America’s Other Drug Problem: Too Many Prescriptions for Elderly

Does Being Under Chiropractic Care Help Reduce Medications? What Else Can I Do Besides Take Drugs?

The headline above comes from an article published on September 4, 2016, in the Los Angeles Daily News. The article was originally produced on August 30, 2016, by Kaiser Health News, and highlights the over usage of prescription medication on seniors.

americas-other-drug-problem-too-many-prescriptions-for-elderly-austin-tx-chiropractor-for-best-chiropractic-care-near-meThe article begins with observations by Dominick Bailey, a clinical pharmacist specializing in geriatric care at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, California. In performing his job of reviewing medication that the patients are taking, he noted several medications for elderly patients that were contraindicated and could cause harm. One 74-year-old patient, who had a history of multiple health problems, was on 36 different medications. Bailey’s reactions was, “This is actually a little bit alarming.”

Dr. Maristela Garcia, director of the inpatient geriatric unit also at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, commented, “This is America’s other drug problem-polypharmacy, and the problem is huge.”

The article reports that, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the elderly account for about 35 percent of hospital stays. However, they note that over half experience drug-related complications causing hospital stays to be extended by an average of about three days.

One of the issues pointed out in the article is that many medications are being given to the elderly with no time line to ever consider discontinuing them. “There’s a tendency in medicine every time we start a medicine to never stop it,” stated Dr. Ken Covinsky, University of California, San Francisco researcher and physician.

One of Bailey’s responsibilities at the UCLA Medical Center is to reduce the number of medications the elderly are taking. He also explains his concepts to other pharmacists and young interns at his center. In one such exchange, he explained that there is a fundamental difference on how drugs affect older people, “As you know, our elderly are already at risk for an accumulation of drugs in their body,” he told the group. “If you put a drug that has a really long half-life, it is going to last even longer in our elderly.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among older Americans (aged 60 and over), more than 76% used two or more prescription drugs, and 37% used five or more.

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. We are located in north central Austin, TX.


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Improvement in Autistic Behaviors Following Chiropractic Care – A Case Series

Do Chiropractors See Neurodevelopmental Cases? Does Chiropractic Care Help Autistic Children?

In the August 11, 2016, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health is a published case series showing chiropractic helping four children suffering from autistic behavioral symptoms.

improvement-in-autistic-behaviors-following-chiropractic-care-austin-tx-chiropractor-pediatric-child-kid-newborn-helpThe authors of this study explain that the vagus nerve is a major controlling pathway for the parasympathetic nerve system. It is the parasympathetic system that has been shown to have a broad effect over autism-like behaviors and problems. This study looks at four children to see if correcting subluxations affecting the vagus nerve can have a positive effect on children suffering with autism behaviors.

The first child was a 7-year-old boy with a variety of autism related symptoms who was diagnosed with high functioning autism. After eight chiropractic visits, it was reported by his mother that her son seemed to have a decrease in looks of confusion and an increase in talking. Additionally, his mother also reported a decrease in bed-wetting and a decrease in response to food allergies, as well as being less picky in food choices. His mother also noted that her son won the most improved student award, to which she commented, “I cried, because I just never expected him to win an award like this.”

The second patient was a 5-year-old girl also diagnosed with high functioning autism. In this case, her mother reported a decrease in constipation as well as improvement in auditory and processing skills. The girl was given an “Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist” test after four months of chiropractic care. This test showed that the girl had improved in all four areas tested, which include speech/language communication, sociability, sensory/cognitive awareness, and health/physical/behavior.

The third patient was a 4-year-old boy also with high functioning autism, who, according to his father, was better able to throw a baseball after chiropractic. It was also reported that the boy showed improvement in initiating conversations with adults and children at his school, and had improved eye contact. These improvements allowed him to begin to participate in after-school activities.

The fourth child patient was a 4-year-old boy suffering with oculomotor apraxia. The authors described this condition by stating, “Oculomotor apraxia is a condition in which the child must turn their heads in order to follow their eyes, which cause a clumsy gait and difficulty in learning motor skills.” The boy also suffered with seizures and motor skill delays. After chiropractic care, the child was better able to run. He also showed improvement in his endurance, being able to walk at an aquarium for 5 hours. Additionally, it was reported that the boy was able to nap better, had less moody outbursts, and less apprehension.

In their conclusion, the authors explained chiropractic’s role in helping these children by stating, “The social engagement system controlled by the vagus nerve has significant potential ramifications for a child on the autistic spectrum or with other neurodevelopmental issues. As seen in the four above cases, each child showed significant behavioral improvements, which may be in part due to activation of the vagus nerve, thereby activating the social engagement portion of that nerve.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. We are located in north central Austin, TX.


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Breathing and Strength Problems Improved in Multiple Sclerosis Patient with Chiropractic

Can Chiropractic Care Help Multiple Sclerosis? Can Chiropractic Improve Immune Function?

A case study published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research on August 18, 2016, showed how chiropractic helped improve the quality of life for a patient with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) by showing improvement in breathing and muscle strength.

breathing-and-strength-problems-improved-in-multiple-sclerosis-patient-with-chiropractic-austin-tx-chiropractor-local-best-doctor-reviews-starsThe study begins by defining MS by saying, “Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, degenerative disease of the nervous system that is demyelinating and inflammatory in nature and is characterized by patchy sclerosis of the central nervous system (CNS).” They note that MS affects 400,000 people in the United States and over 2 million people worldwide. Half of those with MS also experience depression, and almost all patients with MS have a shortened life expectancy.

Some of the symptoms associated with MS can include numbness in the extremities, fatigue, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, vision loss, blurred vision, loss of coordination, gait alteration, seizures, mood swings, depression, tremors, impaired bladder control, and loss of sphincter control. Medical care for MS is geared around helping patients with the symptoms, as there is no known medical care available for the condition itself.

In this case, a 58-year-old woman presented herself for chiropractic care. She was confined to a wheelchair and had been diagnosed with MS. Her history shows that she was suffering with constant, severe, throbbing pain in her left hip for 6 years. Additionally she reported suffering from neck pain, neck stiffness, wrist pain, irritability, constipation, sinus problems, cold feet, cold hands, tension, dry skin, heat and cold intolerances, tingling sensation in her arms, shoulder pain, shortness of breath, depression, and difficulty urinating.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included a visual and postural inspection, spinal x-rays, and thermographic studies to check for heat variations. In addition her respiratory volume levels were checked and her hand grip strength was measured.

Specific chiropractic care was begun to address the subluxations determined to be present in the woman’s spine. Care was rendered over a 10 week period consisting of 30 total visits. After this period, a re-evaluation was performed.

The re-evaluation x-rays showed a notable spinal improvement. Additionally, the woman’s respiratory volume had measurably improved. Her grip strength also improved, with her left-hand grip strength improving from 2.8 lbs to 12 lbs, and her right-hand grip strength improved from 3.0 lbs to 8.0 lbs.

The results of this study were consistent with other studies of MS patients under chiropractic care. The authors cited several other studies showing chiropractic helping patients with MS. In one reported study, researchers found that 90.9% of MS patients in that study showed symptomatic improvement and no further progression in the MS disease process while under chiropractic care.

In explaining a possible mechanism for why MS patients can be helped by chiropractic, the authors stated, “A properly functioning immune system will prevent MS development or can even initiate healing within the nervous system. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to restore immune system integrity to a normal state.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. We are located in north central Austin, TX.


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Superbugs Threaten Hospital Patients

Can Chiropractic Help Improve Your Immune System? What Controls Your Immune System… Your Nervous System?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a release on March 3, 2016, with the above headline. The release notes that antibiotic resistant bacteria, commonly called superbugs, are now causing 1 in 7 healthcare associated infections, (HAI).

Superbugs Threaten Hospital Patients - Austin TX Chiropractor best motor vehicle car accident collision for the injured“New data show that far too many patients are getting infected with dangerous, drug-resistant bacteria in healthcare settings,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Doctors and healthcare facilities have the power to protect patients – no one should get sick while trying to get well.”

The release notes that HIAs are dangerous because they are resistant to antibiotics and very difficult to treat. The release states, “HAIs are commonly caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which may lead to sepsis or death.”

A Fox News story on the same issue noted that the CDC reported that on any given day as many as 1 in 25 patients have an infection they picked up while in the hospital. Estimates are that for some procedures, the infection rate is as high as 1 in 4 patients.

The CDC release noted three areas that need to be addressed to help combat HIAs. These are, ” 1) prevent infections related to surgery or placement of a catheter, 2) prevent spread of bacteria between patients, and 3) improve antibiotic use.”

The discussion of the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria has long centered around the overuse of antibiotics in medical care and food that has fostered the development of bacteria that are no longer treatable by these drugs.

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson.


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Disc Height Improved with Chiropractic: Case Study

What Is A Slipped Disc? Can Chiropractic Care Help Disc Degeneration?

Spinal disc degeneration is medically thought to be non-reversible and permanent. However, a documented case study published on April 13, 2015, in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research showed increased disc spaces on a patient due to chiropractic care. Intervetebral discs are important pads between each of the vertebrae that allow movement and absorb shock.  Discs are firmly attached to the edges of the vertebrae and therefore can not “slip” which is a common misconception.

Disc Height Improved with Chiropractic - Austin TX ChiropractorMRI studies show that when discs begin to degenerate there is a loss of water in the center of the disc known as the nucleus. The goal of care for a person with disc degeneration is to re-hydrate the disc.

In this study, a 59-year-old man suffering from lower back pain, went to the chiropractor. His pain also radiated down into the back of his thigh. His lower back had caused problems for 20 years, but had progressively gotten worse over the previous 6 months. His history showed a number of falls and accidents over the last 20 years or so.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included palpation, range of motion, surface EMG, heart rate variability, thermography, and spinal x-rays. The results of the x-rays showed phase two spinal degeneration and curvature changes. From these tests, it was determined that subluxations were present in multiple locations and chiropractic care was begun.

During the course of chiropractic care, the patient noticed considerable improvement in his symptoms.  After four months of care, he reported a complete recovery from his back pain as well as reporting that he was not getting as many colds as before the chiropractic care

Additional re-evaluations were performed and improvement was noticed in all the test results. Follow-up x-rays showed an improvement in the man’s spinal curvatures with multiple areas of his spine starting to correct toward more normal curves. The man’s disc heights were measured on both his initial and follow-up x-rays. The dates on the x-rays were blocked out so the examiner would not know if he or she was looking at the first or second set of x-rays. The comparison, after the measurements were made, showed that the patient’s second set of x-rays had a measurable increase in disc height at several levels of his spine.

The increase in disc height shows evidence of regeneration of the intervertebral disc. In their conclusion the authors wrote, “The patient reported a complete remittance of low back pain concomitant with increased disc height at multiple levels and improved autonomic function.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson.

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Infant Twins with Breastfeeding and Gastrointestinal Problems Helped with Chiropractic

Do Chiropractors See Infants and Newborns? Does Chiropractic Help with Acid Reflux, Irritability, Colic and Excessive Crying? What About Difficulties Breastfeeding?

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on February 10, 2015, documenting the improvement of infant twins with a variety of health issues being helped by chiropractic. The study showed that the infants had been suffering with chronic reflux, breastfeeding difficulties, irritability, excessive crying, plagiocephaly, and scaphocephaly.

Plagiocephaly and scaphocephaly are conditions in infants where the head is misshaped in various ways. This usually happens from complications during the birth process or from force during the delivery process. The study authors report that recent estimates say that, “…2.6% of births are complicated by some type of birth trauma. The resulting injuries are comprehensive (i.e. injuries to the nervous system, organs, etc) and of interest in this case report, injuries to the craniofacial region and spine resulting in plagiocephaly, facial asymmetry and altered functionality.”

Infant Twins with Breastfeeding and Gastrointestinal Problems Helped with Chiropractic | Austin TX ChiropractorThis case study reports on seven-month-old fraternal twin boys who were brought to the chiropractor by their mother. The baby boys were suffering from chronic acid reflux and difficulty feeding since birth. The history noted that at 33 weeks into the woman’s pregnancy, the amnionic membrane of one twin ruptured which resulted in an emergency Caesarean section. This premature birth resulted in both twins being in a special care unit for three weeks after birth.

The mother attempted to breastfeed the infants for the first three months but problems led to a change to formula by the fourth month. The infants reflux and irritability continued and medical attempts to help these problems were unsuccessful.

A chiropractic examination including a spinal analysis was performed on the infants to determine the need for chiropractic care. Based on the examination and the finding of subluxations, chiropractic care was begun with the approval of the twin’s mother.

After eight weeks of care, the mother reported that her twin’s reflux had decreased in severity and that her sons were much more settled and would feed much easier. After 16 weeks, the infants’ problems had resolved and it was noted that their head shapes had returned to near normal.

The authors commented in their summary, “Complaints associated with birth trauma including deformational plagiocephaly, breastfeeding difficulties and general irritability improved in seven month old twin boys while they were receiving chiropractic care.”

If you know of a child that could benefit from seeing a chiropractor, please call 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson.

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Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and Immune Function Improved with Chiropractic

How Does Chiropractic Help Arthritis? How Does Chiropractic Affect The Immune System?

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on Oct. 9, 2014, documenting the resolution of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis through chiropractic care.  The study authors explain, “Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA), also known as Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis or Juvenile Chronic Arthritis, is a chronic inflammatory disease that can begin anywhere from infancy to age 17. ”

The study points out that “There are four main subtypes of JIA including oligoarticular, polyarticular, systemic onset, and enthesitis-related. This case focuses on oligoarticular JIA, which is defined as JIA that effects up to four joints. The average onset of oligoarticular JIA is 5 years of age and is predominant in the female population.”

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and Immune Function Improved with Chiropractic - Austin TX ChiropractorIn this case, a 15-year-old girl went to the chiropractor complaining of lower back pain and joint pain. Her history also revealed that she was suffering from digestive dysfunction, seasonal allergies, diarrhea, and significant abdominal pain.  She was diagnosed with JIA at the age of twelve and was given Nabumetone and Neurontin by a medical doctor.
 A chiropractic examination was performed which included a weight-bearing postural evaluation, spinal range of motion, muscle testing, reflex testing, and palpation. After reviewing all the results from the examination procedures, it was determined that the underlying problem was from multiple vertebral subluxations.

A set of specific chiropractic adjustments were begun to help correct the subluxations. After six weeks of chiropractic care, the rheumatologist stated that the girl’s JIA was in remission. Her rheumatologist then recommended that she discontinue  her medications.  A follow-up blood test revealed that her white blood cell count was within normal limits.

The study results recorded that, “At the latest reassessment, the patient shared that she is no longer taking medication for allergies and asthma as the symptoms have resolved. She also stated that her bowel movements have been of regular consistency with no abdominal pain.”

For more information about how chiropractic care affects the nervous system, please read this very informative Health Research Report – Interference and Your Nervous System.

If you are, or someone you know is, suffering with arthritis or a similar inflammatory condition, call (512) 452-2525 to schedule an appointment today. You do not have to live with the pain.

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Chiropractic Adjustments Boost Your Immune System

Can Chiropractic Care Help Boost My Immune System? How Does Chiropractic Affect The Immune System?

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases released a bulletin in 2007 which backs up what chiropractors have been teaching for 100 years – that your nerve system plays the foremost role in your immune system and ability to fight disease.

For many years, chiropractors have observed in their own practices that their patients sometimes demonstrate improvements of complaints related to immune problems: the disappearance or lessening of allergy symptoms, quicker recovery from or less frequent and severe colds and other respiratory infections, and so on.

How Does It Work?

The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease. - Thomas EdisonThe nervous system and immune system are hardwired and work together to create optimal responses for the body to adapt and heal appropriately. Neural dysfunctions due to spinal misalignments are stressful to the body and cause abnormal changes that lead to a poorly coordinated immune response. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to boost the coordinated responses of the nervous system and immune system.

Chiropractic care was first linked to improved immunity during the deadly flu epidemic of 1917 and 1918. The funny thing was: Chiropractic patients fared better than the general population. This observation spurred a study of the field. The data reported that flu victims under chiropractic care had an estimated 0.25 percent death rate, a lot less than the normal rate of 5 percent among flu victims who did not receive chiropractic care.

Evidence is mounting that the immune system and the nervous system are linked in several ways. One well-known connection involves the adrenal glands. In response to stress messages from the brain, the adrenal glands release hormones into the blood. In addition to helping a person respond to emergencies by mobilizing the body’s energy reserves, these “stress hormones” can stifle the protective effects of antibodies and lymphocytes.

The Chiropractic Connection

The adrenal glands are controlled by the Central Nerve System. Vertebral subluxations at T11/T12 affect the function of your adrenal glands – and therefore all messengers produced by this vital organ! Anyone run down by adrenal stress should have their subluxations evaluated at T11/T12.

Wellness based chiropractors analyze the spine for subluxations and give corrective adjustments to reduce the stress on the nervous system. A 1992 research group found that when a thoracic adjustment was applied to a subluxated area the white blood cell (neutrophil) count collected rose significantly.

Studies are finding that chiropractic care is a way to improve immunity. One study, from the National College of Chiropractic in Lombard, Illinois, found that disease-fighting white blood cell counts were higher just 15 minutes after a chiropractic adjustment was applied to the back.

The Take Home Message

Chiropractic adjustments have a direct effect on the nervous system and as such have an immediate impact on the body’s immune system so the only question now is, are you and your family being regularly adjusted to maximize your health and vitality?

If you or someone you know could benefit from seeing a chiropractor, please do not hesitate to call (512) 452-2525 and schedule an appointment today.

To learn more about how your nervous system controls your immune system and how it all responds to Chiropractic please read the following Health Research Report – Central Nervous System Control of the Immune System.

 

Compiled and summarized by Dr. Gary Hamilton, HBSc.(Hon), BS, DC

 


References

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Source: www3.niaid.nih.gov

Smith, KR. One hundred thousand cases of influenza with a death rate of one-fortieth of that officially reported under conventional medical treatment. Annual Convention of the American Association of Clinical Research, New York. Oct. 18, 1919. J. Am Osteopath Assoc. January, 1920. Special Reprints. J. Am Osteopath Assoc. Vol. 100. No. 5. May 2000.

Patterson, M. Osteopathic methods and the great flu pandemic of 1917-1918. JAOA (The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association) May 2000; 100(5):309-10

Selano, Grostic et al: The effects of specific upper cervical adjustments on the CD4 counts of HIV positive patients. CRJ. Vol 3. # 1. 1994.

Brennan et al: Enhanced neutrophil respiratory burst as a biological marker for manipulation forces.

JMPT Vol. 15 # 2 Feb. 1992.

Brennan PC, Kokjohn K, Kaltinger CJ, Lohr GE, Glendening C, Hondras MA, McGregor M, Triano JJ “Enhanced Phagocytic Cell Respiratory Burst Induced by Spinal Manipulation: Potential Role of Substance P” J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1991; 14(7): 399-407.

Tuchin PJ “The Effect of Chiropractic Spinal Manipulative Therapy on Salivary Cortisol Levels.” Australian Journal of Chiropractic and Osteopathy 2: 1998; pp. 86-92.

Vora GS, Bates HA “The Effects of Spinal Manipulation on the Immune System (A Preliminary Report)” The ACA Journal of Chiropractic 1980; 14: S103-105.

Masarsky CS, Weber M “Chiropractic and Lung Volumes – A Retrospective Study” ACA Journal of Chiropractic 1986; 20(9): 65-67.

Kessinger R “Changes in Pulmonary Function Associated with Upper Cervical Specific Chiropractic Care” J Vertebral Subluxation Res. 1997;1(3): 43-49.

Annual Convention of the American Association of Clinical Research, New York. Oct. 18, 1919. J. Am Osteopath Assoc. January, 1920.

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Breastfeeding Reduces Child Mortality Rate by 85%

Is Breastfeeding Best? How Does Breastfeeding Help My Child?

The headline above is from an August 10, 2014, article in The Rakyat Post, a publication from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. The statistics may be unique to Kuala Lumpur, but multiple studies from all over the world have confirmed the large health benefit to an infant from breastfeeding for both increased immunity and proper infant nutrition.

Dr Farah Inaz Syed Abdullah of the Hospital Kuala Lumpur emphasized the importance of breastfeeding for nutritional purposes saying, “If children across the world were breastfed during the golden hour — that is the first hour after birth — it is estimated that one million child deaths could be avoided. This is because during this first feeding, the child will be fed colostrum, the first milk that contains the right amounts of nutrients, in the right proportions for the newborn. What makes it unique is that the amount of nutrients in breast milk changes as the baby grows.”

Breastfeeding Reduces Child Mortality Rate by 85% | Austin Pediatric DoctorAdding support for breastfeeding in reducing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Dr Maiza Tusimin, Universiti Putra Malaysia senior medical lecturer and specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology, added, “SIDS often happens to babies who were fed with infant formula through a bottle. This risk can be reduced as breast milk is given in an exclusive manner and full of attention. This is besides the fact that it also contains lipase, an enzyme that aids in the digestion of fats naturally.”

In the United States, several publications, including an article on the KMA News website from Iowa, announced that August is National Breastfeeding Month. In this article, Marian Tompson, one of the founders of the La Leche League, a consumer breastfeeding advocacy group, touted the benefits that mothers who breastfeed get from it by reducing the risk for diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, and some forms of cancer.

Tompson explained, “There have been thousands of studies during the past 50 years that confirm babies are healthier when they’re breastfed. And it makes sense because they’re getting the food that was meant for their growth and development.”

An August 1, 2014, statement on the United Nations News Centre website also points out the importance of breastfeeding immediately after birth.  Anthony Lake, Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), noted in a letter, “Immediate breastfeeding within the first hour of birth could prevent one in five unnecessary deaths. That’s more than 500,000 children every year, more than 1,500 children every day.”

Lake also added, “Breastfeeding is the foundation of good nutrition, reducing the risk of malnourishment in early childhood and the risk of obesity later in life. By supporting nutrition and strengthening the bond between mother and child, breastfeeding also supports healthy brain development.”

Chiropractic is also a great way to support brain and neurological development and to develop a strong immune system. For more information and research, please read this health research report on the Strengthening Your Child’s Immune System. To see if chiropractic care can help with your child’s immune system, call (512) 452-2525 to schedule today.

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