Throughout pregnancy, birth, and childhood, the chiropractic lifestyle offers choices and benefits for greater health and well-being.
In the October 2004 issue of the peer-reviewed research publication, the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT), comes a case study of a child with ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), who was helped with chiropractic.
The case was of a 5 year old boy who had been diagnosed with ADHD at age 2. The child's pediatrician prescribed methylphenidate (Ritalin), Adderall, and Haldol for the next 3 years. The combination of drugs was unsuccessful in helping the child. At age 5 the child was brought to a chiropractor to see if chiropractic care would help. The history taken at that time noted that during the child's birth, there were complications during his delivery process. The results of this trauma and complications resulted in a 4-day stay in the neonatal intensive care unit. The child's mother reported no other incidence of trauma.
The chiropractic examination and x-rays showed noticeable spinal distortion including a reversal of the normal neck curve indicative of subluxations. Chiropractic care was begun and the child's progress was monitored.
According to his mother, positive changes in her son's general behavior were noticed around the twelfth visit. By the 27th visit the patient had experienced considerable improvement.
The child was brought by the mother to the medical doctor for a follow up visit and questioned the usage of the Ritalin. The medical doctor reviewed and examined the child and based on that assessment and his clinical experience, the MD felt that the young boy was no longer exhibiting symptoms associated with ADHD. He then took the boy off the medications that he had been taking for 3 years.
The conclusion of the author of the JMPT case study noted, "The patient experienced significant reduction in symptoms. Additionally, the medical doctor concluded that the reduction in symptoms was significant enough to discontinue the medication."
A baby with colic who was helped by chiropractic was the focus of a study published in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, & Family Health on Nov. 28, 2012.
Colic in babies has classic symptoms of crying for more than 3 hours a day, usually at the same time each day, and for at least 3 days a week. Infants may have a hard abdomen, burp and pass gas a lot, spit up frequently after eating, and cry while pulling their legs up and making tight fists. The crying sounds as if the baby is in pain.
Colic is distressing not only to the baby, but also to the mother and father who witness the suffering of their baby, and are frustrated by their inability to help the baby.
In this case an 8-week-old baby girl was brought into a chiropractic clinic with the classic signs of colic. The mother said that the baby cried constantly for up to 5 hours, and that the baby’s face showed pain when making a bowel movement. The baby also had diarrhea, and would scream and cry during these episodes.
A chiropractic examination of the baby was performed using static, motion, and muscle palpation. Subluxations were found in the atlas and T11, as well as observations of subluxation in other areas of the infant’s spine.
Specific chiropractic adjustments were begun with “…light impulse finger adjustments.” The adjustments were made to C1 (atlas) and T11. The care plan included two visits weekly for four weeks.
Immediate improvement was observed after the initial adjustment, and the colic symptoms disappeared after eight adjustments over four weeks. The parents of the baby reported, “after her first visit, she slept the entire night. She did not have the crying spells and we reduced the medication to once per day." After two weeks of chiropractic care the parents further noted, “she (the baby) no longer takes her medication daily. She is now a happy baby. She eats, sleeps and has regular bowel movements with no pain. For the first time since she was born, she slept through the night.” .
In the Atlanta Journal-Constitution September 28th 1999 issue, comes an article of concern about children carrying heavy backpacks. The article links these packs to an increase in musculoskelital pains in children. The problem according to the article is that the weight of these packs upsets the balance in the spine, which can cause spinal and muscular problems.
The American Chiropractic Association suggests that children not carry packs weighing more that 10 or 15% of the child's body weight. The International Chiropractors Association (ICA) also states that improper lifting and carrying by your child can also contribute to spinal stress. The solutions suggested by the Journal-Constitution article suggest lightening the pack as well as making sure the load carried is balanced. The ICA also suggests regular chiropractic checkups for your child to ensure proper spinal and nervous system function.
A documented case study published in the October 4, 2006 issue of the peer reviewed publication, the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research (JVSR), describes the results of chiropractic care on an 8-year-old boy with many learning and behavioral disorders. Additionally, his mother reported that the boy also suffered from, severe headaches, neck pain, constant blood shot eyes, stomach pains, an inability to sit still, incoordination, behavioral problems and learning difficulties. She noted that the child's medical doctor had no explanation for these problems.
It was noted that the majority of the boy's problems started after a fall he had 18 months earlier. The mother also noted that her son had normal development, activity and learning skills until the accident. Finally the mother brought the boy to a chiropractor. The chiropractor performed an examination and x-rays.Â It was noted that there was a restriction in neck movement and tenderness over certain neck vertebrae. After review of all the findings it was determined that vertebral subluxations were present.
Care was initiated for corrections of subluxations with visits initially starting at once per week for the first two months. However, as documented in this case, positive changes started occurring quickly. After the third adjustment the boy's mother brought in the spelling tests the child had taken. The tests prior to care showed severe problems as the child could only get two or three correct out of ten. After the second adjustment, the child scored a 100% and his tests continued to show drastic improvement. His teacher even noted that the boy was able to, "sit still and concentrate without disturbing the other children."
The child continued to receive reports from school commenting on his academic improvement as well as his social interactivity. The authors of the case study noted that there were many possible explanations for the results seen in this case. However, they noted that other than the usage of "over the counter medications" reported by the mother, the young boy did not take any prescribed medication. The only change that directly correlated with the improvement in this young boy was the introduction of chiropractic care.
Jonathan Lipnicki is the child star of movies such as Jerry McGuire and the two Stuart Little movies. He has been under chiropractic care most of his life. In fact, on one of his early interviews on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, he stated that he wanted to be a chiropractor when he grows up. Apparently his future employment will not be as a chiropractor since his acting career has continued to skyrocket. However, he still wants chiropractic to be a part of his life as he stated at a recent chiropractic convention appearance that he may not become a chiropractor, but he'd like to marry one.
Lipnicki, now 15, has also shown his love for chiropractic by taking on the role as a spokesperson for Pediatric Chiropractic. In an interview published in the January 2005 issue of Chiropractic Economics, he noted that he received his first adjustment when he was just a few months old and he's been receiving adjustments all of his life. He stated, "It's a good way to live. You perform at your best, whether it's academically or physically."
He also showed his support for a chiropractic lifestyle in an interview for the February 26, 2005 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic where he commented, "If you want to perform at your ultimate best, if you want to be the best you can be in sports and in school, mentally, physically - chiropractic is the way, because everything has to do with your nervous system, and if you can clear up any subluxation in there, you'll be pretty much OK."
Lipnicki will be doing public service announcements and speaking to the press in a effort to raise the consciousness of children and their parents concerning chiropractic and a healthy lifestyle. He made his reasoning clear by saying in the Chiropractic Economics article, "I want to be part of the solution by telling kids. I love this wellness lifestyle."
It is estimated that up to 15 million people suffer from asthma. Of those, 14.8 million are children under the age of 18. In 1993 alone, there were 198,000 hospitalizations for asthma. In that same sample year, 342 people under the age of 25 died due to this problem. In money terms, the direct cost of managing a patient with severe asthma has been estimated at more than $18,000 per year.
The following statistics about asthma come from the Better Health & Medical Network.
Asthma has increased 46% from 1982-1993 with an 80% growth in children under 18 - In the 5-17 age group, asthma causes an annual loss of more than 10 million school days per year - Asthma accounts for more childhood hospitalizations than any other childhood disease - Children with asthma spend approximately 7.3 million days per year restricted to bed rest - In 1990, there were 7.1 million physician visits for asthma - Health care costs for asthma were estimated to be $6.2 billion, which is almost 1% of the total US health care costs - More than 5,200 Americans died from asthma in 1991.
Recent articles in publications such as "The American Chiropractor", and "Today's Chiropractic" describe strong links between people who suffer from these conditions and nerve interference from subluxation. Subluxations are when bones in the spine pressure or irritate nerves causing abnormal nerve function. An article appearing in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research Vol. 1 No. 4, also demonstrated the positive effects of chiropractic care on 81 children with asthma.
According to Richard Pistolese, research assistant for the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, "Based upon information currently available, chiropractic care represents a safe non-pharmacological health care approach, that may be associated with a decrease in asthma-related impairment, reduced respiratory effort, and a decrease incidence of asthma attacks." Pistolese goes further to say, "The correction of vertebral subluxation is a non-invasive procedure, which could reduce or eliminate the need for medication, and potentially ease the severity of the asthmatic condition."
A recent study published in the March 29, 2004 peer reviewed journal, The Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, (JVSR), showed that chiropractic adjustments had a positive effect on children with acute ear infections. In the study 21 children were examined. All these children showed acute inflammation in the inner ear with a red and bulging tympanic membrane accompanied by an increased mean oral temperature of over 100 degrees F.
The results of the study showed that after the chiropractic adjustments, the red and bulging tympanic membrane returned to normal in 95% of the children and a decrease in average oral temperature to 98.6 degrees F.
A similar story also appeared on the website of the television station, WIS TV news on March 30, 2004.Â That story featured a four year old girl Taylor, who went to see a chiropractor for ear infections.
According to her mother Taylor had been suffering with about eight ear infections a year. Her mother noted that after two chiropractic adjustments, she hasn't had one ear infection in nine months, "This has been a big great help for us."
The news report ended with the following, "Besides ear infections another study found chiropractic care helps babies with colic. The study reports children cried two hours less after having adjustments than those who received the standard drug treatment."
Several recent studies have shown the benefits of chiropractic care for children suffering from "Nocturnal Enuresis" more commonly known as bedwetting. Several studies published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics showed marked improvement in children with this problem over children who did not receive chiropractic care.
In one study 171 children suffering with enuresis averaged 7 nights of bed wetting per week prior to the study. After the children were given some initial chiropractic care the average child reduced the number of "wet" nights to 4 nights per week. A full 25% of the children receiving chiropractic showed a 50% reduction in wet nights. In addition, only 1% of the children were considered "dry" prior to the study and prior to receiving chiropractic care. After the study 15% of the children were then considered "dry".
In another study, 46 primary enuretic children were studied. Of this group 31 were placed under chiropractic care while 15 were in the control group and did not receive any chiropractic care. The results of this study showed a 17.9% decrease in wet nights for the chiropractic group. Over the same period of time no change was noted for the control group who did not receive any chiropractic care. Amazingly, improvement in some of the studies was shown to be immediate after the first adjustment and remain stable thereafter.
There is no such thing as to young or to old for Chiropractic care. Chiropractic patients range in years from birth to old age. Regardless of age, vertebrae can become misaligned. If a vertebrae become misaligned it can cause pressure or irritation to nerves thus causing them to malfunction. This process is known as a "Subluxation". For example, the birth process may cause trauma to the neck and spine. If left uncorrected, the vertebral subluxation may disturb the delicate spinal cord and nerves which control the infants muscles and organs. In some cases, an uncorrected subluxations may lead to a deformity of the spinal column. An early chiropractic checkup may detect subluxations while they are still easily correctable.
When should I start my child under Chiropractic care? Your child should have a chiropractic examination as soon after birth as possible. Spinal trauma to an infant's or child's spine can occur during the birth process as well as from any number of tumbles while learning to sit up or walk. Your child's spine grows almost 50% in length during that first year (the equivalent of a six-footer growing to nine feet in just 12 months!). It's this kind of tremendous growth and developmental changes which make continued chiropractic examinations so important in the early stages of your child's life.
In Chiropractic we believe it's much more important to prevent diseases than wait till some illness occurs. Through regular adjustments, as well as awareness on proper diet, exercise and posture, Chiropractic can help you raise a child free of subluxations whose body is structurally and functionally sound. Your child will also learn good health habits at an early age which can be very beneficial to him or her as an adult.
Youngsters suffer numerous accidents and falls while learning to walk, riding a bike, or even while jumping or running around. But after their tears have dried, underlying injuries could go undetected--such as a subluxation during the spine's most formative period.
Regular Chiropractic spinal exams can provide corrective and preventive care for your son or daughter and peace of mind for you. It is especially important to have your child under chiropractic care when your child takes part in athletic activities. The "sack" of a young quarterback could twist a young spine. A softball pitcher could throw a vertebra out of alignment. In Chiropractic we can do more than correct these problems, we can also help improve performance on and off the field by helping the body function at its optimum level, naturally without stress and without drugs.
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.
In a May 26, 2005 feature article from the "Health.telegraph" news service in Great Britain, comes a feel-good story of Max Willson, a young boy who had been labeled autistic. The story of Max's problems started at birth. Max was born in April, 1998 after a very difficult labor. The umbilical cord was wrapped twice around his neck. As he grew, Max's mother, Michaela soon noticed that Max was not developing in the same way that his elder sister had. His parents noticed that Max's eyes didn't focus, and his hand movements were more uncoordinated than those of other children his age.
Quentin, Max's father commented, "You never want to admit to yourself that you've got a backward child," he says, "but it was clear that he was very, very behind. He couldn't concentrate, was hyperactive and demanding." The Wilson's took their son to numerous doctors and received a variety of opinions including the diagnosis of dyspraxia and dyslexia.
Having tried all else the Willsons were close to placing Max on Ritalin when something happened. One day Quentin, Max's father, went to pick Max up from a birthday party he had been attending. Quentin noted that Max was acting up as usual, "he'd done his usual trick of sitting underneath the table for two hours". At that party, he met the mother of one of the other children who had been observing Max for the previous hour. She told Quentin that she thought Max's skeleton was out of alignment and suggested that he should see the chiropractor she had used.
Following that advice the Willsons took Max to see a chiropractor. Quentin recalls the first visit and day by saying, "It was just flicking the bones around his neck and shoulders, but that night, Max slept continuously until morning for the first time since his birth, nearly five years before."
Needless to say the Willsons were extremely delighted at their son's progress. Max's dad Quentin summed up their feelings by saying' "He sleeps like a log and has lost all that weirdness. He no longer has a classroom assistant and we've taken him out of his second genteel preparatory school with five children in the class and put him into a little village state school where he's flourishing. He's still a bit behind because he effectively missed out on a couple of years of education, but you can reason with him and he's reading and writing and it's amazing. I can only put this down to the chiropractic."