Chiropractic Care for Children

Chiropractic techniques are not limited to any particular group. Doctors of chiropractic see patients of all ages, sizes, genders, ethnicities, and so on. So, is the care of children “different” than chiropractic care applied to adults? If so, how?

There are studies that have reviewed the treatment of musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions (like low back pain), non-MSK conditions such as asthma, and chiropractic care of infants, adolescents, and teenagers for a variety of conditions. The management techniques utilized by chiropractors for children vary across the profession, but typically, they are modified methods of those applied to adult patients. When one thinks of “chiropractic care,” the immediate image is that of spinal manipulation where a high-velocity, low-amplitude “thrust” is made and joint cavitation occurs (the release of gas creating a cracking sound similar to knuckle cracking).

Chiropractic treatment can also include dietary advice, nutritional or herbal supplement recommendations, posture correction, exercise training, and the use of physiological therapeutic modalities (like electric stim, light, ice, heat, traction, ultrasound, and more). Behavioral counseling may be included, depending on the patient’s condition and the individual training the chiropractor has focused on, especially on a post-graduate level. Chiropractors, like many healthcare providers, have post-graduate board certification options, of which pediatrics is one of many. Looking at research for children and chiropractic, here is what the current literature base supports:

landerchiropracticforchildren1. Pediatric care: There is evidence that chiropractic methods, when properly modified and applied, are safe. However, more research is needed to determine what the current practice model should be for this patient group.

2. Children & adolescents: There is currently research support for treatment of this patient population for some MSK conditions, particularly low back pain. Again, additional, high-quality studies are needed to further support this category.

3. Non-musculoskeletal care (children & adolescents): A call for more research is a common recurring theme for the management of non-MSK conditions among children and teens. There are several case studies (and small-scale studies, in some instances) for conditions such as colic, otitis media, asthma, nocturnal enuresis (bed wetting), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but all require additional high-quality studies before firm conclusions can be made. However, it has been recommended that a chiropractor may play a role on the pediatric healthcare team and it’s been suggested that it is appropriate to utilize a four to six treatment “trial” to determine effectiveness of care for a colicky infant where all other serious diagnoses have been excluded. Similarly, in cases of enuresis and asthma, chiropractic may have a role on the management team.

4. ADHD in children and adolescents: One focused systematic review reported the need for more high-quality research in this area before conclusions can be made either for or against the utilization of chiropractic care for ADHD.

5. Possible adverse effects: In review of (again) limited studies in this area, chiropractic care appears to have little negative issues associated with it. Serious side effects are reported as “rare.”

Bottom line: Though more research is needed, in the absence of underlying pathology, chiropractic care may be considered as part of the pediatric management team for a four to six visit trial to determine treatment effectiveness.

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Manipulation vs. Other Treatments?

Mechanical neck pain affects an estimated 70% of people at some point in life. Because many different treatment approaches are available for neck pain, it can be very difficult for those suffering from neck pain to know which treatment approach(es) to choose. Research on this topic has revealed some very interesting information that places chiropractic and spinal manipulation in a VERY STRONG POSITION—in fact, at the TOP OF THE HEAP!

neck

One such study looked at benefits of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) in patients with acute and subacute neck pain. This study compared three study groups:

  1.  SMT only
  2.  medication only
  3.  home exercise and advice (HEA)

This study randomized 272 neck pain patients suffering from neck pain for 2 to 12 weeks into a twelve-week treatment period using 1 of the 3 treatment approaches tracking the results with the participant-rated pain as the primary treatment outcome measure. Secondary outcome data was obtained from other approaches. The results showed that the group treated with SMT, “…had a statistically significant advantage over medication after 8, 12, 26 and 52 weeks. HEA also had a statistical advantage over medication. Lastly, similar benefits were calculated between the SMT and exercise group. The conclusions support SMT and exercise/advise to be the choice over medication for acute and subacute neck pain patients. Regarding exercise, a similar study showed that “high-dosed supervised strengthening exercise” with and without SMT, was superior to a “low dose home mobilization exercise and advice group at 4, 12, 26, and 52 weeks.”

Regarding chronic neck pain patients (that means pain that has been present for greater than 3 months), another study evaluated the changes that occurred in 191 patients. These patients were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups for eleven weeks and evaluated 3, 6, 12, & 24 months after treatment. The 3 treatment options included: 1. Spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) only; 2. SMT with low-tech neck exercises; or 3. a form of exercise using a MedX rehab machine. The results show the highest level of patient satisfaction was found in the 2nd group (SMT with low-tech exercise), suggesting that when individuals present for treatment, spinal manipulation with low-tech exercises results in the most satisfied patient. These findings are important as this study evaluated the LONG-TERM benefits among patients who have had neck pain for a long time (i.e., “chronic”), where as most studies only look at the short-term benefits.

Similar conclusions were reported from perhaps the largest scale study on neck pain based on research from 1980 to 2006 on the use, effectiveness, and safety of non-invasive treatment approaches for neck pain and associated disorders. This review that looked at over 350 published articles found manual therapy (manipulation and mobilization) and supervised exercise to again, SHINE when compared with other treatment options.

What is important is that ALL these studies support what chiropractors do: manipulate the neck and give supervised exercises! So, what are you waiting for? SPREAD THE WORD to everyone that you know who has neck pain—CHIROPRACTIC MAY BE THE BEST CHOICE!!!

Chiropractic Education

Many people seem surprised to find out that the chiropractic education process is so extensive.

We usually reply, “…whether you’re planning to become a chiropractor, medical doctor, or dentist, it takes four years of college followed by and additional 4-5 years of additional education (med school, dental school, chiropractic college) simply because there is that much to learn about the body to become a competent healthcare provider.”

Hence, depending on the area of interest a person has in the healthcare industry, it takes a similar amount of time to complete the educational program.

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DID YOU KNOW…

The initial step is completing a typical “pre-med” undergraduate or college degree.

Courses including biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology, various science labs, as well as all the liberal art requirements needed to graduate are included in the undergraduate education process.

Many states require four years of college in addition to four to five academic years of chiropractic education to practice in their particular state. (The requirements are similar in other countries in which chiropractic is a licensed profession.)

The format for chiropractic universities is similar to that of most healthcare disciplines.

The basic sciences are covered in the first half of the educational process after which time successful completion of the National Boards Part I examination is required to move into the second half: the clinical sciences.

From there, internships, residency programs, preceptorship programs become available to the chiropractic student.

Once graduated, residence programs including (but not limited to) orthopedics, neurology, pediatrics, radiology, sports medicine, rehabilitation, internal medicine, and others are also available, as are various masters and doctorate-level programs in specialty areas.

The following chart shows the similarities between three healthcare delivery approaches, DC, MD, and DPT (doctor of physiotherapy).

Curriculum Requirements for the Doctor of Chiropractic degree (DC) in comparison to the Doctor of Medicine degree (MD) and the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree (DPT):chiropractic education

*Does not include hours attributed to post-graduation residency programs.

AS YOU CAN SEE, THE ACTUAL NUMBER OF AVERAGE CLASSROOM AND CLINICAL STUDY HOURS PRIOR TO GRADUATION IS EVEN HIGHER FOR CHIROPRACTIC COMPARED TO THE MD AND DPT CURRICULUM.

It should be noted that this does not include additional educational training associated with residency programs, which are available in the three disciplines compared here.

At one of the chiropractic colleges, the academic core program or Clinical Practice Curriculum consists of 308 credit hours of course study and includes 4,620 contact hours of lecture, laboratory, and clinical education.

There are 10 trimesters of education arranged in a prerequisite sequence.

The degree of Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) is awarded upon successful completion of the required course of study.

The academic program may be completed in three and one-third calendar years of continuous residency. Graduation, however, is contingent upon completion of the program in accordance with the standards of the college, which meet or exceed those of its accrediting agencies.

In addition to courses included in the core curriculum, a variety of procedure electives are available to the students. These electives are designed to complement the study of adjustive procedures included and facilitate investigation of specialized techniques.

Doctors of chiropractic are committed to providing the highest quality care available to their patients. They coordinate care with other doctors, when appropriate, in an effort to help their patients in the most efficient, economic, and evidence-based approach possible.

Ending Pain and Staying Healthy Is a Surprisingly Small Thing…

Here’s something interesting. Do you know how much money American Airlines saved in 1987 by eliminating ONE olive from each salad they served in first class?

You’ll never guess.Single-olive

$40,000!

Amazing, isn’t it? And if you translate that amount to today’s dollars—it would be a lot more!

You want to know what else is interesting and quite amazing? If you do, listen to this: It is estimated that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, which basically means three quarters of the country does not drink anywhere near enough H20.

And check this out—it is also estimated that in 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak it is often mistaken for hunger. And even mild dehydration can slow down your metabolism by as much as 3%. And there’s more…

One glass of water shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters in a University of Washington study. But that’s not all! Lack of water is the number one trigger for daytime fatigue. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen.

As a quick aside related to computers—in 2006 one in eight people showed signs of being addicted to the Internet! Can you imagine? (And that was before smartphones and social media really hit the scene.)jyh63rhks5g3na9dsnhu-1-800x445

BACK TO WATER… SOME ESTIMATES SAY DRINKING FIVE GLASSES A DAY CAN DECREASE THE RISK OF COLON CANCER BY 45%, SLASH BREAST CANCER BY 79%, AND DECREASE YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING BLADDER CANCER BY 50%.

So what’s the point of all these interesting facts? Is all this just to get you to drink more water? Hardly…

Listen… although it’s obvious you should be drinking plenty of water—the REAL take home message here is: small things done consistently over a long period of time can have a major impact on your health and life.

Let’s face it. One olive is not a big thing. But removing just one from the in-flight salad meant $40,000 over the course of a year. Just five glasses of water a day might save you from one of those deadly conditions listed above.

And here’s something else you may find important: regular Chiropractic care may have a BIG impact on your life. How, you ask? If you came to us in pain and we helped you… it might stop your original condition from coming back. And not only that—just one visit per month may help you live a healthier, more pain-free life… in many ways.

Those olives and glasses of water add up and have a huge impact over time. So do Chiropractic treatments, even though they may be tough to actually measure.

Here’s one more interesting fact if you’d like to lose weight: Banging your head against the wall burns 150 calories an hour! Yeah… you’re right… there’s probably a better way… 🙂

The Cause & Solution for Ear Infections

Ear infections are an epidemic in our society. 90% of children will experience ear infections before they are school age. Most children experience two to three episodes per year. There is an estimated 10 million new cases per year. Despite extensive medical intervention, children’s ear infection rates continue to soar. An estimated $3.4 billion is spent every year for medications and surgeries. A study published in Canadian Family Physician stated that 97.7% of American children diagnosed with ear infections were given antibiotics but there was only a “definite need for antibiotics in only 5-10% of those cases!”Happy Babies (4)

Rate of ear infections soaring and medical science has failed to find an answer. The reason why they have failed is because the cause of ear infections is not micro-organisms. The real cause is an abnormally lowered immune response in the inner ear.

There is a solution to the problem. The real solution lies in locating the cause of the lowered immune response in the ear. A leading German authority, Dr. Gutmann, found 800 of 1000 (80%) infants checked during the first month of life had Blocked Atlantal Nerve Syndrome directly related to birth trauma. Blocked Atlantal Nerve Syndrome interferes with the nerve impulses in the upper neck area, lowers immune resistance and leave the child vulnerable to ear, nose and throat infections.

The cause of Blocked Atlantal Nerve Syndrome is the modern day birth process. The stress that is placed on the infant’s neck during the normal birthing process causes trauma to the upper cervical spine.

How do you fix Blocked Atlantal Nerve Syndrome? Only a trained Chiropractor qualified to remove the interference with a specific adjustment to the Atlantal Nerve. A chiropractic evaluation is of “decisive importance” and Chiropractic care can often bring about amazingly successful results.

“I didn’t tell you this, but…”

Those who see chiropractic as merely a treatment for headaches and back pain overlook the more significant role that chiropractic can play in overall health. Since we focus on the integrity of your nervous system, and your nervous system controls every bodily function, chiropractic care has often helped resolve a variety of non-spinal health problems.

Let’s say someone has high blood pressure. At first glance it appears to be a circulatory problem. But not so fast!

It’s the brain that controls and regulates every bodily function via nerve messages sent back and forth over the spinal cord. Nerve interference along the spine can produce a variety of health problems. Correct the spinal problem and other problems often improve.

Does that make chiropractic a treatment for high blood pressure? Of course not. The intent of chiropractic care is to restore the function to a compromised nervous system. Instead of ‘side effects’ the happy result are ‘positive effects.’

Throughout your body!

Chiropractic Care… Safe and Cost Effective

“Ever since I was in my early teens, I’ve had muscle and joint problems that would come and go but never put me down where I couldn’t function. I was very active and played basketball, tennis, and ran in track but over the last 10 years I’ve avoided a lot of activity due to my problems. Now, after having a couple of children and gaining some weight, I notice more frequent and intense back problems and I’m getting quite concerned over the changes that have been taking place and afraid to do things. I talked about this with my family and friends and some have recommended chiropractic, some recommend physical therapy, others suggest medication and one even suggested shots! Quite frankly, I’m totally confused as to what to do!”

This scenario may sound familiar to many people.

lower-back-pain-s1-factsThe choice of health care provision is a personal one, often influenced by those around you – family, friends, teachers, and more!

It seems like everyone is an “expert” with different opinions and their advice, often conflicting, can lead to confusion about what is best for you.

There are many ways to approach back trouble, regardless of the diagnosis or condition.

First, all health care providers are biased in that they naturally focus on their specialty. If you choose to consult with a surgeon, s/he will look at your condition from a surgical perspective. Various surgical options may be discussed, tests are usually recommended and the process begins.

When consulting with a family physician, the typical approach is pharmaceutical or drugs such as anti-inflammatory medications (Advil, Nuprin, Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Aleve, Tylenol, etc.), heat or ice, activity modifications (possibly rest or mild/moderate activity), and possibly referral for chiropractic or physical therapy.

In reviewing the various guidelines, it is recommended to start with the least invasive, safest, most cost effective approaches first.

Unless “red flags” like cancer, fracture, infection or progressive severe neurological losses are present, surgery is not a logical initial approach.

Chiropractic has been recommended as a first or initial choice as it has been found to be safe, highly satisfying, non-invasive, and cost effective.

The typical approach includes a thorough history, an examination that includes an analysis of posture, motion, function and includes the whole body.

For example, if one leg is short, the pelvis will tilt and spine is often crooked. That needs to be corrected for both long and short term results.

If the feet pronate and the arches are flat, the effects on gait/walking on the ankle, knee, hip and back can lead to trouble or perpetuate current problems.

Deconditioning or, being out of shape is an important aspect included in the chiropractic management process.

If these methods fail to bring about satisfying results, referral for more invasive approaches will be considered.