August 2006


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Could Your Child Benefit from a Visit to a Chiropractor?

The above question is the title of an article from the national publication, Parents and Kids, in the July 25, 2006 issue. The article was an informative contribution covering good information in a magazine whose self-proclaimed purpose is "A Guide to Smart Parenting From Baby to Preteen".

The article starts by reviewing the fact that children are susceptible to spinal trauma that can have an effect on the nervous system. The article notes that, "Nerve system stress, left unaddressed, impairs the child’s ability to function in a state of optimal health and well-being."  The article further notes that Chiropractors refer to this nerve system stress as subluxations of the bones of the spine and cranium.  They also note that these subluxations may not cause any immediate symptoms and that "pain and malfunction may not show up for many years."

The recommendations from the article are that children should be checked soon after birth. They note that the birth process itself can have a damaging effect on spinal structures.  Although a traumatic birth process is surely reason for alarm, the article notes, "Even the most natural births are somewhat traumatic to the infant and may cause hidden nerve system damage." Additionally, the article points out that,  "It has been shown that many children who experience symptoms of difficulty sleeping breastfeeding, digestion (colic and reflux), repeated ear and respiratory infections have impaired nerve system function."

The author of the article notes that chiropractic care for children is specific and does not cause pain or discomfort. They provide a list of some of the more common reasons why you may want to consider having your child checked by a chiropractor.  These include; difficult birth, difficulty nursing, colic, reflux, trouble sleeping, ear infections, frequent colds and infections, allergies/asthma, behavioral problems (ADD), and postural abnormality, head tilt, high shoulder or hip.

The article concludes with a list provided by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (www.icpa4kids.org) of what they term, "Successful results from chiropractic care."  This list includes;  increased immunity, fewer colds/infections, increased athletic potential, increased energy, relief from allergies/asthma, better sleep habits, reduction in hyperactivity, and scoliosis improvement.



Abnormal Sleeping Patterns Helped With Chiropractic - A Case Study

A case study published in the July 2006 issue of the peer-reviewed, scientific publication, the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics (JCCP) documented the effects of chiropractic care on a nine month old infant girl with a history of disturbed sleep. The JCCP is the official publication of the Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics of the International Chiropractors Association.

The study article starts off by noting that the average 9 month old should sleep approximately 14 hours per day.  In this case study a nine month old infant girl was presented for chiropractic care with a history of severely disrupted sleep and fussiness.  Additionally, the infant was refusing to breastfeed on one side and exhibited, what was called a generally unsettled behavior.  It was also noted that the child would not turn her head to the left.  These problems had been occurring since birth.

The examination confirmed a reduced range of neck motion to the left and significant muscle tension in the left and upper neck. Upon touching the neck the child exhibited signs of being in pain by crying and moving away.  It was determined that subluxations were present, and an appropriate course of adjustments was initiated.

The results in this case were very impressive.  The study noted that on the afternoon after the infants first adjustment the baby girl fell asleep for 5 hours.  This was followed by nighttime sleep of 2 periods of 6 hours each.  Over the next three weeks of care the daytime sleep got shorter, but the nighttime sleep remained between 6 and 8 hours. 

In addition to the dramatic sleep improvement, the child also improved her range of neck motion and was able to turn her head to the left in response to sound on the left side.  Additionally the infant began to feed freely and comfortably. 

In their conclusion, the authors of the case study noted that the dramatic improvements after just one adjustment indicated that the vertebral subluxation found in this case was at least in part responsible for the disrupted sleep pattern.



Take the Pain out of Going Back to School

In an August 3, 2006 release by the Ontario Chiropractic Association carried by the CNW Group, the chiropractors of Ontario are offering safety reminders to children who are returning to school after a summer break. These reminders relate to carefully selecting and using backpacks for children.

Dr. Bryan Wolfe, President of the Ontario Chiropractic Association (OCA) starts off by saying, "Excessive or unevenly distributed weight in a backpack can put strain on a child's growing spine, which can lead to serious back pain, changes in posture and gait, and potential irritation and injury of the spine, joints and muscles."

The OCA has initiated a public education program called, "Pack It Light. Wear It Right."  The purpose of this campaign is to try to avoid problems caused by heavy, or improper backpacks.  To accomplish this the OCA is providing things such as posters, information and activity literature, and a video that shows the proper way to pack, lift, carry, and even choose a backpack.

Dr. Kristina Peterson, chair of the OCA's External Relations Committee added, "Following a few simple guidelines can make a world of difference for your child's spinal health."  They also provided a list of recommendations in the article to help educate people on this issue.  Some of these recommendations include:

  • Choose a backpack that is proportionate to body size and not larger than needed.
  • Select a backpack made of lightweight material.
  • The shoulder straps should be at least two inches wide, adjustable, and padded.
  • A backpack should have a padded back for added protection and comfort.
  • Evenly distribute contents and pack the heaviest items closest to the body.
  • Explore other backpack options such as a backpack with wheels and pull handles.
  • Backpacks should never exceed 15 per cent of a secondary school child's body weight or 10 per cent of an elementary school child's body weight.



Ovarian Function and Fertility Improved With Chiropractic - A Case Study

An interesting case study was published in the July 2006 issue of the peer-reviewed, scientific publication, the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics (JCCP) that reported on a 37 year old woman who was diagnosed with infertility.  What is interesting here is that the woman did not seek chiropractic care for her infertility problems, but rather for back pain.

In this documented case, the woman presented herself for chiropractic care due to lower back pain.  Her pain had been present for approximately 18 months and was described as sharp pain running down the right leg into the knee.  The patient's history revealed that each day she drove between 60 to 90 minutes to work.  Once at work the patient spent most of her day seated. 

The patient's previous diagnostic reports revealed that she had a past history of endometriosis and that there were other reproductive issues that rendered her ovaries inactive and therefore she was unable to conceive. Her history also showed that she had undergone 4 unsuccessful attempts at in-vitro-fertilization. Additionally, ultrasound showed that her uterus was in a "retroverted" position.

Her chiropractic examination determined the presence of an upper cervical (neck) subluxation in addition to subluxations in the mid and lower spine.  Chiropractic care was initiated and a series of specific chiropractic adjustments were given specific to her spinal subluxations. 

In this case, the patient noticed relief of back pain after the first visit. Although her driving and job situation did continue to aggravate her pain, there was a continual decrease of these issues.  After her fourth month of care the patient reported that she was feeling "great" and was scheduled for a fifth and final attempt at in-vitro-fertilization.

During the in-vitro-fertilization program it was medically discovered that her ovaries were showing activity for the first time on her record, and she had produced two mature eggs.  Her medical doctor reported that this was rarely seen in their experience.  Shortly after this the patient reported that she was pregnant.  She was able to carry the pregnancy to term before giving birth to a healthy baby girl.



Chiropractor Crosses State Border to Legally Help Four Legged Patients

An interesting story appeared in the August 8, 2006 issue of the "Forrest Lake Times" from Minnesota.  In this story they report on a Chiropractor, Dr. Josee Gerard, who has a practice in Minnesota where she takes care of human patients, and a practice across the border in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin where she cares for animals.

Apparently, the law in Minnesota has language that specifies that chiropractic care is only for "human spines".  However, in Wisconsin there is no such language in the law, which then allows those trained in animal chiropractic to care for animals.

The article author, Cliff Buchan, explains how animal chiropractic works by stating, "Much like the treatment of humans, animal chiropractic involves adjustments of subluxations of the spinal column, extremity joints and skull bone junctions."  The story then follows the travels of one woman who brings her three Pomeranians from Minnesota to see Dr. Gerard in Wisconsin.

One of the three dogs was involved in an auto accident and was given the option of surgery that would have cost over $2000.  Instead of surgery, her owner opted for chiropractic care and reported in the article that her dog is now greatly improved, "He’s jumping and acting like a puppy again.”

In another case, Shanni, a black seven-year-old female Doberman pinscher show dog had been favoring a back hind leg.  After the adjustment the article noted, "When the adjustment was completed, the Doberman pranced throughout the treatment room with new energy and no visible leg problem."  Carol Anderson, Shanni's owner, plans to show her dog in a show and wanted to make sure that her dog was at her peak.  She stated, "I want to make sure she is OK."



Health Magazine Does Feature on Chiropractic

Appearing in the August 9, 2006 issue of the publication "The Southern Health Magazine" is an overview article on chiropractic.  This article by Southern Health Contributor Joanna Gray was written for an audience in southern Illinois and presents an overview of chiropractic.  The focus of the article is toward those who have not experienced chiropractic in the past and provides a look at chiropractic for the beginner.

The article starts of by noting that common traumas to the spine can create damage that can then create misalignments and therefore affect the nervous system.  The author further explains that chiropractic is based on the philosophy that the body is a self-healing organism, and that spinal adjustments are the primary mode of care. 

The article quotes an Illinois chiropractor, Dr. Steven Barrett, who explained, "The joints in the spine are supposed to move in a certain way. If they're moving properly, then we're pretty certain that the nervous system is, too. But if the joints aren't working properly, they will start to degenerate and ultimately the person will have disc problems. And at the same time that puts pressure on the nervous system."

Dr. Barrett further explains that every cell in your body, which includes all organs and tissues are controlled and coordinated by your nervous system.  Therefore if pressure on nerves from misaligned spinal bones, known as "subluxations", occurs, then the part of the body that is being controlled by those nerves will not function properly.  He states, "Chiropractic promotes the removal of pressure from a nerve so it has the ability to function more normally."

The article also discussed chiropractic care for children and infants.  It was noted that colic is a problem that chiropractors have seen relieved with babies under chiropractic.  Dr. Brian Bird, another Illinois chiropractor also interviewed for the article described the process of chiropractic for infants, "Chiropractic for babies is the same as for adults, but with less force."  He further went on to explain how chiropractic can help babies with colic as he referred to a previous scientific study by saying, "(In the study) nerve interference expressed itself as colic. But once the interference was freed up, the incidences of colic stopped or were greatly reduced. There is a much greater understanding today of how chiropractic works in many other areas than just back pain or whiplash."



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