Six reasons why parents take
their children to see a chiropractor
By Dr. Devon Coughlin D.C.
Quite often I here people say “why are you adjusting a baby,” or “why is that whole family getting adjusted, were they all in a car accident?” I always wonder if people think that it’s weird for a whole family to exercise or eat a healthy meal together. Consider this: if chiropractic only worked on adults it couldn’t be considered a law of health and healing. Because “laws” of health and healing are universal, they apply to everyone. There is a major law of health, and it states that the brain controls the entire body by using the spinal cord and nerves to communicate with all of the cells, organs, and tissues of the body. Therefore, if it helps adults with nerve irritation; then it must help children with nerve irritation as well. How do children get nerve irritation? Nerve irritations (or vertebral subluxations) occur as a part of normal daily life. They may result from insults to our health such as: bad posture, prolonged postures, sleeping on our stomachs, falls, poor food choices, dehydration, exposure to chemicals and toxins, and stress and anxiety.
- Nerve irritation/subluxation- babies can experience severe nerve irritation from the birthing process, which includes simple and complicated deliveries. A straight-forward vaginal birth is the equivalent of an adult forcing their head into a standard-sized mailbox. Not very pleasant on the baby or the mom. More complicated births that include: vacuum suction, forceps, excessive pulling/twisting, and even cesarean sections can be quite traumatic to the baby’s upper cervical spine. Dr. Gottfried Guttman M.D., a highly-renowned European researcher in the field of physical medicine, concluded that “Mechanical injury to the upper cervical spinal structures is indicated as a causal mechanism in cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome." Dr. Guttman recommended that all newborn children have their spines evaluated by a chiropractor to detect and correct cervical subluxations of the spine. Poor posture is another major cause of nerve irritation in children. Think about how much time children spend on electronics with their faces buried in an iPad or some other electronic device. Our children spend quite a bit of time in these undesirable postures and that creates nerve irritation.
- Scoliosis- defined as a lateral and rotational curvature of the spine greater than ten degrees, scoliosis affects a substantial amount of the population. It is most common in girls between the ages of 8-16, but it can affect anybody and doesn’t discriminate against age, sex, or heritage. The reason scoliosis is a concern is because it ALWAYS gets worse if it is not addressed in the proper way. It may progress quickly or slowly, but it always progresses. Some healthcare professionals decide to take a “watch and wait” approach as it typically progresses right before their eyes. Wouldn’t it make more sense to proactively address the problem before it gets more complicated and difficult to correct? Children are seeing chiropractors for scoliosis more than ever before. This is because a growing body of research is proving that spinal adjustments and corrective stabilization exercises for the spine are reducing, and in many cases correcting scoliosis.
- Immune system function- Many parents will attest to the fact that the overall health and immune function of their children has improved under chiropractic care. There are a number of research articles that have consistently shown bursts of white blood cell activity following chiropractic adjustments, and recent research out of the University of Virginia Medical School just found that the lymphatic system has direct contact with the brain! This was never thought to be true, but now it is a known fact that the central nervous system has direct control over the immune system. Therefore, anyone that has damage or irritation to their nervous system has an under-performing immune system.
- Ear infections- Most of us know of a child that suffers/suffered terribly with chronic ear infections. They more than likely received upwards of ten rounds of antibiotics (most commonly amoxicillin) to no avail. The parents were then recommended to have a tympanostomy performed on their child to insert tubes to help the Eustachian tubes drain better. This surgery often ends up ineffective as well, and the child continues to suffer. Unfortunately it is becoming even more common to see the child’s tonsils and adenoids removed to see if that will help. When did cutting and removing organs become the best solution for a child suffering with chronic fluid build-up in their ears? Shouldn’t we instead be asking, “Why isn’t the fluid draining?” This answer isn’t complicated. Simply put…the upper cervical spine (C0, C1, C2) can become misaligned (see number 1) causing the upper neck muscles to spasm and create a misalignment in the upper cervical spine. This misalignment creates a “dam in the river” in the Eustachian tube causing it to back up and hold fluid. This fluid sits in the middle ear and becomes infected. So it’s not about treating the fluid, it’s about assisting the body in allowing it to drain like it was intended to.
- Asthma- 1 in 5 children are now diagnosed with asthma and are taking medications for it. Those numbers are alarming, especially considering that 30 years ago it was more like 1 in 30 children. We’ve seen a 300%-500% increase in asthma since the 1990’s. Asthma medications are the most commonly prescribed drugs for children. The questions that we have to ask are, “Why such an increase,” and “Are drugs our only treatment option?” Again, more and more parents are turning away from daily asthma medications and looking for alternatives. There is a growing amount of research and case studies supporting the efficacy of chiropractic adjustments in helping children with asthma. Chiropractic adjustments can help children better deal with conditions such as asthma by reducing irritation on the nervous system and boosting the healing ability of the body.
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD) - The diagnosis of ADHD is becoming more and more common among our children. The science behind diagnosing and prescribing medication for ADHD is subjective to say the least. It is diagnosed by the discretion or opinion of the treating medical doctor. The overall symptoms of this diagnosis can vary in interpretation. The challenge with this situation is that the medications prescribed are among the most dangerous of all prescription drugs as they belong to the class of drugs called “amphetamines”, just like methamphetamine and cocaine. In fact all children taking these medications are required to be examined by a cardiologist due to the negative effect they can have on the heart. There is a growing body of research that is linking physical stress of the nervous system to the undesirable behaviors that are common to the diagnosis ADHD. How many of these kids are suffering with subluxation or nerve irritation that has gone undiagnosed?
- (http://icpa4kids.org/Chiropractic-Research/Immune-Function/), (http://news.virginia.edu/content/researchers-find-textbook-altering-link-between-brain-immune-system)