How Chiropractic Care Helps Cancer Patients

Cancer treatment is brutal on the body, whether it’s surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. Sometimes, the side effects of the treatment can seem worse than the disease it’s trying to cure. As unpleasant as cancer treatments can be, they often save lives that would otherwise be lost.

Doctors and patients must carefully weigh the potential side effects of aggressive treatments against the benefits. While considering your options, it may help to know that alternative treatments, in conjunction with traditional cancer treatments, can mitigate the side effects and make the process much more comfortable.

What is Chiropractic Care?

The most common description of a chiropractor is someone who realigns the body through gentle spinal and joint manipulation. They do much more than that, however. Chiropractors take a holistic view of health and often counsel patients on nutrition, provide therapeutic massage, apply electric stimulation to damaged muscles, help increase joint range of motion, improve circulation, and more.

How Does Chiropractic Care Help With Cancer Treatment Side Effects?

The side effects individuals experience in response to cancer treatment vary widely from person to person. However, skilled chiropractic care can be beneficial in overcoming many of the common complaints, making treatment easier to tolerate.

  1. Empowers Patients – Patients often express a feeling of helplessness as they have little control over their bodies and their reactions to treatment. Taking action to relieve treatment-related symptoms through a chiropractor or other forms of self-care can empower you, lower stress levels, and increase a patient’s sense of well-being.
  2. Relieve Pain and Stiffness – Cancer patients must remain motionless for extended periods during IV infusions, radiation treatments, scans, and surgeries. That immobility can create muscle stiffness, lower back pain, decreased circulation, pressure sores, and stress. Gentle spinal and joint adjustments can relieve tension, increase mobility, and relieve pain from extended inactivity.
  3. Reduce Headaches – Many cancer patients complain of headaches during treatment. Your chiropractor can make adjustments that relieve pressure around the head and neck, easing symptoms.
  4. Mitigate Nausea – Chiropractors can work with cancer patients to relieve nausea from chemotherapy.
  5. Combat Neuropathy – Some chemotherapy drugs can cause nerve damage in the extremities. This condition is called peripheral neuropathy. Patients can experience hand or foot pain, tingling, muscle weakness, or numbness. Chiropractors who specialize in peripheral neuropathy use numerous modalities to combat neuropathy, including:
    1. Increasing circulation (to oxygenate and feed peripheral nerves)
    2. Decreasing inflammation
    3. Addressing nutrient deficiencies
    4. Improving nerve conductivity and communication
    5. Helping create an internal environment during and after treatment conducive to nerve regeneration and healing.
  6. Take a Holistic Approach – Chiropractors seek out the root cause of symptoms and treat the source. For example, diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage caused by elevated blood sugar levels. You can have this condition with or without cancer, though cancer treatments like chemo, radiation, and steroids can affect blood sugar levels, making the condition worse. Knowing the root cause allows your chiropractor to address the symptoms head on.
  7. Promote Healing – Chiropractors continue working with patients after cancer treatment is over to help individuals deal with the aftermath. Using chemotherapy or radiation to target cancer cells does damage throughout the body. It may be effective, but your body will need time to recover. Your chiropractor can continue treating neuropathy, muscle aches, joint aches, and other side effects of treatment as your body adjusts. They help remove obstacles to healing so your body can regain as much health and strength as possible.
  8. Reduce Anxiety – Anxiety worsens neuropathy pain, lowers the immune system, and makes it difficult to sleep. Chiropractic sessions lower physical stress levels, which helps reduce anxiety-driven pain and other symptoms.


Cancer is a plague. And while we look for a cure, we must settle for treatments that make your situation difficult now to save a promising future. For those who face current and future cancer treatments, know that there are things you can do to lower your pain levels, decrease nausea, better your sleep, lower stress, and improve overall health.

You don’t have to suffer in silence. Your chiropractor will evaluate your situation after a thorough examination, search out the root causes of your symptoms, and help you make adjustments that will improve your comfort and well-being during cancer treatments and beyond.


The information, including but not limited to, texts, graphics, images, and other material contained in this article are for informational purposes only. None of the material mentioned is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new care regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.


How Chiropractic Care Helps Cancer Patients

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