Aloha Big Island! It’s summer time and our keiki are not in school! Without the hectic school schedule, now’s the time to get them adjusted! Many parents think that kids don’t need chiropractic care, that it is too rough for kids, or kids are too young to have musculoskeletal problems. All of these thoughts are incorrect! In this column, I will explain some of the many ways that children benefit from chiropractic care.
Babies are born after being in utero for about nine and a half months. Towards the end of this time, it gets pretty cramped in there. Many babies suffer from croup, colic, constipation, irritability, sleeping disturbances, ear infections, and many other troubles. These are all conditions that chiropractic can often help correct. Fixing these issues would save time, money, frustration, pain and trouble for keiki and their parents! Adjusting a baby requires a very subtle and delicate movement which is delivered by the soft pads of our finger tips. The response we see is usually awesome!
I’ve had parents who are “on the fence” about having their babies get tubes in their ears if they are getting chronic ear infections. They hear from someone that chiropractic might help or that there is this “magic” ear adjustment that can “cure” ear infections. My husband and I have had the joy of helping many children with the issue of chronic ear infections. Acute otitis media is fluid in the middle ear accompanied by signs and symptoms of an ear infection. The medical profession usually will prescribe antibiotics to treat ear infections. However, research shows that antibiotics don’t work as well as we would like them to for this issue. The New England Journal of Medicine reported, in 2002, that only 1 in 8 children with ear infections benefit from antibiotics and 81% of kids taking the placebo rather than the meds recuperated in one week. The lead author of the study, Dr. J. Owen Hendley, was concerned about side effects and antibiotic resistence, which is even more of a concern today, 12 years later. His advice to physicians was to wait 2-3 days to see if the infection cleared on its own before administering the antibiotics. The Journal of American Medical Association found that amoxicillin is ineffective for ear infections and actually increases the likelihood for a recurrence of fluid build up by two to six times. This journal also found that only 58% of tubes in the ears (myrinotomies) were necessary.
When the nerves in the upper neck are irritated or pinched from spinal misalignments, the Eustacian tube will often malfunction. Correcting the misaligned vertebrae with chiropractic adjustments can fix this problem and allow the middle ear to return to its normal functioning and heal naturally. Dr. James and I perform a specific ear adjustment which can drain the Eustacian tube and relieve the pressure inside the middle ear. It can be very effective and give great relief!
Another problem that many babies experience is constipation. This often creates much angst in parents seeing their babies suffering from this issue. They have brought their baby into our office for an adjustment and frequently report that, on the way home, Baby had a bowel movement! It is usually reported very excitedly by the relieved parent over the phone.
Some keiki get diagnosed with scoliosis by the school nurse. This is usually correctable with chiropractic care if caught at an early age. I would assume that chiropractic care is much less scary than a Herrington rod or even a brace to any child or parent.
So many colds and flus are spread around schools. Children who get chiropractic care can have stronger immunity (up to four times stronger than average). This is very advantageous for preschool kids, especially! Our three young kids love getting adjusted! Our oldest begs me to adjust her all the time, and our youngest used to fall asleep as I adjusted her neck when she was a baby. Even our very active boy will actually lie still for a few brief moments so I can adjust him because he knows how great he feels afterwards.
When our four year old wets the bed, I know I’ve been slacking on keeping her adjusted. The night before last she wet the bed, so last night I adjusted her before bed and, even after sleeping in, she was dry this morning! This has happened numerous times. Bed wetting is a frequent thing we see resolve with chiropractic care in our keiki patients.
Another cool response I’ve seen is when a child with A.D.H.D. gets calm and focused after an adjustment. We had a young boy who would come in super hyper and run laps around the office as his younger sibling got adjusted, but post adjustment, he would sit in a chair to calmly watch his parents get their adjustments. It was really cool. His parents noticed a significant improvement in his condition over time with our adjustments.
Chiropractic is not only useful for kids who are experiencing a problem, but it is terrific for overall health improvement, maintenance, and prevention of developing health issues. Chiropractic is also, of course, not only for kids. All people can benefit from chiropractic care! If you are having trouble keeping up with your super energetic kids this summer, maybe it is time for you to get adjusted. Chiropractic can increase your energy levels. My husband and I married each other for many reasons. One thing I’m always thankful for are the adjustments we can give each other. When we are exhausted and overwhelmed, an adjustment always helps revive, energize, and reguvenate us!
My husband and I absolutely love kids and really enjoy seeing the impact that chiropractic care has in their lives and the lives of their parents! We hope that you consider chiropractic care for your keiki. It is non-invasive, gentle, and very effective for tons of health issues; and most of all, it is awesome to add to your healthy and active lifestyle!
Dr. Jenni Clear and her husband James have a chiropractic practice in Kea’au.