The Chiropractic – Flu Connection

Why you should receive chiropractic care for the flu.

It is important to understand, in the words of Dan Murphy, DC, "chiropractors are doing something to influence the efficiency of the immune system." Multiple literature reviews have supported this notion and chiropractic adjustments can boost various aspects of the immune function in a unique way.  Specifically, chiropractic has been clinically shown to:

  • Promote the production of white blood cells, which of the mainstay of the immune system.

  • Consistently reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

  • Induce and enhance production of immunoregulatory cytokine I L-2 and the production of immunoglobulins.

  • Increase CD4 counts in HIV/AIDS patients.

This helps explain why chiropractors were originally licensed as doctors - because of their ability to treat infection, not take away headaches or back problems.  Contrary to popular folklore, chiropractors primarily treated infectious diseases, like polio, up until the 1950s!

The Texas Chiropractic Association highlights this point in their historical account of Chiropractic - Spanish Flu connection:

  • "Chiropractors got fantastic results from influenza patients while those under medical care died like flies all-around."

  • "Statistics reflect a most amazing, almost miraculous state of affairs - the medical profession was practically helpless with the flu victims, but chiropractors seemed able to do no wrong."

The data that they reference is quite remarkable:

  • In Davenport, Iowa, 50 medical doctors treated 4,953 cases, with 274 deaths.  In the same city, 150 chiropractors including students and faculty of the Palmer School of Chiropractic, treated 1,635 cases with only one death.

  • In the state of Iowa, medical doctors treated 93,590 patients, with 6,116 deaths - a loss of one patient out of every 15.  In the same state, excluding Davenport, 4,735 patients were treated by chiropractors with a loss of only 6 cases - a loss of one patient out of every 789.

  • National figures show that 1,142 chiropractors treated 46,394 patients for influenza during 1918, with a loss of 54 patients - 1 out of every 866.

  • Reports show that in New York City, during the influenza epidemic of 1918, out of every 10,000 cases medically treated, 950 died; and in every 10,000 pneumonia cases medically treated 6,400 died. These figures are exact as in that city these are reportable diseases.

  • In the same epidemic reports show that chiropractors treated 3,490 cases of influenza with only 7 deaths.  But the best part of this is, in Oklahoma, there is a clear record showing that chiropractors were called in for 233 cases. These were cases where medical doctors had cared for the patients and finally gave them up is lost.  The chiropractors saved all of these lost cases but 25!

So the question is, during this flu season, where will you turn?

The flu shot?


Safe and effective chiropractic care?