Patient Worthy had the privilege of attending the Acromegaly Community Conference in Chicago April 29th –May 1st.
We met some incredible people (stories to come), learned some valuable information (risks of transsphenoidal surgery, the benefits of combination therapies, etc.), and gained a little more insight into the everyday of living with acromegaly.
Many patients were undiagnosed for a decade or more after they became symptomatic. Many were invalidated by physicians despite their pain and increased shoe sizes. Whether or not they had been living post-surgery for years, were just beginning treatment, or had just received their diagnosis, everyone at the conference had an incredible attitude and created an encouraging environment of solidarity and support.
One of the breakout sessions during the conference, led by Nina F. (Pictured), was about the under-discussed back issues associated with acromegaly, and how chiropractic care might help.
The growth hormone secreted by the pituitary tumor in acromegaly patients can cause various parts on the body to grow. This can cause numerous problems, varying from annoying, to painful, to dangerous. The higher the levels of GH and the longer the levels remain high, the worse related problems, such as joint issues, may be. The GH can cause cartilage in joints grow abnormally causing pain and sometimes requiring surgery. GH affecting the muscles of the heart can cause cardiomyopathy, a potentially life-threatening condition. GH affecting other muscles causes them to grow larger but not stronger.
These enlarged muscles and ligaments, therefore, are not super great at their jobs, such as holding vertebrae in place. If your spine is misaligned there is often an increase of pressure on your disks and nerves which can cause pain and headaches. Acromegaly patients may be more at risk for numerous back issues than the average person.
Nina is an acromegaly patient who is well on her way to becoming a chiropractor. She’s found that getting regular adjustments has helped reduce her pain level. Chiropractic care even helped her avoid having a shunt surgically implanted to drain CSF that was building within increasing pressure in her skull.
While she recognizes not everyone may have the same results she has, she definitely recommends making an appointment with a (licensed) chiropractor and seeing if it may help you. An office that offers different modalities such as deep heat treatment and spinal decompression, can help you find an approach that’s best for you. As per any appointment, it’s a good idea to discuss your diagnosis with the practitioner before any type of treatment.