Immune System Basics

One of the many things we’ve learned in recent months with the rapid spread of the coronavirus,  COVID-19, is how vital a strong immune system is and how even a healthy one can have difficulty fighting off viruses and disease.

The Immune System

The immune system is a group of cells, tissues, and organs that work together as a complex network with astonishing communication skills and strategies to protect our bodies from foreign invaders or pathogens.  It’s made up of white blood cells, antibodies, the complement system (proteins that help antibodies do their job), the lymphatic system (includes lymph nodes, lymph vessels, and lymphocytes), spleen, bone marrow, and the thymus, all working together to eliminate the outside threat.

Pathogens can be bacteria, parasites, fungi, or in the case of COVID-19, viruses.  The immune system is truly a marvel of communication with millions of cells passing along vital information throughout the body.  A normal, healthy immune system can recognize your body’s cells from foreign cells.  Once a foreign cell is detected, your immune system launches a counter-attack.

Under Attack

Our bodies are constantly at war with armies of attackers seeking to invade.  Our army of defense is our immune system.  The immune system is highly skilled at recognizing millions of different enemies, and when it does, it sends out a counter-attack of secretions and antibodies to fight back.  The counter-attack comes in waves of various arsenals.  If the first line of defense fails, another comes in behind it.  A barrage of antibodies are released from B Cells and float around in the blood and attach themselves to the surface proteins of the pathogen to interfere with its function and call upon other defenses.   If the pathogen makes it into a cell, the cell sends out a distress signal that calls in cells called Natural Killer (NK cells) which tell the infected cell to die, taking the pathogen down with it.  When it’s working properly, this complex web of defenses can be extremely efficient in destroying the enemy before you even know you’ve been infected.

The Nervous System’s Connection and Chiropractic Care

There’s growing evidence of connections between the nervous system and the immune system and how they share in sending messages to the brain.  When there are misalignments in the spine, nerves can become pinched or harmed which can interfere with messages getting through to the brain or from the brain to where they need to go in the body.  By adjusting the spine so it is in proper alignment, your central nervous system is better able to function.  The central nervous system communicates with the brain and immune system and when the messages can get through, the immune system can better fight off invaders.

Of course, this is not to imply that chiropractic care can fight off the coronavirus but it can be an important part of your overall health and wellbeing, a way to keep your musculoskeletal system functioning as it’s supposed to.

At North County Pain Relief, we take a holistic approach to your health. Upon your initial consultation and exam, we’ll come up with a plan to treat your pain and ailments to improve your whole health.  If you’re from the St. Louis area, call North County Pain Relief today at (314) 731-4201 to schedule a free initial consultation. We’re here to help improve your health.