Infant Head Shape Deformity Improved Under Chiropractic According to Study

What is Plagiocephaly? Can Austin Chiropractors Help Infants with Head Deformity?

A cohort study published in the December 2016 issue of the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics showed that chiropractic care helped reduce the time for correction of head shape deformity in infants. Head shape deformity, called plagiocephaly, is described in the study as  “…an asymmetry in the shape of the skull.”

Infant Head Shape Deformity Improved Under Chiropractic According to Study - Austin Texas Pediatrician Chiropractor Health Wellness Newborn Infant BabyEstimates as to how common plagiocephaly is vary from 16-21% at 6-7 weeks old, and 20% at 4 months old, to 47% of infants aged 7-12 weeks old. Most cases are first noticed by parents at various ages and may account for the variation of percentages. The cause of irregular head shape is thought to be external pressures on the skull before birth during development.

There is some disagreement between medical authorities as to whether or not plagiocephaly has an effect on the health and development of a child. The UK National Health Service (NHS) states plagiocephaly is cosmetic only, while other authorities suggest that this condition has been shown to be related to learning disabilities, dysfunctional auditory processing, and developmental delay in the gross motor and cognitive issues.

Chiropractic care for cases of plagiocephaly is focused on the neck and not rendered directly to the head. The study authors describe the purpose of care by saying, “chiropractors commonly manage infants with plagiocephaly and treat the cervical spine to achieve full range and freedom of motion so that the infant is not stuck in one position. If the head can be freely moved, then the pressure on the cranium will be equally distributed and the skull will, ideally, become symmetrical.”

The study was conducted at the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (AECC) clinic, in Bournemouth, UK. In this study, 64 infants and babies with plagiocephaly were examined and measurements of their head shape were made. Most infants in this study were born at full-term with 56% being assisted births and 44% being natural vaginal deliveries. The breakdown showed that there were 62.5% males and 37.5% females. The average age was 11.5 weeks old with the range being from 2 to 44 weeks of age.

The chiropractic care given was in accordance with the standard protocol for children of this age at the school clinic. Head shape measurements were taken at the 1st, 4th and 7th chiropractic visit, with a six week follow up done later. All participants achieved a full range of neck motion from the chiropractic care. As expected, the size of the infant’s heads increased accounting for normal growth.

The results showed that the infants’ plagiocephaly measurement significantly reduced over the course of chiropractic care. Of the 64 infants and babies in the study, 20 showed a complete resolution of head deformation. The remainder of the babies all showed significant reductions of plagiocephaly above what would normally have occurred as the babies grew.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, “This study showed a significant reduction in head deformity in infants during a course of six weeks of chiropractic care.” They continued to explain that these results do not suggest a cause and effect relationship but rather a possible approach to helping plagiocephaly. They noted that chiropractic may have facilitated a faster correction of the normal head shape than would normally occur, saying “…the improvements in head shape occurred earlier than the natural course of the condition.”

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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Otitis Media Helped with Chiropractic

Are Antibiotics the Best Treatment for Ear Infections? Can Chiropractic Help Otitis Media?

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on July 18, 2016, documenting the improvement of otitis media and sleep problems in a baby girl through chiropractic care. Otitis media, more commonly known as ear infections, is any inflammation of the middle ear regardless if it is caused by an infection.

Otitis Media Helped with Chiropractic - Austin TX Pediatric Chiropractor for Ear Infection No Need for AntibioticsThe authors of the study begin by noting how common and trying re-occurring ear infections can be. “Frustration at reoccurring ear infections is one reason some parents are driven to seek ‘alternative’ treatments for their children. This frustration is well warranted, considering two out of three children will be medically diagnosed with otitis media in their first three years of life.”

Otitis media can affect any age group but is most prevalent in infants and children. It is estimated that by age four, 80% of children will have suffered a bout of otitis media. The rate of this problem has increased as the study reports that between 1975 and 1990, there was a 150% increase in the number of children in the United States who are diagnosed with otitis media. Common symptoms of otitis media include ear pain, difficulty sleeping, excessive crying, increased irritability, difficulty hearing or responding to sounds, loss of balance, fever, draining from ear, headaches, and loss of appetite.

In this case, a mother of a 2-year-old girl brought her daughter into the chiropractor. She was looking for help with her daughter’s re-occurring ear infections in the hopes of avoiding having tubes put into the baby’s ears, which had been recommended by her pediatrician. She was also looking for an alternative to the ongoing rounds of antibiotics her daughter had been given.

A chiropractic examination, including palpation, spinal heat readings and postural analysis were performed to determine the presence of subluxations that could be related to the baby girl’s problem. The presence of subluxation was determined, and care was begun in the form of specific adjustments appropriate for the age and size of the baby.

After one month of care, a re-assessment was performed which reported that the girl had been able to sleep through the night and had not had any ear infections since starting chiropractic. After about five months under chiropractic care, the study reports that the girl had not had any ear infections and had not needed any antibiotics since the beginning of care.

In their conclusion, the study authors describe how chiropractic can help in otitis media cases such as this. “Chiropractic exam found subluxations at multiple levels, which were addressed in the following weeks and months of care. Through removing these subluxations, the doctor of chiropractic removed the nerve interference and allowed the patient’s body to heal.” Based on the results of this and other studies the authors recommended “…chiropractic treatment is a better option for care of concurrent subluxation and otitis media than traditional allopathic care, which relies heavily on antibiotic treatment.”

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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Infant’s Constipation Resolved After Chiropractic

Can Chiropractic Help Constipation in Infants? Do Chiropractors Help Babies?

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on February 1, 2016, documenting the case of a baby boy suffering from constipation being helped by chiropractic. The study reports that constipation is a common pediatric problem affecting about 3% of children.

Infant's Constipation Resolved After Chiropractic - Austin TX Chiropractor that see's kids - Pediatric ChiropracticAccording to the Mayo clinic website, constipation in infants and toddlers is not determined by the frequency of bowel movements but rather by the difficulty, pain and consistency of the movement. Their website describes how to detect painful movement in an infant. “Infants experiencing painful bowel movements might arch their backs, tighten their buttocks or cry. Keep in mind that infants have weak abdominal muscles and often strain during bowel movements.”

The authors of the study note that most medical approaches to constipation are not very effective. They explain, “When one considers the perspective that approximately 30% of children beyond puberty continue to struggle with symptoms of constipation, new therapeutic strategies are necessary thus making alternative therapies an attractive care option for children suffering from the disorder.”

In this case, an 8-month-old baby boy was brought to the chiropractor by his mother to see if he could be helped with his constipation. The infant’s mother noted that her son had not had a bowel movement for five days and was in obvious pain and discomfort. She observed that her son would strain for a bowel movement without success. The baby was given fluids and not given any medications.

A chiropractic examination consisting of heat readings, static and motion palpation was performed. It was determined that subluxations were present, and with the consent of the mother, specific corrective chiropractic adjustments were begun.

The effects of the chiropractic adjustment were immediate. The case study reports, “As the mother and son were in their car to leave the clinic parking lot, the patient proceeded to have a very large bowel movement while sitting in his car seat. The mother phoned the clinic two hours later to inform that the patient had proceeded to have an additional two bowel movements since they had left the chiropractic clinic.” The mother also reported that her infant son’s disposition had greatly improved.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, “We described the successful chiropractic care of an infant suffering from constipation. In addition to resolving the child’s presenting complaint, the patient’s quality of life improved significantly as reported by his mother.”

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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Erb’s-Duchenne Palsy Resolved with Chiropractic: Case Study

In the January 21, 2016, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health is a published case study of a baby girl suffering with Erb’s-Duchenne Palsy who completely recovered under chiropractic care. Erb’s-Duchenne Palsy is also known as Brachial plexus palsy or simply Erb’s Palsy.

Erb's-Duchenne Palsy Resolved with Chiropractic - Chiropractor Austin TX Pediatric babies baby kids childrenAccording WebMD, “Brachial plexus palsy, also known as Erb’s palsy, is a paralysis or weakness of the arm caused by an injury to one or more nerves that control and supply the muscles of the shoulder and upper extremities (upper brachial plexus). It is more commonly seen in newborns (neonates) and is often the result of a difficult delivery.”

The authors of the study report that most of the cases of Erb’s Palsy are medically managed with either physiotherapy or surgery. The results of this care show that 30% recovered with minimal defects by six months of age, while 55% had moderate residual deficits by 12 months, and 15% had long-term significant handicaps.

In this case, a 5-month-old infant diagnosed with Erb’s Palsy was brought in for chiropractic evaluation. The mother reported a difficult delivery lasting 12 hours. She mentioned that during delivery the head and shoulders “got stuck.” Therefore, a vacuum extraction was performed. Immediately after birth, it was noticed that the infant had a diminished range of motion in her right arm and a diagnosis of Erb’s Palsy was made, and physiotherapy recommended. The therapy was not successful in helping the infant.

The chiropractic examination confirmed the severe lack of motion and care was initiated for correction of subluxations found in the infant girl’s spine. Specially modified chiropractic adjustments were used due to the infant’s size, age, and condition.

On the second visit, a slight improvement was noted in the range of motion of the infant’s arm. By the third visit, the change was even more noticeable and was confirmed by the physiotherapist who pointed out the improvement to the parents. By the seventh visit, the infant’s range of motion was much improved and the infant was observed using her right arm to reach for toys. On the ninth visit, the infant girl no longer had any noticeable difference in the range of motion between her right and left arm and was able to use both normally. A follow-up examination weeks later continued to show total recovery from her Erb’s Palsy.

In their conclusion the researchers stated, “This case chronicles the care and subsequent resolution of Erb-Duchenne Palsy in a five-month-old female with chiropractic care. This case report suggests that chiropractic care may benefit infants with Erb-Duchenne Palsy.”

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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Growing Number of Parents are Turning to Chiropractors to Treat Their Kids

Do Chiropractors See Kids? How Does Chiropractic Care Help Children?

The headline above comes from a June 22, 2015, feature article in the Minnesota Star Tribune. The article looks at several children who have had their lives improved by going to a chiropractor. The article begins by saying, “Concerned about the frequent use of antibiotics, some parents are seeking chiropractic care for everything from stomachaches to runny noses.”

Growing Number of Parents are Turning to Chiropractors to Treat Their Kids - Austin TX ChiropracticThe discussion about children needing chiropractic is a polarizing one. Many people believe very strongly that chiropractic care is essential for young spines while others do not. Kimberly is the mother of Tobias, an active one-year-old boy featured in the article who is a new chiropractic patient. “We knew that as our children were growing that we would seek chiropractic care as they had growing pains and accidents,” she explains. Noting how active her son is, she added, “And Tobias, he’s a mover and a shaker.”

Tobias’s chiropractor, Dr. Anne, explained that for many babies, the only way they can communicate something is wrong to their parents is by crying. “For an infant, their only way to tell a parent they don’t feel good is by crying.” She points out that this may not be just the result of being hungry or tired or wet, but may well be the result of a health issue that stems from a spinal misalignment, known as a subluxation.

Dr. Anne also explained the uniqueness of the process of adjusting a baby or small child. “With a 2-year-old, you’ve got about 20 seconds to get it done because they’re either yelling at you or want to be done. It’s hard to describe to a young kid what they’re going to feel,” she said. “So I always have them near Mom and Dad so that they’re not afraid.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that in 2012, about 3.1 percent of children in the U.S. were seen by chiropractors. Dr. Elise Hewitt, president of the pediatrics council for the American Chiropractic Association added, “That’s a total of almost 2 million children in 2012 that received chiropractic and osteopathic care.”

In explaining the typical scenario of why a parent brings their child to see a chiropractor, Dr. Anne said, “So parents get frustrated. They’ve been at the pediatrician for two or three months and their kid has been on three or four antibiotics,” she said. “More often than not, it’s a structural thing that’s causing the ear infections. So they end up here.”

To explain her reasons for bringing her kids to the chiropractor, Kimberly stated, “I think we’ve always understood that there’s such rapid growth when a child is growing, and the birthing process — I don’t ever say traumatic, but it can be dramatic,” she said. “So it has always sat right with us to have someone who understands the vertebrae be able to take a look at little guys early on.”

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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