by | Ask the Doctor

Q: I hear chiropractors talking about all of the different diseases they can cure. How is this possible? Are they telling me that they will treat cancer with an adjustment?

A: If a chiropractor is making a claim to cure everything with an adjustment, they are improperly communicating their message or being intentionally deceptive. No, it does not cure everything. That being said…Chiropractic treatment is not some New Age form of medicine. The roots of the concept go back as far as 2700 BC, in writings that refer to manipulating the spine and lower extremities to ease lower back pain. All in all, it is not appropriate to give that impression to the general public and hopefully that does not happen often.

But as we are on the subject, lets analyze why this stands out as strange to you. What is a “cure” and a “treatment”? We are taught in the past 100+ years that these words imply medicine. But not everyone thinks that way.

It is the model of healthcare they foster that may allow some specialized chiropractors to boast helping various conditions not associated with back pain. A chiropractor, for instance, cannot treat diabetes or cancer with an adjustment. A cancer patient needs treatment from an oncologist or other medical health care provider. But if that model of care is not what the patient wants (the patient’s philosophy of curing cancer might be different than the oncologist), they may look for help from another type of provider… Chiropractors with the right training and knowledge may aid in diet, cleansing, and detoxification. These treatments may have value in some of these types of diseases – cancer being an extreme example. An MD could just as easily see the value of these treatments and use them in their treatment plan. This happens more and more nowadays.

While its benefits are undeniable, though, doctors of chiropractic make no claim that they are the appropriate caregivers for every situation. And they routinely refer patients to the appropriate medical specialists when a condition is outside the realm of chiropractic treatment. In fact, part of a chiropractor’s extensive training is the ability to know when a referral to another health provider is needed. But always at their core is the desire to allow healing from within – the kind of healing that allows for return of health and not simply the removal of symptoms. This is true for adjusting a stuck joint in the spine to remove the cause of back pain – or to look first at your diet and exercise habits to help with diabetes.

The below quote is a good summary of the type of healthcare philosophy that a chiropractor may follow and may help in understanding why some DCs feel that they could promote in the way you are inquiring about. The author is not exactly a schmuck either. We may one day decide as a culture that the way we treat and “cure” diseases today has not been any better than what we would see if we followed this approach. For the record, it is my opinion that we need to look to our pharmaceutical treatments at times, but after we have tried and failed at healing disease naturally, or when it has become too far advanced for natural healing to occur… or when we are just too lazy to care about lifestyle changes to get healthier altogether.

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Voted Best Morgantown Chiropractic Office 2018, 2019, and 2021!

Voted Best Morgantown Chiropractic Office 2018, 2019, and 2021!