What Do Children’s Ear Infections, Bedwetting, and Asthma Have in Common?

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Chiropractic care has been active in the United States for over 100 years. The science behind chiropractic has evolved and studies have been able to prove comparison results between common medical care and traditional chiropractic care. Studies began producing conclusive evidence as early as the 1980’s in regards to the positive impact chiropractic’s has on children and their immune system, tissues, and neural health. Here are some highlights from various studies published in the chiropractic and medical communities:

-One study compared medical and chiropractic health care models, focusing particularly on ear infection rates in the children. 69% of the chiropractic group of children reported as being ear infection “free”, while the medical children only reported 20% numbers. A 2004 study took 21 children with acute inflammation of the inner ear and bulging ear drums coupled with an internal temperature over 100 degrees F and applied chiropractic adjustments. Post adjustment numbers showed that the bulging ear drum was reversed in 95% of the children and internal body temp returned to an average of 98.7 degrees F.

-Bedwetting is an embarrassing accident for a child to have. Parents often worry that there might be a medical concern that needs to be addressed. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to reduce the problem and in fact, often correct it all together. A 1994 study of 46 children received chiropractic care for a 10-week period. A quarter of those children receiving chiropractic care had 50% or more reduction in the wet night frequency, while none among the control group saw a reduction. A 1991 study took children with a history of persistent bed-wetting and they received eight chiropractic adjustments. Number of wet nights fell from seven per week to four. In a 1994 JMPT article, a study stated that the lumbar spine of an eight-year-old male bed wetter was adjusted once and at a one-month follow-up. There was a complete resolution of enuresis. “This happened in a manner that could not be attributed to time or placebo effect.”

-Colic in infants is not only stressful on the child, but also the parents. In a small 1999 study tracking 50 infants medical versus chiropractic outcomes were compared for colic. Half received the drug dimethicone and the other spinal manipulation. At the conclusion of the two-week study, the babies being adjusted saw a 67% reduction in crying and the drug therapy group saw a 38% reduction. Another study of 316 infants suffering from infantile colic showed positive results with chiropractic care in 94% of the cases. The results occurred within 2 weeks and after an average of 3 visits.

-Suboccipital Strain (neck strain) from the birthing process was first acknowledged in the 1960’s by Dr. Towbin. Since then several studies have been published including one in the 1999 Manual Medicine by Dr. Biederman in which 600 babies were treated for suboccipital strains. The main symptoms included torticollis, fever of unknown origin, loss of appetite, swelling of one side of the facial soft tissues, asymmetric development of skull, crying when the mother tried to change the child’s position, and extreme sensitivity of the neck when touched. Most patients required one to three adjustments before returning to normal.

-SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome has been a concern for parents and medical professionals alike. A study published in Forensic Science International 2002 followed 695 infants between 1 – 12 months of age who were given upper cervical (neck) chiropractic adjustments if they exhibited posture & motion disturbances in the upper neck. 47% of infants demonstrated a change in heart rate compared to control conditions. Apnea caused by heart rate abnormalities (often due to upper cervical vertebrae misalignments) are thought to contribute to SIDS deaths, leading the authors to recommend that newborns be evaluated for chiropractic adjustments.

-Asthma has become more prevalent in today’s society than ever before. Parents of asthmatic children can attest to the negative side effects and impact it has on the child’s life. Children themselves can articulate the challenges they face due to their asthma. Published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research 1997, a study conducted was an impairment rating analysis of 81 asthmatic children before and 2 months after chiropractic care. Significantly lower impairment rating scores (improvement in symptoms) were reported for 90% of the subjects. In addition, 31% of the children voluntarily decreased their dosage of medication by an average of 66.5% while under chiropractic care.

These studies highlight just a few of the health concerns of today’s children. They are a great example of the natural benefits that the chiropractic community can have on the younger age groups across the world. Beginning chiropractic care at the infant age level can prevent many common ailments and problems that could arise without. For more information, contact your chiropractor and ask them what other input they have for you!