In the August 8, 2019, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, is a case study documenting the resolution of a case of swollen tonsils that was recommended for surgery but became unnecessary after chiropractic care was started.
The adenoids and tonsils are both part of the lymphatic system and therefore an important part of a defense system from parasites and bacteria. Years ago, it was common practice to remove tonsils and sometimes adenoids if these were infected or swollen. The U.S. Library of Medicine Medline describes these organs by saying, “The lymphatic system clears away infection and keeps body fluids in balance. The adenoids and tonsils work by trapping germs coming in through the mouth and nose. Adenoids usually start to shrink after about age 5. By the teenage years, they are almost completely gone. By then, the body has other ways to fight germs.”
Although the adenoids and tonsils are important parts of the body’s defense against germs, there are times when these become enlarged to the point where they can cause sleep problems in children. If medications fail to reduce this situation, surgery is a common medical recommendation to address this issue, even though it may leave the child more susceptible to other types of respiratory issues and infections.
In this case, a mother brought her 2-year-old daughter to the chiropractor for a consultation and possible care. The girl was suffering with swollen tonsils and adenoids which was causing sleep problems. Her sleep disturbances observed by her mother included snoring, mouth breathing, choking in her sleep, and waking up on average three times per night.
Several months prior to the chiropractic visit, the girl’s mother took her to the pediatrician and related that her daughter was having the variety of symptoms she had been observing. Her MD diagnosed the girl with hypertrophy (swelling) of the tonsils and/or adenoids. The child was prescribed medications and referred for surgery for removal of the adenoids and tonsils in a month.
A chiropractic evaluation was performed on the child which included a postural inspection and palpation. It was determined that subluxations were present. With the mother’s permission, specific age-appropriate adjustments were started at the rate of two times per week.
The study reports that following the first adjustment, the child’s mother reported that her daughter showed improved sleep, less snoring and was not waking up as often at night. Her mother estimated that the girl was 50% improved after just the first adjustment. As chiropractic care continued, the girl continued to show improvement. After 12 weeks of chiropractic care, the girl was examined by her pediatrician who stated that there was no evidence of swelling of the tonsils or adenoids and surgical intervention was longer necessary.