The “c” word: cancer. It has been affecting so many of us either directly or indirectly through our loved ones. It is everywhere. If you or someone you know has been dealing with such a health crisis, then this is for you. (Share this with someone you know.)

Recent research reported in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research on improved quality of life in a 24-year-old woman reveals that chiropractic may play a valuable role for patients suffering from cancer and its related health challenges.

“Research is revealing that there are positive changes in quality of life for people undergoing chiropractic care – even when they have been diagnosed with cancer” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. McCoy added “In fact, chiropractic management is the most widely used alternative therapy for palliative help with cancer and other conditions.”

Research has shown not only that a healthy spine relies on normal structural integrity and joint movement, but that complex neurochemical communication and pathways involved in helping humans to develop and function normally are tied into spinal biomechanics and their related neurological pathways (your brain-body connection).

“It makes perfect sense when you think about it” stated Dr. McCoy. “And now we are seeing more and more basic science and clinical research showing the relationship between spinal function and improvement, not only with pain, but with quality of life, immune function, sleep, and mental health issues.”

It turns out patients are using chiropractic care and to help deal with the stress, depression and anxiety of being diagnosed with cancer and other ominous diseases. 

The patient reported on in this study was a 24-year-old woman who presented to the chiropractor with low back pain, neck pain, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, tension and stress after a recent diagnosis of recurring Stage IV renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

The patient was examined by the chiropractor who found decreased spinal range of motion and tenderness throughout her spine. X-rays were taken of her spine which revealed structural shifts in her neck and lower back. These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, which chiropractors correct. Nerve testing revealed obstruction of the nerves.

By her second visit, she reported a complete resolution of her low back pain and neck pain. Shortly after she began to sleep for a full eight-hours through the night for the first time since being diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma.

Along with improved sleep, she became more emotionally stable and her quality of life improved. She noted that co-workers, friends and family had noticed a more positive demeanor at work and in social settings. She also reported that she was no longer getting sick from taking the cancer medications and that she could go on a vacation with her friends without being extremely ill from her medications.

This research supports what we’ve seen first-hand in our office with our patients who are living with cancer and the effects of cancer treatment, and other chronic illnesses. Chiropractic care has helped many with what matters most to them- improved quality of life so they can enjoy their precious time with their loved ones and friends. Without quality of life, what is there?