Thursday, November 22, 2018

Chiropractic and Kids: Combating Common Illnesses

by Kevin Morford, DC

When parents get tired and frustrated of watching their child suffer with an illness that just doesn’t seem to respond to prescribed antibiotics or medications, and may even have been told that surgery should be considered, they often turn to an alternative health practitioner for more information and options concerning their child’s well-being. This type of scenario plays out daily in chiropractic offices worldwide. Parents are disheartened by recurring illnesses that repeated prescription medications don’t cure. Yet chiropractic care can help children rebound from common childhood illnesses through just a few simple adjustments.

Chiropractors are beginning to see greater numbers of children every day, and it’s not just for helping them get over a bug. Babies receive chiropractic care within hours of being born. Chiropractic care can also help young athletes get back into the game after injuries. Whether they are treated for wellness, or need help kicking an illness or getting back on the field, chiropractic treatment is highly effective for kids of all ages.

While there may be conflicting data about chiropractic’s effectiveness with conditions like ear infections and upset stomachs, the improved health of their children after a visit to the chiropractor is all the evidence parents need. Ear infections are gone in a couple of days. Swollen lymph nodes shrink. Some fevers break and go away. Happy kids are back to bouncing around the house and playing with their friends.

Many people ask why kids even need chiropractic treatment. Their bodies are so flexible and they recover so quickly all by themselves. Somehow they pop right back up after a fall that would leave most of us writhing in pain. Yet kids’ bodies face their own challenges. Children develop their immune system over many years, and they develop it through exposure to potentially harmful microbes. Going to school is not just an educational or social event. As any parent knows, the school experience is a petri dish for illnesses that kids swim in every day. The solution, however, is not always more antibiotics, heavy-duty cleaners or antibacterial soap (in fact, it may be our overuse of these products that makes diseases so hard to get rid of). The answer may be even simpler.

Ear infections are an example of how chiropractic can help children. Recurrent middle ear infections are one of the most common and painful illnesses in children. Fluid gets backed up into the space behind the eardrum and sits like a stagnant pond. This standing fluid only needs to be introduced to bacteria, and if there’s no way to flush it out, a full infection comes quickly. Most medications are designed to kill the growing bacteria, but that’s not the overall problem. The stagnant buildup of fluid in the ear is what allows the infection to fester. Get the fluid draining and the infection goes away. This is how chiropractic can help.

Using adjustments that are far gentler than those given to adults, the bones of the spine are aligned helping to reopen the eustachian tube, which drains the ear. Light massage of muscles along the head and neck relax tension of these muscles, further opening the tube. As the tube opens, the fluid drains and the infection goes away seemingly on its own. This same idea is akin to putting tubes in kids’ ears. Yet chiropractic can do it faster, cheaper and without scalpels or drugs. The same concept can be applied to a variety of other ailments.

Parents should gather all the information they can to make informed decisions. Sometimes medical intervention is the right call. For parents looking for a fast, natural and effective way of keeping their kids healthy and happy, few things are as powerful as getting them adjusted through chiropractic care.

Dr. Kevin Morford is an Edmond-based chiropractic physician, speaker and author, and serves on the faculty of Oklahoma State University. He practices at Chiropractic Now, located at 520 W. 15th St., Edmond. For more information, call 405-844-4492.

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