Chiropractic May Aid in Improving Cancer Care

 

With non-communicable, or chronic, disease becoming more and more prevalent in an aging population of Americans, there are various co-morbidities that can arise resulting from the initial diagnosis. For example, when an individual is diagnosed with heart disease, improper functioning of the heart along with many of the factors that have led to heart disease itself can encourage the onset of diabetes. Chronic disease accounted for over 80% of total deaths in the United States in 2012 and without the adequate adjustment of behavioral patterns, the percentage is expected to rise.

One of the more common chronic diseases that is taking lives in the United States is malignant neoplasms, or cancer. Various complications arise from cancer; immune suppression makes the entry of pathogens into the body much easier, and infectious disease such as the flu can become present.

However a comorbidity of cancer that goes widely unnoticed is the chronic pain that occurs in the nerves traveling to and from the spine and all nervous activity associated with areas of the neck and back. Additionally, many patients enact chemotherapy treatment regiments, which require being sedentary for long periods of time. This provides the perfect opportunity for back pain, neck pain, and other musculoskeletal issues to come about.

There have been many propositions of how chiropractic care can quell some of the issues chemotherapy patients deal with. Some suggest that spinal manipulation can adjust blood flow to proper levels, potentially leading to decreased nausea and chronic pain. Others claim that there may be no direct effects of chiropractic care on a cancer patient’s condition, these alternative medicine interventions can help patients become more comfortable with the long periods of sitting and remaining sedentary. It can encourage good posture and better awareness of body positioning during these long chemotherapy and in turn can improve overall quality of life.

There is no definite link between chiropractic care and the improved course of illness in those afflicted with cancer, but there are many situations in which spinal manipulation and other forms of chiropractic care can put patients in the position to make seemingly menial changes that eventually go a long way towards positive health outcomes.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Army Medicine

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