Tag Archives: cancer

What a Chiropractor Can Not Do

A chiropractor doesn’t directly treat pneumonia, cancer, or chicken pox.  That doesn’t mean that he won’t recognize them when he sees them though.  This week in our clinic we had a patient come back with thanks for being the ones who finally caught his tumors.  This particular patient is a military veteran who has been having major problems for years.  He is constantly seeing multiple doctors and specialists.  He had been having leg pain for quite some time no one had really taken a look at it for what ever reason.  He has serious conditions, and so they may have been more focused on those.  What ever the reason it had not been addressed when he came in to Align Rehab and Wellness (Dr Duncan’s home) for treatment of his spine he mentioned the issue.  A history and X-ray was taken, only to show tumors in both the femur and the tibia.

While chiropractors often provide symptomatic relief for some types of cancer we don’t treat tumors directly.  This patient was appropriately referred so that further testing, more specific diagnosis, and treatment could occur.  Fortunately for the patient these tumors turned out to be benign, however he was surprised and happy that it was his chiropractor that discovered them.

Chiropractors receive extensive training in diagnosis.  Often more than medical doctors.  This training is not provided because our scope of practice includes the treatment of all conditions, but it does enable us to be primary care physicians able to recognize problems.  This is a benefit to the entire community and specifically to other health care providers.  It enables the problems to be found sooner by extending the eyes and ears of well trained professionals.  This patient and thousands of others every year are grateful to their chiropractor for recognizing something that they couldn’t even treat.

As a chiropractor it is nice to know, what I can not do.

Why Do Some DCs Claim to Cure Diseases?

To clarify, this question was asked regarding cancer, and other such diseases that don’t seem related to chiropractic.

The answer is, that they should not be. It is illegal to make fraudulent or misleading claims especially in advertising. My suggestion if you run across a chiropractor making claims like this, is get it in writing, then make some good money in court.

Seriously though, chiropractic is based upon the idea that we cannot cure disease, only the body has the power to heal it’s self. When a chiropractor treats he is simply helping the body to function at its best so that it can do what it needs to. As much as you tell people this, it doesn’t stop rumors from flying.

I have pregnant patients who come to me to induce labor. Chiropractic does not induce labor, and I inform them of that. Chiropractic does align the body and improve function. It can help prepare the body to go into labor on its own, but it does not induce it. The problem with me telling this to people is that they still want to be treated for their pain, which I happily do, and after I treat them a high percentage of them will go into labor within 24 hours, some within the hour, and they tell everyone that their chiropractor got their labor started.

Things like this happen in every profession, in medicine they call them miracles (just because we don’t yet understand them). I’m not opposed to miracles, I pray that all of my patients receive miracle cures, but I base my treatments on prior evidence and have faith that positive results will occur.

You may have seen charts like this one with nerves from the spine running to different organs of the body. That is true, and nerve conduction is key to organ function. It is also true that an adjustment may have an effect on nerve conduction that causes a chain reaction and your body is able to heal it’s self. We don’t fully understand the mechanism of these things. If your chiropractor claims to “cure” you of any disease this way you should probably find a new chiropractor, or at the very least demand that he publish his findings so that everyone else can understand how and begin curing the world. Chiropractic can provide relief from some of the symptoms of cancer and other such diseases, and has definitely been shown to improve the standard of living of these patients.

Most chiropractors do not treat illness, they attempt to help the body function better so that it can heal its self.