Wilmington Living Magazine Article: November 2013
Title: “Children and Chiropractic”
By: Dr. R. Todd Shaver
Shaver Chiropractic & Natural Medicine
4421 Junction Park Drive
Wilmington, NC 28412
Adult patients are often surprised to observe that our busy family practice includes a large number of pediatric patients. The need for pediatric chiropractic care is easy to explain. Children are exposed to a myriad of traumas, large and small, which can cause misalignment of the spine. The National Safety Council reports that nearly 50% of children fall head first from a high place (i.e. changing table, bed, etc.) during the first year of life. Roughly a quarter million children under the age of 15 are treated annually for injuries related to playground equipment and 50% of these injuries involve the spine and head. Even the birth process itself can be a strenuous enough experience to cause misalignment of spinal bones. Chiropractic correction of spinal misalignment improves general health by reducing stress on the spinal cord and the spinal nerves which guide the function of other body systems. Additionally, research and clinical experience demonstrate that chiropractic can assist children in overcoming a variety of health challenges, a few of which we will consider below.
The Journal of Chiropractic Research reported as early as 1989 that, relative to their non-chiropractic peers, children under chiropractic care appear to enjoy increased resistance to common childhood diseases, lower incidence and milder manifestation of disease, and lower utilization of antibiotic drugs.
Infantile colic has been shown to respond well to chiropractic care. A study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics involved 316 infants with moderate to severe colic. After two weeks of treatment and an average of three chiropractic adjustments, 60% of the infants’ colic stopped completely and another 34% of the infants showed improvement.
Chiropractic care appears to bolster the strength of the immune system. For instance, another study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that levels of white blood cells were “significantly higher” following chiropractic adjustments. White blood cells are associated with immune function.
Other research provides evidence that chiropractic care can expedite recovery from immune challenges such as tonsillitis. In his book, Manipulative Therapy and Rehabilitation of the Locomotor System, Karel Lewit, M.D. reports his study involving 76 children suffering with chronic tonsillitis; 70 of the 76 children were found to have spinal dysfunction at the base of the skull. Sixty-eight percent of the children treated with spinal adjustments were “cured” of the tonsillitis; only seven of these suffered relapse and this was attributed to recurrence of spinal misalignment.
Researchers, clinicians, and parents have also observed that chiropractic care may benefit children suffering with other health challenges including nocturnal enuresis (bed-wetting), otitis media (ear infections), constipation, asthma, back pain, headaches, scoliosis and more. Again, the reason for these potentially far-reaching effects is that chiropractic care reduces stress on the nervous system which monitors and regulates all other body systems. Shouldn’t the children in your life be afforded the advantage of chiropractic care?