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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Paroxysmal Tonic Upgaze Syndrome and Congenital Torticollis Helped with Chiropractic

What Is Paroxysmal Tonic Upgaze (PTU)? Can Chiropractic Care Help Neurological Dysfunction?

On June 29, 2015, a study was published in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research documenting the case of chiropractic helping a baby boy who was suffering with Paroxysmal Tonic Upgaze (PTU) Syndrome, torticollis, and other neurological problems. These issues seemed to be related to the birth trauma the infant received during delivery.

Paroxysmal Tonic Upgaze Syndrome and Congenital Torticollis Helped with Chiropractic - Austin TX Pedatric ChiropractorParoxysmal Tonic Upgaze (PTU) is when a child usually has his or her eyes fixed in a upward position. The child may even tilt their head downward to gaze forward. This may make the child look angry when they are not. Babies affected by this problem can display jerky side to side moment of their head, and may also have sleep issues, developmental delays, and vertigo.

The study reports that the word “torticollis” means twisted neck in Latin. Generally, congenital muscular torticollis (CMT) involves a deformity of the neck where one side of certain neck muscles are shorter than the other. Many factors are proposed to be the cause of this including trauma during the birth process. This problem is often painful and causes a restricted range of motion.

This case involved a 13-month-old boy who was brought to the chiropractor by his mother for a chiropractic evaluation to see if her son could be helped with PTU, congenital torticollis, and infantile spasm/tremors. The infant had already undergone a number of neurological tests and an MRI which did not give any definitive answers. This frustration led to the boy’s parents bringing him to the chiropractor.

The history of the infant birth revealed that the pregnancy and delivery were difficult. The mother was in labor for 2 weeks. During delivery, the baby was laying on his back and presented ‘face’ first, causing the breaking of his mother’s coccyx during the delivery. At one month of age, the child was vaccinated. Shortly thereafter, the mother noticed the muscle spasms and a tilted head. Three weeks later, the child began to hit the back of his head aggressively.

A chiropractic examination was performed including palpation, range of motion, and postural analysis. Based on the findings of the examination, it was determined that the goal of the care should be to correct the subluxations detected in the infant’s spine. Specific chiropractic adjustments were started and continued over a period of four months.

The study reported that during the first re-examination, the mother reported that her son was sleeping better and his neck spasms had reduced. She also reported that his upward gaze had decreased thus showing improvement in his diagnosed PTU condition. As care continued, the boy crawled better and his coordination improved. The boy was under care at the time of the writing of this report and continued to show improvement in all his health issues.

In their discussion, the authors of the study explained the mechanism of how correction of subluxation could help this boy by stating, “When a subluxation is present it blocks communication and sensory input between the brain and the body and can lead to neurological dysfunction. This dysfunction without any correction leads to further damage. When a subluxation is present and left uncorrected it will lead to sensory input dysfunction.”

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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Parkinson’s Patient Helped to Live a Better Life with Chiropractic

Can Chiropractic Care Help Parkinson’s Disease? How Does Chiropractic Care Slow or Stop the Progression of Parkinson’s?

The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on June 1, 2015, documenting a case of a patient with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) being helped over the course of a decade to have an improved quality of life. The authors noted the purpose of this study saying, “In this case study we will add to the small but growing body of evidence that reports on the association between chiropractic care and PD.”

Parkinson's Patient Helped to Live a Better Life with Chiropractic - Austin TX ChiropractorAccording to the WebMD website, “Parkinson’s disease affects the nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine. Parkinson’s disease symptoms include muscle rigidity, tremors, and changes in speech and gait. After diagnosis, treatments can help relieve symptoms, but there is no cure.” The authors of this study add that PD affects about one percent of the population over the age of 65.

“PD has a major effect on the quality of life of patients, who gradually lose autonomy and cognitive function. The decline in quality of life proceeds at a rate that is five to seven times faster than the average yearly decline caused by normal aging in individuals without the disease,” state the study authors.

In this study, a 63-year-old man went to the chiropractor seeking relief from his lower back pain. He was also suffering with tremors in his right arm for five years and had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s two years prior. He was on a daily medication for his Parkinson’s. The case history showed that the man’s main complaints related to his PD were tremors in the right hand, gait disturbances in the left leg mainly caused by foot drop, and trouble walking with a loss of balance.

A chiropractic examination was performed including spinal range of motion, neurological and orthopedic tests, and spinal x-rays. The results led to the determination that subluxations of the spine were present. Based on these findings a specific series of chiropractic adjustments were begun.

The patient initially was seen 3 times per week for the first month. After the initial 12 visits the frequency of care was reduced to once per week. The man continued his chiropractic care for another 10 years before the writing of this study.

After 10 years, the now 73-year-old man reported that his PD symptoms had not worsened, but had actually improved since he started chiropractic care. He noted that the tremor in his right hand was not present as often and had not spread to any other part of his body. He reported that he was able to return to playing badminton more easily due to improvements in balance and an improved range of motion.

The study authors point out that this study and others they reviewed showed that some patients with PD had a slow down or stopping of the progression of their disease. They point out this is contrary to medical care alone which can treat the symptoms but does not seem to have any effect on the progression of PD.

“The aim of chiropractic care is to enhance nervous system function so the body is better able to heal itself. In contrast, the medical treatment of Parkinson’s relies on external input,” note the study authors. “The findings in our case study support previous literature which has examined the symptomatic progression, quality of life and neurological function of PD patients under chiropractic care.”

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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Mood, Posture, and Balance Improved in Older Patient Under Chiropractic Care: A Case Study

Can Chiropractic Care Affect Mood? How Does Chiropractic Improve My Health?

A case study published on May 21, 2015, in the the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research documented chiropractic helping an elderly man suffering from severe postural issues, mild depression, low back pain, balance problems, and constant fatigue. This case study was reported from a chiropractic practice in Auckland, New Zealand.

Mood, Posture, and Balance Improved in Older Patient Under Chiropractic Care - Austin TX ChiropractorThe authors begin by explaining that, “Posture is the relative position of the body at any one moment, and the position of every joint in the spine has an effect on the position of every other joint.” They further explain that normal posture requires the least amount of energy to remain upright. Abnormal posture requires more energy from the muscles and places more stress on the joints supporting the posture.

As noted in the study, postural abnormalities can not only cause biomechanical stress on the spine, but can have a negative effect on the nervous system. This is known as subluxation. To further explain subluxation, the authors include the Association of Chiropractic Colleges’ definition of subluxation, “A complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health.”

This case involved a 72-year-old man who went to a chiropractor in a private practice in Auckland, New Zealand. The study notes that he suffered with difficulty in walking due to balance disturbances, low back pain radiating down into the hips and thighs, perpetual tiredness, and a mildly depressed mood and state of mind. He was also taking heart and blood pressure medication for the past 10 years.

A case history and chiropractic examination was performed which included surface electromyography (sEMG) scans, and a postural analysis. Then, chiropractic care was started with the goal of reducing the man’s subluxations.

The study notes that the man noticed the biggest initial changes during the second and third weeks of his care. He reported that he had increased energy, felt steadier with increased balance, and was feeling happier overall with a more positive outlook on life. By the 6th week of care, the man reported that he could stand straighter, and had decreased pain levels with activity. He stated that he wanted to go out for longer walks with his wife, and felt more social with a general positive increase in his mood.

The authors summed up this case in their conclusion by stating, “While under chiropractic care, improvements in both self-reported subjective and objective measures were noted in a patient with severe postural alterations, low back pain, balance disturbances, perpetual tiredness and a mildly depressive state of mind. These improvements include overall physical, mental, and emotional well-being of the patient.”

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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Seizures Gone, Behavior, and Cognitive Development Improved with Chiropractic

Does Chiropractic Care Help Seizures? Can Children See A Chiropractor?

On May 14, 2015, a study was published in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research documenting the case of a toddler suffering from seizures, behavioral disturbances, and developmental delay, being helped by chiropractic.

Seizures Gone, Behavior, and Cognitive Development Improved with Chiropractic - Austin TX ChiropractorIn this case, a 2-year-old boy suffering from seizures was brought to the chiropractor. The history noted that 1 year and 4 months prior, the boy fell about three feet hitting the back of his head on a wooden deck. The boy immediately started having a seizure and his parents took him to the emergency room. His head was treated for the laceration with 4 staples. X-rays were taken and no fracture was found. No neurological tests were performed at that time and the child was prescribed pain medication for his pain.

After a few days, the child’s seizures got worse. Because of this, his parents brought him in for a further medical evaluation where electroencephalogram (EEG) studies were performed both while he was sleeping and awake. The boy’s sleeping EEG did not show any problems but the one done while he was awake showed activity consistent with seizures. Next, an MRI and CT scan were performed, but neither of these found any medically detectable abnormality.

The boy was prescribed anti-seizure medication, which was ineffective. The child’s seizures continued to worsen over time. He worsened to the point where he was experiencing an average of 3 seizures per week and occasionally up to 3 seizures per day. As a result of his problems, his parents noticed that their son became overly aggressive, combative, angry and generally uncooperative. They also noticed developmental delays in their son’s language, including his ability to form sentences.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included palpation, thermal scans of the neck, and specific spinal x-rays. The authors stated that the purpose of the chiropractic examination was to see if a subluxation was present at the level of the first cervical vertebrae. Based on the examination, it was determined that a subluxation was present at the top of the boy’s neck and specific chiropractic adjustments were begun.

After the first adjustment, the boy’s parents reported an increase in their son’s seizures. However, after subsequent visits, the seizures began to decrease in frequency. The number of seizures continued to decrease until they were completely gone by 51 days after the initial chiropractic adjustment. At approximately 2.5 months after the beginning of care, the boy was taken off all anti-seizure medication.

The boy had one minor seizure three months later, but with continued chiropractic check-ups, the child remained seizure free thereafter. His parents also reported that his behavioral issues and other problems were also resolved.

In their conclusion, the authors wrote, “This case is one example of how chiropractic care may be helpful in bringing balance back to a child’s nervous system. Though this is only one example, it adds to the ever growing number of case studies that have shown chiropractic care to be effective in helping to control seizures in children and in other non-musculoskeletal conditions.”

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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Daily Headaches Gone Under Chiropractic Care

Does Chiropractic Care Help Chronic Headaches? Can Children See A Chiropractor?

From the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health comes a study published on May 25, 2015, documenting the case of a young boy with daily headaches being helped by chiropractic. The study begins by noting that between 10-20% of school age children suffer with headaches. This number increases to 27-32% at the age of 13-14 years for a headache within a given month.

Daily Headaches Gone Under Chiropractic Care - Austin TX ChiropractorThe authors report that chronic daily headaches affect 2-4% of adolescent females and 0.8-2% of adolescent males. A diagnosis of chronic daily headaches is made when headaches occur more than 4 hours per day, 15 headache days per month or more, over a period of 3 consecutive months, without an underlying (medical) pathology.

In this case, a 13-year-old boy was brought to the chiropractor by his parents for a consultation and possible care. It was reported that the boy was suffering from headaches every day for several years. There was no history of trauma or any physical injury prior to the onset of the boy’s headaches. The boy’s mother did report her son’s headaches to his MD, who said that they were probably sinus related. However, he did not recommend any treatment or further tests.

A chiropractic examination of the boy was conducted which included a postural inspection, palpation, and range of motion. Based on the examination findings, it was determined that the boy had multiple vertebral subluxations and chiropractic care was initiated.

The boy was initially seen two times per week for the first two weeks. Care was reduced thereafter as improvement was seen. The study reports that the boy’s response was immediate as his headaches stopped as soon as chiropractic care was started. This improvement made an immediate and profound impact on the boy’s quality of life and ability to function.

In their conclusion, the authors wrote, “This case report provides supporting evidence on the effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments characterized as high-velocity, low amplitude thrust to sites of vertebral subluxations. We encourage further research on the use of this type of care in children suffering from CH, (chronic headaches).”

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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Uncontrollable Muscle Movements, Jerks, and Tics Gone after Chiropractic Care

What Is Functional Movement Disorder? How Does Chiropractic Help The Nervous System?

From the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research comes a case study published on April 9, 2015, documenting a case of a patient with Functional Movement Disorder (FMD) being helped with chiropractic. The study authors define FMD by stating, “A FMD is described as abnormal movement or positioning of the body due to the nervous system not working properly, but not due to any underlying neurological disease.”

Uncontrollable Muscle Movements, Jerks, and Tics Gone after Chiropractic Care - Austin TX ChiropractorFMDs are not uncommon, accounting for over 16% of patients who get referred to neurology clinics. Due to the absence of an underlying pathology, medical care for patients with these conditions is often a challenge.  Because of the lack of a medical explanation in many of these cases, some medical experts suggest that the causes of these issues is psychological in nature.

In this case, a 36-year-old woman went to the chiropractor suffering from uncontrollable body shakes (hyperkinesia) with tics and uncontrollable muscle jerks. The woman’s problems began 5 months earlier during a time when she reported a high level of work stress. Her condition had gotten so severe that she was unable to work at the time of her visit to the chiropractor. Her history revealed that she was also suffering from anxiety and chronic neck pain.

The woman consulted a medical doctor who referred her to a neurologist. After not finding a medically known physical cause, the neurologist referred the woman to a psychiatrist, suspecting that her problems were psychological in origin. The patient decided not to see a psychiatrist and began chiropractic care instead. She did not follow up with the neurologist after his referral.

The patient began chiropractic care and was seeing visible progress by the eight week of her care. By the 20th week of care, all her symptoms of FMD were gone and she had returned to normal. Additionally, she reported that her secondary complaints of anxiety and chronic neck pain had also corrected.

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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A Visit to the Chiropractor Could Improve Your Sex Life

Can Chiropractic Care Improve My Sex Life? How Does Chiropractic Care Help With Sexual Function?

The headline above is from an article published on April 15, 2015, in Shape magazine. The article begins by noting that most people do not come into a chiropractor’s office specifically for sexual issues, but many report improvements in that area after care has begun.

Dr. Jason Helfrich, a chiropractor in Colorado, commented in the article, “People come in with back pain, but after adjustments, they come back and tell me their sex life is so much better.” He explains, “It’s no surprise to us—it’s amazing what the body will do when you take away the pressure on the nervous system.”

A Visit to the Chiropractor Could Improve Your Sex Life - Austin TX ChiropractorThe article goes on to explain that what chiropractors do is to correct “subluxations.”  Every function of your body is controlled by the nervous system. It is therefore essential that the messages traveling from the brain to the parts of your body can do so without any interference.

A subluxation is when one of more of the spinal vertebrae become misaligned and cause pressure or irritation on nerves resulting in interference to the normal nerve function. Interference to normal nerve function from subluxations can cause parts of your body to either experience pain or to not function properly. Dr. Helfrich points out in the article that, “Every chiropractor’s goal is to remove these subluxations, since they can both cause pain and impede feeling.”

The Shape article explains two mechanisms where subluxations can have an effect on sex life. The first involves the lumbar or lower back region. Subluxations in this area can not only cause lower back pain but interference to those nerves can also affect function and blood flow to the sex organs.

But lower back subluxations are not the only area that can affect sexual function. The article also points out that the top of the neck can have a large role in this as well. The first two vertebrae in the neck are located right below the brain stem. Subluxations in this area can affect hormonal functions as well.

“Libido and fertility require a delicate balance of estrogen, progesterone, and other hormones, many of which are released in the upper cervical and neck area,” explains Dr. Helfrich. He concludes the article by stating, We want to improve people’s health, and health is about living life as its intended. Having a great sex life is huge part of that.”

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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Cross-Eyes Helped with Chiropractic

What Is Strabismus? How Can Chiropractic Help Crossed Eyes?

A study published on March 12, 2015 in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health documents a case of a Down’s Syndrome boy with crossed eyes being helped with chiropractic.

The authors of the study begin by explaining, “Chiropractic is often mistakenly regarded as having a very limited scope of practice in general, i.e. neck pain, back pain and headaches. Yet, chiropractors and their patients experience a multitude of positive results beyond these musculoskeletal complaints, especially in children.”

Cross-Eyes Helped with Chiropractic - Austin TX ChiropractorThe authors report that chiropractic care is the most common type of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for children. Studies show that usage of chiropractic nearly doubled in a few short years, rising from 11% in the early nineties to 20% by the late nineties. They note that children represent between 8% and 11% of chiropractic care received.

The authors further explain, “Some of the common pediatric conditions addressed by chiropractors include scoliosis, infantile colic, nocturnal enuresis, constipation, otitis media, seizures, autism, ADHD, asthma, cerebral palsy and strabismus. However, one study revealed that wellness care was the highest ranking reasoning for pediatric chiropractic care.”

In this case, a 4-year-old Down’s Syndrome boy was brought into the chiropractor’s office along with his family for correction of any subluxations. The boy’s right eye was crossed inward. The mother  reported that both the boy’s eyes were originally crossed and that surgery had been performed on the left eye in an attempt to return it to a more normal position.

After a chiropractic analysis, adjustments were initiated to correct the boy’s subluxations. After 12 visits, the boy’s parents reported to the chiropractor that their son’s right eye had completely returned to center. Additionally, his left eye, which had been surgically corrected, started to also correct and was therefore slightly  divergent from center. This indicated that the surgery may not have been needed, as the eye may have attempted to correct itself with chiropractic.

In their conclusion the authors wrote. “The results of the reduction of vertebral subluxation in this case suggest that chiropractic care may be beneficial in the correction of strabismus. Had the patient not undergone the operation to repair the left eye, we propose that both eyes would have been centered in the neutral position.”

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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Prolonged Breastfeeding Linked to Higher IQ and Wealth in Adulthood

Is Breastfed Best? How Does Breastfeeding Help My Newborn?

The title above is from a Time article published on March 18, 2015. The article is based on a pre-released April 2015 study published in The Lancet Global Health journal titled, Association between breastfeeding and intelligence, educational attainment, and income at 30 years of age: a prospective birth cohort study from Brazil.

The Time article begins by stating, “New research suggests that breastfeeding newborns longer helps enhance brain development. Children that breastfeed for longer periods end up smarter, more educated and wealthier in adulthood…”

This study was conducted over a long period of time. It began in Brazil in 1982, and involved following 3700 babies born in five maternity hospitals in Pelotas, Brazil.  Researchers recorded how long these babies were breastfed after birth.

Prolonged Breastfeeding Linked to Higher IQ and Wealth in Adulthood - Austin TX ChiropractorApproximately 30 years later, the researchers followed up on these grown adults to see if there was a difference in life development between those that were breastfed for their first year and their counterparts that were breastfed for shorter periods of time.

The results compared those who breastfed for one year to those who breastfed for a month or less. Those babies who breastfed for one year showed a four points higher IQ level.  These individuals also usually attained one year more of education and made 15% higher income at age 30.

Lead author Bernardo Lessa Horta, a professor at Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil, offers a possible explanation by saying, “Our finding that predominant breastfeeding is positively related to IQ in adulthood also suggests that the amount of milk consumed plays a role.”  He continues, “Breast-feeding not only has short-term benefits, but also breast-feeding has long-term benefits.”

In a March 18, 2015 BBC article on this research, Dr, Colin Michie, chairman of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health’s nutrition committee, commented, “It is important to note that breastfeeding is one of many factors that can contribute to a child’s outcomes, however, this study emphasizes the need for continued and enhanced breastfeeding promotion so expectant mothers are aware of the benefits of breastfeeding.”

In their conclusion the researchers reported, “Our results suggest that breastfeeding not only improves intelligence up to adulthood, but also has an effect at both the individual and societal level, by increasing educational attainment and earning ability.”

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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