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VERIFY: No, chiropractic care can't boost immunity to COVID-19 or cure it

Some chiropractors are posting claims online that chiropractic care can help with COVID-19, but trade associations, experts and researchers disagree.

MINNEAPOLIS — There have been a lot of claims on the internet and on social media about ways to prevent, treat and cure COVID-19.

Many of these claims involve chiropractors who say that getting a chiropractic adjustment will boost your immune system and help you fight off the virus.

Is that true?

THE QUESTION:

KARE 11 viewer Mary Jo wanted us to VERIFY two different questions.

First, can chiropractic adjustments boost your immune system?

And second, can chiropractic adjustments cure COVID-19?

THE SOURCES:

Minnesota Chiropractic Association

American Chiropractic Association

World Federation of Chiropractic

Dr. Jennifer Needle, a professor at the University of Minnesota who specializes in pediatrics, bioethics, and is one of the university's experts on COVID-19 misinformation

Research published in the medical journal Chiropractic & Manual Therapies

Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association

THE ANSWER:

False, several chiropractic trade associations, experts and research studies show there is not enough evidence to support claims that chiropractic care can boost your body's immune system or cure COVID-19.

WHAT WE FOUND:

The Minnesota Chiropractic Association (MCA) has a special section about COVID-19 on the organization's website.

This section states, "Due to the lack of research and the severity of COVID-19, it is negligent to make any claims for treatment or cure."

"Regulators are on high alert for the exploitation of the pandemic and may view as grounds for license suspension any claim that certain treatments can prevent or cure COVID-19 until more is known about the virus."

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) also has a special section on its website that addresses claims about chiropractic care and COVID-19.

According to the ACA, "While spinal adjustments are effective for a number of conditions, there is no quality evidence to support that they can improve immunity to COVID-19."

The World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) also conducted an in-depth review of all scholarly research back in March of 2020.

This review came to the conclusion that, "no credible, scientific evidence that spinal adjustment/ manipulation has any clinically relevant effect on the immune system was found. Available studies have small sample sizes and a lack of symptomatic subjects."

"At the time of writing, there exists no credible, scientific evidence that would permit claims of effectiveness for conferring or enhancing immunity through spinal adjustment/ manipulation to be made in communications by chiropractors."

This review from the WFC looked into several research studies, including a study from 1986 that claimed chiropractic care can boost your immune system by 200%.

However, the WFC says they couldn't verify this because they could never 'find' that original study.

According to the WFC, "numerous attempts have failed to retrieve this study. Without the original study to review, no scientific assessment of its claims can be made."

Dr. Jennifer Needle at the University of Minnesota agrees.

"There's no peer reviewed scientific evidence that chiropractic adjustments A) impact the immune system, or B) have any impact on the severity of COVID," Needle says.