This treatment modality is thought to manage symptoms of cancer, side effects from conventional therapies and/or control pain. Chiropractic therapy should be used with, not in place of, standard cancer therapy.
What does chiropractic treatment involve?
Chiropractic is a system that believes all illness stems from underlying blockages of nerve bundles inside the spinal cord. A chiropractor seeks to treat illness by finding any misalignment or irregularity in the spine and physically manipulating the vertebrae (bones of the spinal cord) to bring back healthy, unblocked nerve function. Chiropractors do not treat illness directly. Instead, they seek to correct the spine-related cause of the illness. Other techniques chiropractors perform include tissue manipulation, trigger-point manipulation and deep tissue massage.
How is chiropractic treatment thought to manage specific symptoms of cancer, side effects of conventional therapies and/or control pain?
While not a curative therapy for cancer, proponents claim chiropractic can help to control headaches, tension, lower back pain, muscle pain, promote relaxation and stress reduction.
What has been proven about the benefit of chiropractic treatment?
Chiropractic has long drawn criticism from the mainstream medical community for its failure to provide scientific proof of its effectiveness. However, there is growing proof of chiropractic manipulation's efficacy for lower back pain. As a result chiropractic is growing and gaining respectability among the medical community. To date, there is no scientific confirmation of effectiveness of chiropractic treatment for any ailment other than lower back pain. However, the NIH's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine now supports the Consortial Center for Chiropractic Research, which will investigate chiropractic treatment for a variety of ailments.
What is the potential risk or harm of chiropractic treatment?
Serious side effects from chiropractic are rare. However, chiropractic is not recommended for patients with bone cancer and diseases of the spinal cord and bone marrow.
How much does chiropractic treatment cost?
On average, a course of treatment consists of four visits per week for two weeks. Chiropractors are licensed in all fifty states, and their services are covered by many insurance plans, including Medicare.
For additional information:
The American Chiropractic Association
1701 Clarendon Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22209
Telephone: (800) 986-4636
Web site: www.acatoday.org
Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research
c/o 1000 Brady Street
Davenport, IA 52803
Telephone: (563) 884-5150
Web site: www.palmer.edu
Note: Information about therapies is intended to help you make informed choices, not to endorse any particular therapy. The information is courtesy of "Integrating Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Cancer Patients," a handbook written as an independent study project by Heather Morein. For more information, see the full text of the handbook (PDF), including all references and appendices.