health authorities.

“Subluxation is very real. We have documented it to the extent that no one can dispute its existence. Vertebral subluxations change the entire health of the body by causing structural dysfunction of the spine and nerve interference. The weight of a dime on a spinal nerve will reduce nerve transmission by as much as sixty percent” 18
– Chang Ha Suh, Ph.D., University of Colorado

“Subluxations of vertebra occur in all parts of the spine and in all degrees. When the dislocation is so slight as to not affect the spinal cord, it will still produce disturbances in the spinal nerves passing off from the foramina.” 19
– JAMES WODDERSEE, M.D., Neurosurgeon

“Nerve dysfunction is stressful to the visceral nerve and other body structures and the lowered tissue resistance modifies the immune response and lessens the overall capability of the immune system.” 20

“Hyper functional or Hypo functional neurons along a neural chain prevent normal nerve transmission causing disturbances in the homeostasis of the cells, tissues and organs.” 21
– Dr. T. N. Lee, Academy of Pain Research

“Pathological changes have been observed at the cellular level after experimental compression of neural structures. These include Wallerian degeneration, dystrophic axons and occasional loss of myleniated nerve fibers.” 22


“Abnormalities of central afferent and efferent pathways have been revealed by evoked potential studies in diabetic patients. Central nervous system abnormalities are more frequent in patients with peripheral neuropathy, but evoked potential can be abnormal even in patients without neuropathy.” 23
– Clinical Neuroscience


Chiropractic care

The science of Chiropractic is founded on the premise that a proper nerve supply is essential in controlling and regulating bodily function.

Doctors of Chiropractic detect and correct vertebral subluxations by physically adjusting the spine. This restores the nervous system to an optimum level of function, which maximizes the body’s inherent healing ability.

Chiropractors have never claimed that they can “cure” asthma and other related conditions and not all cases of asthma are caused by spinal stress, but scientific research has demonstrated that correcting subluxations does restore and improve respiratory and immune function, which improves conditions like asthma.

“One possible alternative to drug therapy for asthma is Chiropractic care. There is mounting preliminary clinical evidence that it may offer relief to asthma sufferers. It may also be possible to rectify, at least to some extent, the hyper-responsiveness of the lungs through Chiropractic.” 24

A study that was published in a Holland Medical Journal reported that out of a group of 115 families with asthmatic children, 73% had utilized Chiropractic care for the asthma and 92% of the families reported that Chiropractic was beneficial for their children.25

Chiropractic care

The Brisbane Asthma Study reported that Chiropractic was the most frequently consulted form of alternative health care and that 29.6% of families with asthmatic children used Chiropractic for asthma treatment. When compared with other forms of alternative health care, Chiropractic received the highest satisfaction rate — 86.5%.26

76.5% of patients with bronchial asthma said they benefited from chiropractic treatment. Peak flow rate and vital capacity increased after the third treatment. 27

Chiropractic care

The correction of vertebral subluxations with Chiropractic adjustments can improve conditions such as asthma because of the restored nerve supply to the pathways of both the respiratory and immune systems. Improvement of immune function is an often overlooked, but well-documented benefit of Chiropractic care.

chiropractic care baby

A study, published in the Chiropractic Research Journal, compared the health and wellness of 200 children under Chiropractic care to 200 children under conventional medical care.

The Chiropractic group had fewer ear infections, fewer allergies, fewer cases of tonsillitis and asthma. The health of the children under Chiropractic care was demonstrably superior to the children who had not received it.29

“The quality of healing is directly proportional the functional capability of the nervous system to send and receive nerve messages.” 30
– Janson Edwards, M.D. Ph.D.

Recent research by Dr. Patricia Brennan,suggests that spinal adjustments may have a direct effect on certain aspects of immune function. Her group showed that when the thoracic spine (middle of back) was adjusted, the respiratory burst cycle of white blood cells was enhanced.31

“By releasing stress on the nervous system, Chiropractic permits the immune system to function more effectively.”32

Studies that have measured the effect of Chiropractic treatment on the immune system have showed that Chiropractic may influence T and B lymphocytes, NK (Natural Killer) cell numbers, antibody levels, phagocytic activity, and plasma bet-endorphin levels. 33

A recent study by Dr. Ron Pero, a leading cancer and genetic research specialist, found that chiropractic patients of all ages had a 200% greater “immune competence” than people who had never received Chiropractic care and a 400% greater immune competence than people with serious diseases. 34


  1. DeRoeck, R. The confusion about chiropractors, (1989) Danbury, CT, Impulse Publishing
  2. Woddersee, J. “Surgical Treatment.”
  3. Science. (1981). pp. 1100-1109.
  4. Lee, T. ( 1994) ”Thalamic Neuron Theory”, Medical Hypothesis p. 285-302
  5. Delamater, R.(1996) “Cauda Equina Syndrome” Spine, Vol. 16, #9,
  6. Comi, G. “Evoked potentials in diabetes mellitus” Clinical Neuroscience, 1997;4(6):374-9
  7. Rondberg, True Health Journal 2 (6)
  8. Lange, B. (1989, July 10). Ugeskrift for Laeger, 151(28), 1815-18
  9. Donnelly, W.J. (1985, May). Medical Journal of Australia, 142(10), 539-54
  10. Hviid C; Bull Euro Chiro Union 1978; 26: 17-34
  11. J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Sep;17(9):797-801. Epub 2011 Aug 12.
  12. Van Breda, W., & Van Breda, J.A. (1989, Summer).
  13. Edwards, J. (1994, August)”Nerve dysfunction and tissue healing.” Journal of Neurological
  14. Brennan, P., & Hondras, M. (1989). “Priming of Neutrophils for Enhanced Respiratory Burst”
  15. Watkins LR Maier SF “Beyond Neurons: Evidence That Immune and Glial Cell Contribute
    States” Physiological Reviews, Vol. 82, No. 4, October2002, pp. 981-1011
  16. Chiropractic Journal of Australia. (1993). “The Effects of Chiropractic on the Immune System.”
  17. Pero, R. (1988). “Boosting Immunity Through Chiropractic.” East-West Magazine