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Kids & Chiropractic

How safe is chiropractic for my child?

The chiropractic approach to health care is natural. It does not try to stimulate or inhibit normal body function. Instead, the chiropractor addresses the important relationship between the nervous system and disease. The systemic effect of vertebral subluxations is complex.
Many childhood illnesses may be manifested in the pediatric patient due to abnormal body function caused by subluxations. In light of this, your chiropractor may be the best doctor to help your child. Children should be checked frequently for subluxations to ensure good health.

How old can a person be before he or she begins Chiropractic care?

Newborn infants should be checked within hours after birth. The birth process, even under natural and controlled conditions, is potentially traumatic.' During the pushing stage of labor, the spine, particularly the neck, may be injured as the baby is compressed and pushed down the birth canal. The most frequent subluxation experienced by newborns results from the pulling, twisting, and compression of the infant's spine during birth. Although birth subluxations may cause immediate symptoms, such as respiratory depression, there may be far-reaching effects that are manifested for years. The child's ability to fight against disease, for example, may be lowered. Colds, ear infections, colic, and other illnesses may result.

How effective is chiropractic care for children?

Doctors of Chiropractic have been providing safe and effective care or children for nearly 100 years. There are several published studies conducted by researchers in Germany, Australia, Denmark and the United States which confirm the effectiveness of chiropractic for a variety of childhood illnesses. The scientific evidence is growing every day.

Chiropractic and Childhood Ear Infections

According to a recent study of children between the ages of 27 days and five years old, chiropractic adjustments can, depending on the severity of the condition, resolve otitis media in a relatively short time.3 Research shows that upper respiratory infections (URIs), including otitis media, may be caused by improper drainage of the deep neck lymphatics., In these cases, a doctor looking in your child's ear will see a buildup of fluid behind the tympanic membrane (ear drum), with the inside of the ear appearing inflamed and the ear drum bulging. A popular medical method of medical treatment of otitis media is prescription of oral antibiotics, usually amoxicillin. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (December 1991), however, amoxicillin with and without decongestant-antihistamine combination is not effective for the treatment of persistent asymptomatic middle-ear effusions (fluid) in infants and children.' In fact, after administration of amoxicillin, occurrence of fluid in the ear was two to six times greater.As a parent of a child with recurring ear problems, you may have experienced this research firsthand.

The most recent model suggests that reduced drainage or blockage in the drainage system of the cervical (neck) lymphatic chains causes a reduction in the lymphatic outflow from the eustachian tube. This allows fluid to build up in the inner ear, making it an inviting environment for bacteria and viruses. Improper drainage of this fluid is caused by a combination of events. Increased muscle tone or muscle spasms, coupled with a child's already small drainage system, appear to be the major factors. Instead of treatment that tries to kill the bacteria or virus, a more natural approach would be to restore normal drainage of the ears and neck lymphatics.

Chiropractic and Colic

Colic is a term used to describe a seemingly health baby who cries persistently and often violently for no apparent reason. This distressed behavior is believed to be a reaction to pain. Medical studies have proven that chiropractic treatment on infants with colic has proven to be a more effective treatment for the condition than using drug therapy.

Avoiding dairy products, like cows milk has been shown to be effective, but chiropractic may be a better solution.4

Although chiropractic care does not treat the symptoms of colic specifically, Doctors of chiropractic have found after adjusting hundreds of' babies that most will respond within the first few weeks. Why does chiropractic work when other methods fail? It's simple really. Nerve supply is vital to the proper function of every system of the body, including the stomach, intestines, and other abdominal organs. Any vertebral subluxation causing interference to the nerves in this area could adversely affect gastric function and result in discomfort, gas and other colic symptoms.

Chiropractic and ADHD

It is estimated that as many as 5 million children in the United States alone are afflicted with attention deficit disorders in varying degrees. Symptoms often cluster with hyperactivity to include lack of concentration, short attention span, impulsivity, fidgetiness, low frustration tolerance, difficulty with compliance, and poor social interaction. Traditional methods of medical intervention are aimed at turning down the child's level of activity through the use of drugs. The known side effects of these drugs include nervousness, insomnia, stomachache, and skin rashes. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, leading to weight loss, and accelerated heart beat. Perhaps the most serious side effect in controlling behavior with drugs, however, is that it can become a psychological crutch. Some children become very drug dependent and experience episodes of anxiety if dosage is changed or terminated. Dr. Ben Feingold, M.D., a renowned pediatrician and allergist, stated "I believe these medications should be used only as a last resort when everything else... certainly including diet has been tried and has failed. Far too often, drugs are prescribed as a first measure.

Doctors of Chiropractic have reported success with attention deficit disorders for years, and this has been supported by recent studies on the effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments. If children with serious attention deficit disorders can benefit from chiropractic care with improved attention span, lower activity level, and general well being--it's reasonable to assume that even the average child would benefit, with improved health and well-being. By having subluxations corrected throughout childhood, your child will have a better opportunity to be as healthy as possible.

Chiropractic and Asthma

Nearly 40 million Americans--that's 25% of the total population--suffer from asthma and other allergy diseases. In an asthma attack, children and adults respond similarly, with severe congestion, swelling, and other allergic type reactions in response to various irritants. As the reaction progresses, breathing becomes more difficult and in some cases life-threatening. The bronchioles swell with mucous and go into spasm. This closes the airways and causes the asthmatic to wheeze and gasp for air. Although the traditional methods for controlling asthma and allergies are numerous, sickness and death from asthma appear to be increasing. As stated in The New England Journal of Medicine in February of 1992, this trend is at least partially due to side effects from regular use of asthma inhaled medications. In a recent study, children with asthma showed an overall improvement in the lung capacity after only 15 chiropractic adjustments. Vertebral subluxations in the neck and upper back can produce associated muscles spasms, which cause a restriction and stasis of the lymphatic drainage from the head and neck. As a result, the body is unable to wash out the bacteria, debris, and foreign material to which it is exposed. Chiropractic adjustments in many cases will produce immediate relaxation of the neck musculature responsible for obstructing the lymphatic (neck) drainage. These adjustments improve respiratory function by restoring normal nerve function, which in turn may induce respiratory function and chest mobility superior to that produced through conventional medical bronchodilators, expectorants, and corticosteroids. As a parent you can do your part to help your child by keeping your child's appointments, and following your Doctor of Chiropractic's instructions. Remember, healing takes time.
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