Chiropractic

Physical Activity Can Reduce Inflammation

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Just 20 minutes of moderate exercise may dampen inflammation in the body, researchers say.

The study findings suggest that “exercise doesn’t have to be tremendously hard for you to see health benefits from it,” said study author Suzi Hong. She is an associate professor at the University of California, San Diego.

The researchers focused on inflammation — swelling — in the body.

The immune system produces swelling by rushing to protect the body from injuries and invaders, such as germs. But inflammation can become permanent, poisoning tissues in the body and contributing to diseases, including diabetes, Hong explained. 

Obesity, for example, is thought to produce higher levels of inflammation. That inflammation can contribute to heart disease by affecting the arteries, Hong said.

How Exercise Can Lower Inflammation

Studies have suggested that exercise lowers inflammation, especially when you’re active on a regular basis. However, “what is less known is how that is happening,” Hong added.

For the new study, Hong and her colleagues recruited 47 volunteers — a mostly white group of 26 males and 21 females — with an average age of 41. The researchers gave them blood tests before and after the study participants walked at a moderate speed on a treadmill for 20 minutes.

The investigators found a 5 percent decline in immune cells linked to inflammation. Hong called this a “tangible” and “significant” improvement. But it’s not clear what it means for a person’s health, and the study did not prove cause and effect.

Still, she said, it could be helpful for people, regardless of whether they have a disease linked to inflammation.

It’s also unclear whether more exercise means a greater benefit. However, “if you’re seeing this benefit every time you exercise, it’ll have a cumulative effect,” Hong suggested.

David Nieman, director of the Appalachian State University Human Performance Lab, said the new research did not represent a breakthrough — it just reinforced existing knowledge.

“It’s definitely not a high-level study, just confirming things we already know,” he said. “But it’s fine, another bit of information that confirms what we all know in the world of lifestyle and inflammation.”

Nieman said it’s important to fight off inflammation because “it’s a serious issue that undergirds just about every major chronic disease that modern-day men and women experience. It really needs to be managed and reduced.”

The most powerful way to do that, he said, is by controlling weight.

As for future research, Hong said it would be helpful to better understand exactly how exercise affects the body.

“We want to break it down into bite-size pieces for the public and say there are specific immune-based, cell-based changes you’re making when you exercise,” she said.

The study was published online recently in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .

Chiropractic and Athletic Performance

Many athletes who are injured performing their specific sport or physical activity, frequently seek treatment from chiropractors. Chiropractic care focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of injuries and conditions affecting the musculoskeletal and nervous system. While chiropractic is a safe and effective form of conservative care for a variety of ailments, chiropractic can also be utilized to enhance athletic performance.

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Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Physical Activity Can Reduce Inflammation" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.

Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

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We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

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