La Barbera Family Chiropractic, LLC
"Where Precision Matters"
Celebrating 35 years -- 1986 to 2021
2719 Genesee Street Utica, NY 13501
Phone 315-724-0368 Fax 315-724-0374
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Chiropractic Care For ChildrenI am frequently asked, "Why do children need chiropractic care? They don't have back pain, do they?" Back pain - no not usually, but injuries in the spine that can lead to back pain and other health problems later in life - yes. Since their bodies are rapidly changing physically and mentally, a properly functioning nervous system is critical for them to grow and develop to their fullest, healthiest potential. Every lost opportunity for "normalcy" robs a child the chance of growing into a healthy, happy and productive adult.
The first trauma most children experience is birth. Even a
"normal" birth carries with it the potential for damage to the spine.
Long labors, hard contractions from the use of pitocin, a child
"stuck" under the pubic bone, use of forceps or suction and pushing
(more than 20 to 30 minutes) can create compression or traction of the tiny
structures of the neck. This has a profound effect on the child's nervous
system. Let's not forget that they have been hanging upsidedown for quite
some time as well with pressure on their head and neck.
In the first year of life, studies have shown that about 50%
of all infants are accidentally dropped. Most commonly this is a fall off a bed,
changing table or couch. Early stresses to the spine and nervous system also
include baby walkers and baby jumpers. These place a child in an upright
position and put stress on the joints of the spine, lumbopelvic regions, and
lower limbs (including hip joints) before these structures are properly
developed for weight bearing. A child is ready for weight bearing on these
joints at the time they start to walk (about age one).
School aged children are open to a whole new group of
stresses. A large number of head and neck trauma result from sledding accidents,
falls from playground equipment, and playing sports, such as soccer or
football.. Sports injuries are common with unilateral (one sided) sports (ex.
bowling) as well. These can influence the spine toward unilateral development
(scoliosis). Repetitive habits such as carrying a purse or backpack over one
shoulder, or carrying a wallet in the back pocket can do the same thing.
Slouching habits seen with long hours of studying, or sitting at a computer can
also create stresses on the spine and nervous system.
It is far easier to improve biomechanical and
neurophysiological function of the young than to attempt to correct years of
damage when they reach adulthood. Once joint deterioration sets in, fully
correcting the problem becomes much more difficult if not impossible.
The brain and nervous system control and coordinate every
level of growth and development beginning in the womb and continuing throughout
life. Interference with the nervous system, due to a vertebral subluxation, robs
the potential for optimal growth and development of the child. Only a
chiropractor is qualified to know if your child has interference with the
nervous system and spinal stress. Your pediatrician has no training on how to
detect and correct a subluxation in the spine, and therefore is unable to
determine whether chiropractic care is appropriate for your child.
Studies have associated SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)
with a misalignment (subluxation) of the upper two bones of the spine (Atlas and
Axis or C1 and C2). Digestive problems such as colic and frequent vomiting
can also be associated with spinal nerve stress. Signs
of a spinal problem include excessive crankiness, poor digestion, vomiting /
spitting up too frequently, a tipped head, inability to move the head freely in
all directions, poor sleep patterns and frequent illness. Also check your
childs head for symetry side to side and front to back. Compare the eyes,
ears, cheek bones and so on to see if they appear the same on each side.
If they don't (one ear is flarred out for example), then chiropractic
craniopathy would be helpful in correcting this.
Today more and more
children are suffering with recurring ear infections. So much so that people are
starting to consider ear infections a normal part of childhood. The fact is
there is nothing normal about it. It is common, but not normal! Ear infections
don't have to be part of your child's life. Clinical data shows that children
may get ear infections due to improper drainage of the lymph nodes in the neck.
This occurs when the neck musculature is tight. This leads to fluid build up.
The ear drum appears inflamed and bulges, creating a welcome habitat for
bacteria. An infection of the ears is not the only cause of red ears. Other
causes include teething, fever, viral infection (for which antibiotics are
completely useless), and allergy. Pediatricians often reach to antibiotics first
to treat otitus media. The most common antibiotic used is amoxycillin. A 1991
study in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that
amoxycillin with and without decongestant-antihistimine combination is NOT
effective for the treatment of persistent asymptomatic middle-ear effusions in
infants and children. This study also found that those children treated with
amoxycillin were two to six times more likely to have a recurrence of ear
problems than those who received a placebo (sugar pill). (1) There is an
alternative to antibiotics. Chiropractic care has shown to be very effective and
safe for children with ear infections for over 100 years. A 1997 study from the
Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics studied 332 children who received
chiropractic care for their ear infections. The results indicate there is a
strong correlation between the chiropractic adjustment and resolution of otitis
media for the children of this study. The overall percent of children who had a
recurrence of ear infections within 6 months after they initially presented to
the chiropractic office was 15.56 %. (2) A different study showed that those who
were given antibiotics had a 43.5 % relapse rate within one year. (3)
Chiropractic care is effective because adjusting the spine improves nervous
system function. This will then relax the neck musculature allowing normal fluid
drainage from the ears and the lymph nodes. As numerous studies are showing,
interference of the nervous system due to misalignment of the spine
(subluxation) reduces normal immune system function. Such interference may lead
to an increased susceptibility to infection. Chiropractic adjustments remove
interference to the nervous system, in turn allowing the immune system to
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