Jun 24 2016
Chiropractic care is important for the proper development and growth of children
When we think of chiropractic care, rarely does the thought of adjustments for children come to mind, but chiropractic is a vital way to ensure health, growth, function, and optimal growth for children of all ages – including toddlers, babies and even newborns. In fact, infancy and the first years of life are the most effective time for a person to receive chiropractic adjustments, alleviating jammed or misaligned vertebrae segments that cause spinal problems or subluxations. That’s why more than 30 million children benefit from chiropractic adjustments every year, with a stellar safety record and a patient satisfaction rating of approximately 84% – compared with one incredibly lower for traditional medicine.
Why chiropractic care is important for children
The basis of chiropractic focuses on the essential relationship between the spine and a person’s nervous system. Since the nervous system controls and coordinates all of the body’s important systems, organs, and cells, misalignments and dysfunction in the spine can cause interference in the nervous system, leading to a host of health issues. But chiropractors are trained to restore true alignment, allowing the body to heal, develop, and function naturally. Of course that’s true for children and infants just as much as grown adults – if not more, as we’ll see.
Children not only benefit from chiropractic care, they often desperately need it, as trauma to their spines and subsequent disruptions to their nervous systems are common in the early years.
There are several major reasons for nervous system disruption in children, toddlers, and newborns:
In utero position
Even before they are born, a fetus’ developing spine is placed in a stressful position in utero. The same positions that cause problem with labor – like brow, breech, transverse, posterior, ascynclitic, etc. – can result in problems for the baby’s spine and stress on the nervous system.
One of the most physically traumatic experiences a child suffers can be the birth process, itself. During the birth, the fragile spine can become twisted, torqued or compressed, and a doctor’s use of forceps, vacuums, or even their hands can cause misalignments and distortions that manifest in the nervous system.
Anyone who’s watched a toddler or young child for more than 5 minutes is shocked by the nonstop parade of falls, spills, jolts, bumps, and acrobatics they endure. We always remark how tough kids are, but these falls and accidents can build up, creating trauma to the spine that will cause more serious developmental and health problems as they get older.
There are a litany of stressors that can lead to spinal trauma and interference in the nervous system for developing youth, including physical, chemical and emotional stressors, as well as environmental factors from home, school, or at school with other children. Even carrying backpacks and schoolbooks that are too heavy could do damage.
Athletics and play
Children play hard, and bumps, bruises, falls, and injuries on the playground, recess, or while playing athletics can all have an impact on a young person’s still-developing spine and nervous system.
Sometimes, a parent can spot the symptoms of a child’s spinal misalignment or nervous system disruption. They may notice that the child’s head usually tilts to one side, their head or neck movement is restricted to one side, the child sleeps only a couple hours at a time, and the tendency to nurse on one predominant side for infants.
As children develop through their first years, they may exhibit other symptoms that are harder to spot or attribute to a spinal problem, or just deemed normal for kids.
They could include:
Prolonged or recurring illness
Visual and auditory disturbances
Furthermore, difficulty with developmental milestones like sitting up, crawling or walking are a sign that the spine is a good reason to bring a child to the chiropractor.
So how can a chiropractor help children and babies?
When you bring your children in for a consultation, the first thing we’ll do is a very thorough evaluation, followed by an examination of your child’s spine that is totally comfortable for them. If we identify issues, adjustments will be made gently and with specific techniques that are safe and appropriate for children and even infants. With babies, sometimes it only takes a light fingertip’s pressure to gently correct a spinal misalignment, restoring proper nervous system function.
Is it safe?
Yes. Chiropractic care for children and infants has been practiced for more than 100 years with an exemplary track record of safety for both adults and young ones. In fact, a check of some of the largest insurance carriers that provide malpractice insurance coverage for chiropractors in the United States reveals not even one claim resulting from an injury to a child in the past five years. The vast majority of children won’t suffer any discomfort, and even if there is a notable sensation it is just because an area is already misaligned or interrupted, and a feeling of relief follows after realignment.
When should you bring your child to the chiropractor?
Due to the traumas and stresses from time in-utero and birth, it’s best to bring a baby to see us as soon as possible, even checking their spine right after birth. The earlier we find and clear any misalignments and nervous system interference, the more benefits they’ll see with development, growth, and future health.
Chiropractors like Dr. Casazza who specialize in performing adjustments on children and infants use gentle, proven, non-invasive methods that are tailored to each patient, so please feel free to contact us any time so we can discuss it more.
Sep 23 2016
Why don’t many Indigenous cultures suffer back pain?
If you’re like most Americans, then you suffer back pain at some point in your life. Maybe you’re part of the 33% of the population that is afflicted by chronic back pain, or the 50% of working Americans that feel a twinge, ache or pull in their back or neck each year. In fact, it’s one of the most prevalent ailments and exacts a huge toll in lost productivity, sick days, loss of quality of life, strain on relationships, and other health problems. While chiropractic care should be on the front line of treating back pain, too often the traditional medical establishment pushes highly addictive painkillers and risky surgeries.
But back pain is just a part of life and getting older, right? Believe it or not, back pain isn’t necessarily an inherent condition for all human beings. Incredibly, research now reveals that plenty of indigenous cultures throughout the world suffer little or no back pain!
Not only do people of these cultures experience almost no troublesome or chronic back pain, but research shows that the discs in their spines display very little signs of degeneration as they age, as well.
This epiphany started when a woman named Esther Gokhale from Palo Alto, California was stricken with her own debilitating back pain. For two decades, she consulted doctors, was on prescriptions and had surgeries, but none of it seemed to help. So when doctors urged her to have yet another risk or even dangerous spinal procedure, she look abroad for answers.
What she found was that many people from Indigenous cultures around the world suffered little or no back pain. She traveled all over the globe for the next ten years studying how these people stood, walked, worked and rested, as well as other diet, fitness and lifestyle factors. What she found was remarkable:
“I have a picture in my book of these two women who spend seven to nine hours everyday, bent over, gathering water chestnuts,” Gokhale says. “They’re quite old. But the truth is they don’t have a back pain.”
From Ubong tribesmen in Borneo to indigenous tribes in India; from the mountain tribes of Ecuador to villagers in West Africa and natives to tiny fishing towns in Portugal, she found that these people’s spines were essentially a different shape than most people in the west and America.
People in these indigenous cultures had spines that were shaped more like the letter “J” with a straight drop from neck to base and then a natural curve at the buttocks. Conversely, if you look at the typical American spine, they are usually shaped more like the letter “S” with a hump or curvature at the top of the back, too.
“They have this regal posture, and it’s very compelling” Gokhale said.
After taking note and comparing many other factors, Gokhale found that people with this J-Shaped spine rarely suffered back pain. But it’s not that these indigenous cultures had something different – it was the typical American spine that had changed over the decades. When she looked at anatomical drawings from Leonardo da Vinci or a Gray’s Anatomy book from 1901, she found that spines didn’t have that S-shape then, either, but were closer to the J-shape indigenous cultures now display.
It seems that a J-shaped spine is the natural and healthier human form.
“The J-shaped spine is what you see in Greek statues. It’s what you see in young children. It’s good design,” Gokhale says.
So what has changed with our western or American spines that is causing so much back pain and discomfort?
Further research concluded that a sedentary lifestyle, as we sit at desks and in car seats and office chairs and the like far more, could be a major reason why our spines are more S-shaped now. The lack of physical labor, mobility, and even recent phenomenon like “Text Neck” from people looking down at their smart phones so much are also contributors to reshaping our spines – for the worse.
While Gokhale’s research was comprehensive, it was mostly anecdotal, and there hasn’t been a real scientific or medical study into this theory of natural J-shaped spines among indigenous. But that doesn’t mean that scientists aren’t interested.
“I’d like to go and take X-rays of indigenous populations and compare it to people in the Western world,” says Dr. Praveen Mummaneni, a neurosurgeon at the University of California, San Francisco’s Spine Center. “I think that would be helpful.”
Mummaneni believes that it’s actually stronger abdominal muscles in indigenous and more active natural cultures that grant them perfect posture and protect their spines from back pain and acute degeneration.
But for most Americans, that strong physical culture has been replaced by sedentary one and overeating – and that means a lot of extra weight and belly fat, resulting in an S-shaped spine.
“If you have a lot of fat built up in the belly, that could pull your weight forward. That could curve the spine,” notes Mummaneni. “I think the sedentary lifestyle promotes a lack of muscle tone and a lack of postural stability because the muscles get weak. And people who are thinner probably have less curvature.”
It looks like getting back to basics with correct posture, a healthy diet, active lifestyle with lots of exercise, and regular chiropractic care can replicate the conditions of these indigenous cultures and result in a straighter, healthier spine without regular back pain.
If you’re suffering from back pain or any other discomfort in your back, neck or limbs, contact us to find out more!
By Norm Schriever • Chiropractic Treatments, General Health News, Health and Wellness, Pain Management, Uncategorized • Tags: Back pain, back pain relief, chiropractic Sacramento, chiropractor Sacramento, indigenous cultures and back pain, neck pain