Wellness Articles

Archive for 'Children'

Healthy Halloween!

Halloween is a time when many kids go trick or treating, only to stockpile mass quantities of candy – it’s bad for their teeth, bad for their weight, bad for the inner workings of their body, and bad for their psychology too, as sugared-up kids will go into overdrive, act out, and even get depressed in response to the excessive sugar in their systems.

This Halloween, try some healthy snacks instead of the usual not-so-good-for-you sugary treats! In the past few years, many companies have created dozens of options so you can help your child and the neighborhood kids have a healthier Halloween.

Here’s a list of some yummy Halloween treats that shouldn’t hurt your family’s health, yet allow them to participate fully in the Halloween festivities.

1. Dark Chocolate Bites
Skip the milk chocolate and sneak antioxidant-rich dark chocolate into trick-or-treat bags. Dark chocolate helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Try Organic Dark Chocolate Bug bites, Equal Exchange Mini-Chocolates, or Sweet Earth Trick or Treat Chocolates.

2. Organic Candies
Don’t deprive the kids of sweet Halloween snacks, just pick better ones they’ll also like. Try Organic Fruitabu Smooshed Fruit Flats, Rolls and Twirls. They’re made with over 90 percent organic fruit and no artificial additives, and come in delicious fruit flavors. Or, you can try Clif Kid Twisted Fruit Ropes, also USDA certified organic, or St. Claire’s Organic Fruit Tarts, or Candy Tree vegan organic Mixed Fruit Toffee Chews, or Stretch Island Fruit Leather, in apple, grape, raspberry, strawberry, mango, cherry-apricot, tropical and blackberry. All of these are much healthier than store bought fruit roll-ups and Twizzlers.

3. Organic Gummy Bears
The Let’s Do Organic! Company sells Classic, Jelly and Super Sour vegan gummy bears.

4. Organic Hard Candies
Yummy Earth lollipops are USDA certified-organic, contain no artificial colors or corn syrup and are available in 20 flavors such as Pomegranate Pucker, TooBerry Blueberry and Strawberry Smash. Or, try Organic Root Beer Barrels, or Candy Tree Organic Lollipops, updated versions of perennial favorites that will please even the finicky candy lovers. Or, you can go with College Farm Organics Naturepops and Hard Candies, whose organic suckers and hard candies contain only natural flavors and colors, and are good options for people with food allergies because they contain no gluten, nuts, soy or eggs.

5. Organic Nutballs
Betty Lou’s makes delicious nut butter balls, and don’t miss their Golden Smackers organic chocolate peanut butter patties.

6. Organic Popcorn
Newman’s makes Newman’s Own Organics Pop’s Corn individual microwave popcorn packs of organic popcorn, a great departure from the sweets.

7. Organic Cookies and Bars
Barbara’s Bakery offers organic animal cookies, in chocolate chip, oatmeal wheat-free, vanilla, and vanilla-fruit-juice-sweetened. Earth’s Best makes organic Whole Grain Bars for babies, just the right size for a Halloween tidbit, in Apple Blueberry, Peach Banana, Pear Raspberry, and Carrot Raisin. New England Natural Bakers offers organic Save the Forest Cereal and Trail Mix Bars, in a variety of flavors. Ten percent of their profits goes to environmental and social causes. Oskri Organics sells organic Sesame Bars and Coconut Bars in various flavors (sesame flavors include dates, fennel, molasses, and cumin; coconut flavors include strawberry, pineapple, almond, and mango). 

8. Organic Beverages
Knudsen and Santa Cruz Organic both offer small juice boxes for kids, while EdenSoy makes small boxes of soy drinks (original, carob, and vanilla flavors). The Whole Kids line at Whole Foods Markets includes small boxes of organic juices and soy drinks, too.

9. Organic Baby Carrots, Raisins and Honey Sticks
Earthbound Farm sells organic Thompson Seedless Raisins in handy snack packs, just right for kids. Pavich Raisins are also available in individual small boxes but are not sealed. You can get organic baby carrots at any Whole Foods and most grocery stores. Very little organic honey is currently available, but Stash Tea, a maker of organic teas, makes delicious, naturally-flavored honey sticks, another tasty Halloween option to the usual overly sweet chemical laden treats.

You can probably see that there’s no excuse to settle for yucky Halloween treats for your family and the neighborhood kids, when there’s such a wide variety of healthy snacks available. Do a little homework of your own, and you’ll find scrumptious, satisfying snacks to please your toughest critics.

In fact, it’s healthier for you and your kids year-round, not only at Halloween time – make it a habit to eat healthier, and avoid overly processed, sugary and chemical treated foods — it will come back to reward you many times over with a better overall quality of life and more years to enjoy it.

September Is… “National Backpack Safety Awareness Month”

It’s back to school time and kids are getting ready to fill up their backpacks. Today, more and more schoolwork is given to kids and as a result, their backpacks get heavier and heavier. The heavier the backpack is, the more unnecessary stress is placed on the child’s spine. This can cause the misalignment of vertebrae of the spine (vertebral subluxations), which if left uncorrected can have serious health consequences.

It may be difficult to control the amount of schoolwork your child receives. However, there are things that you can do to ensure that their backpack does not cause damage to their spine.

First … Limit the amount of weight that is placed in the child’s backpack at one time. Usually ten percent of the child’s body weight is appropriate. Occasionally, schools will allow you to purchase a second set of books so that it is not necessary for the child to carry the books back and forth between home and school.

Second … Get you child a spinal checkup on a regular basis. Carrying heavy backpacks can cause poor posture. Posture is one of the most overlooked keys to best health and performance. Good posture improves fitness, thinking ability, emotional state and general vitality. Parents who appreciate the importance of checkups for their child’s teeth, hearing, eyes, ears, nose and throat often draw a blank when it comes to their child’s spine. In fact, a spinal checkup could be one of the most important of your child’s life. Schedule an appointment with your family chiropractor today. Start the school year off on a healthy note. Bring your children in for a spinal checkup and give them the best chance to get healthy and stay healthy throughout the school year.

Children Need Chiropractic Too!

Common Questions Asked By Parents about Chiropractic

“Which Common Children’s’ Disorders Have Been Linked To
Spinal Subluxations?”

The most common reason children are taken to a doctor of chiropractic is for correction of spinal misalignments (subluxations) directly linked to some of the most common childhood disorders: earaches, headaches, colic, asthma, bladder control loss, stomach troubles and growing pains.  If a child is suffering from any of these issues, a visit to the chiropractor may be the answer.

“Can My Family’s Medical Doctor Or Child’s Pediatrician Find Spinal Subluxations?”

Parents sometimes wonder if the family doctor or pediatrician can find spinal subluxations or determine the necessity for chiropractic care.  With the right chiropractic training, it is possible they could.  However, just as parents would not take a child to the dentist to put a cast on a broken arm, or to a medical doctor for a toothache, mothers and fathers should seek the appropriate professional for determining the health of their child’s spine – a doctor of chiropractic.

“Americans are the most overmedicated and over operated on people in the world. ”

Hospitals are overflowing, mental institutions are flooded, the disease rate is increasing much faster than the population, and the cost of health care is rising even faster than the disease rate.  Pills, shots and potions, along with unnecessary surgery, have made the U.S. the sickest, most drugged nation in the world.

Chiropractic care, on the other hand, has only one side effect – good health!  Chiropractic care takes nothing away from the body, nor does it add anything to it.

Chiropractors simply locate and correct interferences to normal nerve control so the “power” that made the body can heal the body.  Chiropractic plays an important role in taking responsibility for our health!

Watch Out!

I don’t know what it is about springtime that brings out the haphazard ways of everyone but accidents are happening all over the place and we all need to pay better attention to what we are doing.  I am specifically concerned with children at play and the adults who are driving too fast to see where they are.  Three separate incidents in the past week, one of which involved me, have given me the wake up call and I am passing it on to you.

Last Monday a frantic call came from one of the caretakers of my 6 year old nephew who was riding his bicycle at home.  He has been told countless times to stay out of the road but of course the moment no one is watching he takes his bicycle immediately into the street.  Thankfully a kind man was driving by very slowly and was able to stop in time to allow Jordan to get out of the way, but had a driver been less cautious I shudder to think what might have happened.  It shook the man up enough that he went to the door of the house to report the almost accident.  Jordan lost his allowance and bicycle privileges for two weeks and thinks that is unfair.  We are thankful we didn’t lose Jordan.

On Saturday morning my partner, Dr. Tracy Green, got a telephone call from her sister in Charleston, South Carolina, to report that her 13 year old nephew had not been quite so lucky.  It seems that Zachary was riding his bicycle on the quiet street of his own neighborhood and was hit by a car.  The driver was not paying attention and neither was Zach, so the car struck him.  Lucky for him and all of his family he escaped with some minor bumps and abrasions but will be fine in a short time. He wore his bicycle helmet and his head was kept safe, but he did bet banged up a little bit along his legs and shoulders. Their family will not suffer any long term loss as a result of this mishap, but it could have been much worse.

Just this past Sunday morning, after a nice weekend in Atlanta doing museum hopping I was checking out of the Marriott Suites in Midtown on 14th Street and was maneuvering out of the very tight confines of the parking garage.  Thankfully there was a car that was double-parked as its owner was either loading or unloading a huge cart of luggage and I had to drive very deliberately not to strike any of the concrete walls to get around them.  If I had been traveling at a normal 5 or 10 miles an hour to navigate the parking garage a young boy who was about 9 or 10 years old would be seriously injured or worse.  Out of the clear blue this little boy literally ran into my car as he flew on his skateboard down one of the ramps in the garage directly into me.  I don’t know where his parents were but I let him know how dangerous the situation was and that he could have been killed.  I was shaken for the rest of the afternoon as I drove home looking everywhere for children who might be playing where they have no business.  I crept across parking lots at the BP station and at Kroger like I was a 90 year old driver because I was certain that at any moment a child was going to dart in front of me.

We all know on an intellectual level that children have no business driving their bicycles or riding their skateboards in places where cars usually are.  We also know on a practical level that they will always be where they don’t belong because most of us did the same things when we were children.  No matter what our brains might think the responsibility of looking out for the safety of our children lies with us – the adults who have been entrusted with caring for and setting examples for them.  As parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and other responsible caretakers it is our job to teach our children how to keep themselves safe while they are at play.  As drivers we must keep children in mind all the time as we travel our roads, parking lots and parking garages as these forbidden playgrounds are sometimes too alluring for children to resist.  As taxpayers we might just need to request that bicycle lanes be made a part of future road planning not only for our children to use but also as a route for some people who might use a bicycle as an alternative to paying a king’s ransom for a gallon of gasoline.  Other civilized areas have done this with great success and bicycles are more readily utilized.  Check out areas of Atlanta and Savannah in close proximity to colleges and universities and you will certainly see bicycle friendly streets.

My eyes and ears have definitely been opened this week to the increase in traffic from children at play.  Please watch out for them as spring lights the way for summer, when children will be at home more and on their own wheels in places where you ordinarily might least expect to see them.  Treat your body well.



  • Children’s spines need to be well taken care of during their formative years.  This means that they should not be overloaded with heavy backpacks on a daily basis.
  • A recent survey of orthopedic doctors reported that over half of them have seen children with back pain associated with overloaded backpacks in the past year.
  • A child’s backpack should weigh no more than 15% of his or her body weight.  This means that a child who weighs 80 pounds can safely carry no more than 12 pounds in his or her backpack.
  • Pay attention to your child’s complaints about back pain.  If at the end of the week your child is complaining of back pain that seems to go away on the weekend, chances are pretty good that your child is carrying too much weight during the week.
  • Backpacks should be worn on both shoulders.  If not, one side of the body will be carrying all of the weight. This leads to serious problems.  Scoliosis, or lateral curvature of the spine, might be caused by carrying heavy loads on only one side rather than distributing weight evenly.
  • Heavy loads should be carried close to the back so that your child doesn’t have to lean over to walk.  Both straps should be tightened so that the pack is close against the back.
  • Evaluate a backpack for comfort and safety prior to purchase.  Have your child try it on with a few books in it to see how comfortable it will be to carry it every day.  Check to make sure no loose or dangling cords, strings, key chains, or anything else is hanging from your child’s backpack.  These items can become safety hazards.
  • Have your child evaluated for scoliosis.  This is a growing problem among our youth, and if caught early enough it can be treated conservatively.

Kids Don’t Choose to Smoke

After I dropped my nephew at school last Monday morning I started toward my office and had to spend what seems like forever waiting to turn at the intersection of Georgia Highway 22 and Roberson Mill Road/ 441 Bypass.  As most people do, I started looking around at the people in the cars around me just to pass the time.  A silver van was to my left and in the back seat was a child who was maybe 2 or 3 years old and she was rubbing her eyes as they were watering.  She didn’t appear to be crying, but her eyes were red and irritated.  I looked in the driver’s seat to see if anyone else might be concerned about this little girl’s eye problem and I found the very source of it.  A woman was puffing away on a cigarette with the van’s window partially down.  Now if adults want to smoke cigarettes even though they know the research against smoking that is their choice and none of my business.  Children, however, do not have a choice and it borders being abusive in my opinion for an adult to smoke in an enclosed or partially enclosed space with a child present.  If adults are not aware of the dangers of secondhand smoke for their children, please take this opportunity to learn about it, spread the word to other adult smokers, and help to save the lives and health of our children.

Secondhand smoke is the smoke that comes from smoldering cigarettes and smoke that is exhaled from the lungs of someone who smokes.  It is also called environmental tobacco smoke, or ETS.  Over 4000 different chemicals have been identified in ETS, and 43 of those are proven carcinogens, or cancer-causing agents.  ETS is more dangerous than inhaled smoke from a cigarette because the inhaled smoke first goes through a filter before it goes into the lungs.  Children and any other people who are exposed to ETS do not have the luxury of a filter before it hits their lungs, nose, eyes, ears, clothes, or hair.  In a metro Atlanta community last week an adolescent was suspended from school because the school officials smelled smoke on her as she walked past.  As it turned out, the girl’s sister and father both smoke and contaminate her daily.  She does not smoke at all.  Of course the school officials reversed their punishment but this child had no choice but to be exposed to a copious amount of cigarette smoke on a regular basis.  She lives with and rides in the car with two smokers who completely disregard her right to breathe clean air.

There are still many adults who smoke cigarettes in the United States.  About 1 in 4 adults in the U. S. smokes currently and between 50 and 67 percent of children under the age of 5 live in a household with someone who smokes.  While secondhand smoke is proven to be a health hazard for everyone, infants and children are at a greater risk than anyone.  ETS can cause damage to little lungs, hearts, and brains during their critical development stages.  There is a whole host of problems with pregnant women who smoke such as decreased milk production, birth defects such as cleft lip and palate, and an association with neonatal death from SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  Children who are exposed to ETS are proven to have decreased lung efficiency.  ETS has been proven to increase the occurrence of asthma in exposed children and it should go without saying that asthmatic children who are exposed to ETS have much more severe asthma as a result of their exposure.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, ETS exposure causes 150,000 to 300,000 lower respiratory infections every year in children under 18 months of age.  These infections include bronchitis and pneumonia, and account for up to 18,000 hospitalizations annually.

Ear infections are definitely linked to ETS.  Children who live in homes where adults smoke have more frequent ear infections for longer durations than those who live in smoke-free homes.  The smoke in the air irritates the Eustachian tubes which connect the back of the nose with the middle ear.  This eventually leads to obstruction which does not allow the tubes to drain properly then pain, fluid buildup, and infection result.

Secondhand smoke causes cancer in not only children but adults also.  According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, ETS raises the risk of getting cancer over 100 times that of other environmental carcinogens.  More than 3000 non-smokers die each year of lung cancer.

Clearly adults can choose what we want to do with our lives and with our bodies.  If a situation is too smoky or intolerable for whatever reason we can remove ourselves.  The children we are entrusted with to teach, love, and protect, however, cannot choose and should not be forced to be subjected to life-threatening carcinogenic substances.  The next time you smoke in your car or in your house, consider those around you.  Please don’t force our future leaders to smoke with you.  Treat your body well.

Kids Are What They Eat Too

As many of you already know we see a large number of children in our practice.  Some of their parents bring them in for earaches, some for general wellness care, but a disturbing increase in joint pain in children who do not have any particular condition to cause it other than their body size has been seen lately.  When I was a child leg pains were explained away by the growing pains story, but today we see an alarming number of obese children whose bodies hurt them.  As a matter of fact, juvenile obesity is seen by some in the pediatric arena as an epidemic.

Earlier this week, citing the juvenile obesity rate in the United States as a staggering 20 percent, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California endorsed legislation that will remove junk foods from California schools.  Machines full of empty calories like candy, chips, cookies, and soda will soon be replaced by vending opportunities to buy fresh fruit and yogurt.  Milk and bottled water will move into the places of sodas and high sugar cool-aid type drinks.  Other school systems should take note and make some of the same modifications.  As I started taking a serious look at this subject I found some facts that would make me pay attention if I were a parent.

Researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo did a study that shows children as young as seven years old having early signs of arterial diseases.  The carotid arteries of 100 obese children were studied and there was evidence of arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.  Their arteries had thickened and become stiff already.  These same children had high levels of cholesterol, had high blood pressure, and were displaying early changes associated with diabetes.  The Discovery Health Channel featured a 17 year-old boy this week who weighed 400 pounds and was having to undergo cardiac bypass surgery.  Many sources are calling the issue of obesity in children and adolescents an epidemic which will strain our future health care system and result in a very unhealthy older population.  While only 20 percent of 4 and 5 year olds who are obese remain so into adulthood, more than 65 percent of adolescents who are obese become obese adults.  Obesity can be defined as being 20 percent over the normal weight for a child’s height and body style.  That is not hard to achieve.

Why are so many children obese?  There are no definitive answers but it isn’t hard to see that an increase in sedentary behaviors such as internet surfing and video game playing could be to blame.  It was bad enough in the 60’s when children started watching Leave It to Beaver after school but when the internet and Play Station came along the fate of physical activity was sealed.  My mom had to force us to come inside for dinner every night when we were playing outside with all of the other neighborhood children, but now you have to practically pay a child to do anything outside after school.

The solution is simple but not necessarily easy.  Parents have to limit the sedentary time their children spend and fill it with activity.  Outside activities tend to expend more energy than inside activities.  Any water-based activity is best for an obese child partially because their bodies are submerged and they are not in full view of others.  They will be less inhibited and will do more.  They will be more inclined to jump around and play in the water when their bodies are not fully visible than to exercise with slimmer children in full view.  It might also help them if you find a group of other obese children for them to exercise and play with.  If limiting food intake needs to be a consideration, be very careful not to be too strict because too serious a limitation on caloric intake can lead to growth stunting.  If the body feels deprived it tends to lose muscle mass, and that is definitely detrimental to the ultimate goal of greater health.  Limiting the intake of junk foods and empty calorie foods like French fries is always a good idea.  It is safe as a general rule to decrease caloric intake of an obese child by 200-300 calories a day while you are integrating behavioral changes and increasing physical activity.

Parents, whatever you do please try to focus on increasing health rather than improving appearance.  The appearance will take care of itself in the process, but self-esteem can be damaged if you tell your child that he or she is fat.  Stress the importance of building an overall healthy lifestyle and developing healthy life strategies that can be carried forward into adulthood.  Focus on increasing physical activity rather than becoming the “food police” and harassing them about what and how much they eat.  You are ultimately in control of what goes across the checkout counter at the grocery store.  If you have a child who has a weight problem do him or her a favor and make better buying decisions for healthy food options at home.  It could be one of the best gifts you give.  Treat your body well.

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Many conditions bring parents to our office concerned for the health of their children.  A full twenty percent of our practice consists of pediatrics.   We see a plethora of ailments from sports injuries to scoliosis, but the most difficult to treat are chronic arthropathies including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.  This condition can be difficult to manage in the sense that it is hard to imagine the lives of children who are suffering.  Just like anything else, however, it helps to be aware of the facts involved.  Early intervention can make a world of difference in the amount of suffering a child must endure.  While chiropractic can certainly help ease the pain of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, it cannot cure it.  Nothing can.  Presently there is active research by the Arthritis Foundation and many other groups who are trying to find an answer to this sometimes crippling nuisance.

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) is the most common form of arthritis found in children.  The cause is not completely understood, and there is no one definitive test for the disease.  If a child under the age of 16 has joint pain and inflammation which lasts for more than six weeks, JRA is immediately suspected.  A pediatrician might perform certain blood tests to rule out other conditions then refer the child to a rheumatologist (doctor who specializes in joint disorders) for further evaluation.

JRA is thought to be an autoimmune disorder.  Autoimmune disorders are those in which the body for some unknown reason attacks its own cells and tissues.  In the case of JRA, the joint capsules and soft tissues around them are the targets of the errant attacks.  This results in painful, warm joints at best and disfigured ones at worst.  Although most researchers agree that JRA is an autoimmune disorder, genetics and environmental factors are also thought to play roles in the occurrence of the disease.  Some genetic markers are present that can be tested for, but they are not necessarily specific for JRA.  Some people with the markers will not develop JRA while some others without it will.  Research is still ongoing for better ways to detect the disease.

There are some serious complications that can result from the incidence of JRA.  They include eye inflammation that, if left untreated, can lead to glaucoma, cataracts, calcium buildup in the cornea, and ultimately, blindness.  It is recommended that patients with JRA be seen by an ophthalmologist at least every six months and in some cases every three months.  These regular visits can avoid some types of eye disorders that might occur without any early symptoms.  JRA has also been known to inhibit proper bone growth and development.  Many doctors choose to treat JRA with corticosteroids to battle chronic inflammation.  Corticosteroids such as prednisone can interfere with normal growth and development and increase a child’s susceptibility to infections.  These drugs are used mainly in the more severe cases, and their usefulness and risks should be heavily considered by parents whose children are advised to take them.  In many cases, pain relievers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are all that are required to keep the pain at bay.  Sometimes a drug known as a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug is used if the NSAIDs alone are ineffective.  These drugs are used in conjunction with NSAIDs to slow the progression of JRA.

Also important in the management of JRA is the restoration of motion that has been lost in joints.  There are many ways to achieve this, including exercise, physical therapy, and chiropractic manipulative treatment.  If a joint has lost its mobility, it is important to restore it in order to avoid degeneration.  There is no substitute for motion, and it is vital for all of our joints.  It is essential for children with JRA to remain as active as possible to maintain flexibility and build strong muscles.  Swimming is an excellent way to exercise the joints since it alleviates stress on joints while it encourages flexibility and builds muscles. Chiropractors and physical therapists can be of enormous help in managing the pain and restoring the lost motion of JRA.

Helen Keller was once quoted as saying, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”  A diagnosis of JRA is not the end of the world.  A child is not necessarily doomed to a steady diet of harmful medications that retard his growth and development.  Proactive parents who get involved with overcoming the suffering of their ailing children are guardian angels in disguise.  Treat your body and your spirit well.

Infantile Colic

Picture this…parents plan for years how to have the perfect birthing experience.  Diets are just right, the whole Lamaze schedule is posted on the refrigerator door, the nurse midwife is brought into the picture, the perfect birthing suite is arranged, the nursery is painted with soothing colors and the perfect feng shui is used in designing it.  You have the scene in your mind.  The expectant parents are all psyched up for the most amazing moment in their lives and finally the baby comes.  A bundle of joy arrives in the world at just the right time to enrich both of their lives and life is changed forever.  As they planned, it is a blissful time.  Then the unplanned happens.  It seems that Junior won’t sleep at all.  As a matter of fact, he cries all the time, or so it seems.  At dinner time, Mom and Dad can’t enjoy a few moments at the table because Junior won’t stop crying.  Holding him won’t stop it.  Feeding him won’t stop it.  Driving him around in the car won’t stop it.  Nothing will stop it.  Mom and Dad are suddenly wondering why they thought a new baby was such a good idea after all.  The baby is miserable and so are they.  Now they feel guilty for feeling like this for even a second.  What is wrong?

Infantile colic is a troublesome and curious condition.  When parents complain to their babies’ doctors about the incessant crying and apparent discomfort of their children their pediatricians usually tell them that colic will self-resolve in about three months.  Three months is a very long time to weary parents who are worried about their children!  Colic is characterized by uncontrollable crying in babies usually from 0 to 3months old, more than three hours per day, more than three days per week, for three weeks or more, usually in the afternoons or evenings. Colic usually goes away in less than three months, but one study found that a full 41 percent of cases lasted up to 6 months and 12 percent lasted up to one year.

Many causes have been suggested but none of them are verified.  Some doctors think that colic is caused by gas pains while others think it might be caused by generalized pain of becoming accustomed to living outside the womb.  In any case, infants with colic do not seem to respond to traditional efforts at comforting nor do they respond to medical treatment.  Countless studies have been performed on various treatments from the usage of many harsh medications to vibration and music therapy.  Anticholinergic drugs (drugs that relieve spasm of the gut) have been and are widely used today because many doctors think that crying is due to pain in the stomach or abdomen.  These drugs are somewhat effective in helping manage infantile colic, but can cause sleepiness, constipation, breathing difficulties, limpness, seizures, and even coma.  When parents realize the risks involved in using such drugs on infants they often choose not to treat them medically.  This does present a problem and the frustration from the condition continues to mount.

Chiropractors have for some time reported tremendous success in treating infants with colic.  We naturally know that if the nervous system is free of interference the body works better in general. Children are amazingly resilient, and when they are treated they respond very quickly.  A landmark study was done in Denmark and reported in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT).  The study involved 316 infants, and the Journal reported, “Chiropractic adjustments eliminated or significantly reduced colic in 94 percent of the cases.  The median age of these infants was 5.7 weeks, with moderate to severe colic having an average of 5.2 hours of persistent crying per day.  After two weeks, with an average of three treatments, in 60 percent the colic stopped and in 34 percent the colic improved.”  The article in JMPT goes on to describe the technical aspects of the treatments given the children, but the upshot is that as a result of this very important study chiropractic adjustments are widely used in Denmark for treating children.  It is estimated that up to 40 percent of children with colic in Denmark are managed by chiropractors.  A very light and gentle adjustment is administered to the child’s upper thoracic and sometimes upper cervical spine if they are deemed to be misaligned.  The nerves from these areas are then freed from interference and the baby’s discomfort is eased.

Chiropractic works when other methods fail because chiropractors work with the body’s innate healing powers.  We detect and correct vertebral subluxations in people of all ages and allow the body to heal itself naturally.  If you have a child with colic or any other common ailments, ask your chiropractor to check him or her for vertebral subluxations.  You and your children might just be suffering needlessly.  Treat your body well.

Ear Infections

When I was a child I suffered from chronic ear infections.  I remember getting them often and suffering miserably from pain and a sense that it was impossible for me to be normal in the summer.  I loved to swim but often the swimming would kick off a round of ear infections that would render my mother and me almost mad.   One time I remember a birthday party that I wanted to attend which involved swimming in a pool at a friend’s house.  My ear was already hurting a bit, but I didn’t tell my mom because I knew she wouldn’t let me go swimming.  I went swimming, and my ear got worse.  I still refused to tell her for two or three days until one day the pain suddenly got so bad that I could no longer stand it.  We went to the emergency room and discovered that I had allowed my right eardrum to rupture from the buildup of pressure inside it.  I outgrew my ear infections thankfully.  Many mothers today are faced with this same problem and are frustrated by endless rounds of antibiotic therapy, tube insertions, and upset children who are put through these invasive treatments often to no avail.

As a chiropractor I have learned to find many creative ways of dealing with physical conditions in both adults and children.  As many of us know the old axiom that “As the student is ready the teacher appears” is very true.  I have been blessed with many pediatric cases in the 5 years that I have been practicing and some of the most recent cases of otitis media, or middle ear infections, have taught me volumes.  We have been getting amazing results with children who have ear infections, and I thought I would share how this actually happens.  Often people ask why children go to chiropractors, and treatment of ear infections is one of the main reasons we see them.  Parents today are very concerned about the overuse of antibiotic medications, and this is the first line of defense in the medical arena often when a child suffers from ear infections.  Ironically, according to Chris Hendricks, D.C. in a study done for the Journal of Chiropractic Research, Study, and Clinical Investigation, a full 40% of otitis media cases are caused by the buildup of sterile fluid in the ear and will not respond to antibiotic treatment.  That leaves 60% of the cases which have some other cause, and they are not all related to something that an antimicrobial medication can help.

The key to the cause of middle ear infections is the lack of proper drainage of a tube in the ear called the Eustachian tube.  The Eustachian tubes connect the middle ear to the nasal sinuses.  The middle ear cavity and the sinuses are constantly building up a mucus-type fluid and a mechanism is required by the body to clear the fluid.  When the Eustachian tubes function normally, fluid is drained and pressure inside the middle ear cavity is equalized.  There is a tiny muscle which is responsible for this action, and it is called the tensor veli palatini muscle.  The nerve supply to the tensor veli palatini muscle comes ultimately from the nerves which are in the upper cervical area of the spine.  If one of the cervical vertebrae is out of alignment and is putting pressure on the nerves which supply this very important muscle, it cannot do its job and the Eustachian tubes can become blocked.  A chiropractor can analyze the spine and determine which vertebra is the offender.  By gently adjusting the spine of the child the nerve pressure is eliminated and the muscle can then perform its duties as before.  We have seen this happen numerous times and the results are amazing.

There are many invasive procedures which are avoided by trying the most conservative route first.  At the very least parents should become aware of the risks of invasive surgeries and the many antimicrobial medications versus their benefits before subjecting their children to them.  The body’s amazing recuperative powers can be re-awakened by simply restoring proper nerve supply to the body.  Ask your chiropractor about treatments that are available for children. You might also learn more about chiropractic care for children by visiting the website for the International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association at www.icpa4kids.com.  If the conservative efforts of your chiropractor are not successful, then try the medical route.  You will not have lost anything by going in this direction, and you will have given yourself a good education about how the body really works.  Treat your body well.

Next Page »