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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The Healthy Way to Wear a Backpack

It’s back to school time for all the young scholars and with it comes the daily ritual of lugging school supplies around in a backpack. You may not realize it but ill fitting backpacks can put a significant amount of stress on your child’s body.
The long-term stress of wearing a poorly designed and/or excessively heavy backpack can lead to a back aches, neck stiffness, burning shoulders, headaches, tingling in the arms/hands, fatigued muscles and a stooped posture. These aches and pains can be a major distraction to your child’s focus in the school room, hamper their enjoyment of everyday childhood activities and increase the likelihood of future back problems later in life.

Loading a Backpack

  • Your child’s backpack should not exceed 15% of their body weight.
  • back pack2Load the heaviest items closest to your child’s back. Pack the bumpy or sharp edged items furthest away from the back. Arrange the school gear so it won’t shift and slide as they walk.
  • Many parents are shocked to discover just how heavy their child’s backpack truly is. To calculate how much the pack weighs have your child stand on a weigh scale with and without the pack on and subtract the difference.
  • On heavy backpack load days have your child hand carry a heavy book or item.
  • Pack up the bag on a table or ledge that is waist high as opposed to leaning forward over a pack on the floor.

Wearing the Backpack

  • Always use the two straps to spread out the weight evenly. Carrying a heavy load with one strap can lead to unwanted curvatures and abnormali
  • ties in the developing spine and musculature.
  • Make sure the straps are well padded (2 inches wide) to protect the blood vessels and nerves in the neck and shoulder region. Prolonged pressure in these areas can lead to pain and tingling in the neck, arms and hands.
  • Adjust the straps so that pack fits snugly against your child’s back. You should be able to slide one hand between the pack and your child’s back. Loose packs can pull your child back causing muscle strains.
  • The back of the pack should never rest more than 4 inches below the waist line.
  • Wearing a waist strap can take as much as 50 – 70% of the weight off the shoulders and spine helping to distribute the weight more evenly.
  • Teach your child to put on their backpack properly. Place the pack on a table and do up both straps before moving as opposed to twisting and reaching back or swinging the pack around the shoulder.Backpack21

It is important to be aware of your child’s daily burden because it could be detracting from their school experience. If they complain of back pain, headaches, numbness or weakness in their arms seek help to ease their discomfort and prevent future problems.

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.