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You have mesothelioma. You also have pain.
The medications given to you by your mesothelioma specialist help control that pain. But you need something more.
You might consider visiting a chiropractor for that something more.
Many mesothelioma patients who rely on chiropractic care say it helps control their mesothelioma pain by making the medications work better.
Their opinions are backed up by scientific research which suggests that chiropractic care can be an effective weapon in reducing mesothelioma pain.
But it’s important to understand that chiropractic treatment is not a substitute for mesothelioma pain-control medications. It is only a supplement. You still have to take pain medications.
Chiropractic care is a type of holistic medicine. As a mesothelioma survivor, you may find that, in addition to relieving mesothelioma pain, chiropractic care helps you:
The concept of chiropractic care is that your central nervous system controls a number of your body’s vital functions, but interferences with this system produce pain and other ill effects. Fortunately, these interferences are usually correctable by making subtle adjustments to the spine.
Central Nervous System
The spine is the focus in chiropractic care because the central nervous system passes up through the spine, all the way to the brain.
In other words, the spine is sort of like a conduit that carries a bundle of electrical wires inside a building or ship.
The spine is supposed to be relatively straight up and down. But it can fall out of alignment. When that happens, the nerves it encases may be in turmoil.
That, in turn, tells your brain to feel pain. Or it tells your brain to instruct your immune system to behave weirdly. Or it tells your brain to order your stomach to stop efficiently digesting food. And on and on.
The job of the chiropractor is to realign your spine so that interference with your central nervous system is reduced or, ideally, eliminated.
The realignment of your spine is accomplished by hand. The doctor administers a special type of massage known as either an adjustment or a manipulation of the vertebrae.
Adjustment is designed to restore as much proper functioning of the nervous system as possible. If successful, this restoration causes pain to diminish.
This helps some mesothelioma patients avoid taking super-strong pain medications — the highly addictive type that become less effective over time as the body develops tolerance.
Mesothelioma survivors also find that chiropractic care helps them get back some of their appetite. That’s because the nervous system has everything to do with how well your body digests food.
If your nervous system is functioning as it should, then your stomach will be able to send clear signals to your brain to let you know that it’s time to send down some more food.
A properly functioning nervous system can also help you cope better with the nausea induced by mesothelioma chemotherapy and certain other treatments.
Speaking of foods, many chiropractors offer nutritional counseling as part of their holistic approach to treating mesothelioma survivors. They tell you what foods to eat and what foods to avoid so that your immune system can get stronger.
A strong immune system is vital because many mesothelioma doctors now gear their treatment strategies in part or full around immunotherapy.
Chiropractors also usually recommend certain types of low-impact exercises that are appropriate for mesothelioma survivors. The purpose is to improve muscle strength and tone.
The importance of fitness is that it further supports your immune system’s functioning and fortifies your ability to endure treatment while reducing your risk of suffering unpleasant complications.
It also helps your spine hold its realignment.
One other thing a chiropractor can do for you is suggest lifestyle changes that help ensure your nervous system works as best as possible.
Among the big lifestyle changes a chiropractor promotes is proper posture. The chiropractor teaches you how you to sit and stand in ways that keep harmful pressure off your spine.
Many mesothelioma patients who have tried chiropractic care say they like it because it helps them feel better.
They also say they like it because — as a holistic form of medicine — it addresses the problem from the standpoint of the big picture.
If you decide to try it yourself, please bear in mind that chiropractic care does not cure mesothelioma. Chiropractic care is only a supplement to the mesothelioma treatments your oncologist orders.
It is important that you talk to your doctor about whether you can or should try chiropractic care before making an appointment to see a chiropractor.
If your oncologist or regular doctor clears you for chiropractic care, you might ask for a referral to a good chiropractor.
Chances are your doctor may already have an ongoing referral relationship with several chiropractors in your area.