Can Chiropractic Care Help Cancer Patients?

Chiropractic treatment is usually sought for back pain, neck pain or pain in the joints and treatment comprises of manual manipulation or adjustments of the spine. When the bones of the spine are adjusted and are in alignment with each other as well as adjoining muscles and ligaments, the musculoskeletal system is perfectly balanced and improves a person’s efficiency by improving his posture and gait.


How chiropractic can help a cancer patient?

It is commonplace now to see cancer patients looking for an integrated approach for care and considering therapies like acupuncture and mind body medicine as well consulting dieticians and naturopaths to boost overall wellness during the course of cancer treatment. What many people are not aware of is that chiropractic care can also be an important part of healthcare for cancer patients.

Chiropractic focuses on the nervous system and musculoskeletal system of an individual. Jeffrey A. Sklar, who is the medical director of chiropractor services in Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), Philadelphia, explains that chiropractor believes that overall health can get affected by injuries or dysfunction linked to the nervous system and musculoskeletal system. It is a very gentle therapy that treats a person as a whole and aims at solving the health problem from the root, instead of just treating the symptoms.

The first issue that chiropractic can help a cancer patient with is pain management. Pain is something that no cancer patient can avoid. Regular visits to a chiropractor can be the best option to reduce pain levels and feel better. It should not be considered as a one-visit treatment. Bringing balance back to the body takes time and chiropractic helps the body to do this on its own, without external inputs like drugs. As this happens gradually, you can feel pain levels decreasing and with every visit, you might feel more energetic.

Chiropractic can also help a cancer patient manage the side effects of cancer treatments. According to Dr. Sklar, patients opting for chiropractic care can get many benefits. In the very first place, the news of cancer can cause a lot of stress for a person and may cause tightness of the muscles and impact spinal motion. This can be a cause of chronic discomfort, but chiropractic care can help you get relief from this discomfort.

Along with this, side effects arising from chemotherapy, which may be nausea, headaches, stiffness of the joints and muscle ache, can also be controlled with chiropractic therapy. Radiation therapy causes changes in the muscle tissues, which can be quite painful. This can also be managed with chiropractic therapy. Chiropractic can also help alleviate symptoms like backaches, neck pain, numbness of hand and feet.

An effective chiropractic treatment reduces pain and muscle stiffness, aligns the spine properly and restores nerve function. It helps decrease stress and improves a person’s mobility strength, flexibility and function; so that the quality of life is improved and overall well being is enhanced. Chiropractic can help caregivers also- they are the ones who are most stressed and need some care themselves.

Chiropractic as a complementary therapy for cancer patients

Though chiropractic care cannot treat cancer, it can be a part of the complete plan for wellness of the patient so that he or she can derive optimal results from cancer treatment. Chiropractic can help manage pain and help the patient to be as strong as possible so that he can respond well to treatment. For this, it is important that the chiropractic and the other members of the patient’s cancer care team be in touch and work together with the aim of providing maximum comfort to the patient.

It is important that the chiropractic should know if there are any issues like bone deterioration in any part of the spine or thrombosis because of cancer or the treatment, so that manipulations of those parts can be avoided. This is why communication between the chiropractic and other members of the cancer care team is vital.

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