Keeping kids regularly adjusted helps us keep their bodies functioning well before they start to show any signs of dysfunction.
upper cervical spine
Research has shown connections of the nuchal ligament and the dura mater between the occiput and first vertebra as well as to the rectus posterior capitis minor muscles. These muscles as well as other structures innervated by cervical nerves 1,2, and 3 can be pain generators and these things continue to be investigated as to what their role could be in cervicogenic headache. I find this area of research very interesting. Many chiropractors I know who spend a lot of time working with infants incorporate craniosacral therapy because of it's effectiveness in releasing tension on the dural system by restoring normal motion to cranial bones. Chiropractic like most alternative medicine treatments suffers because the ability to do a double blind study is very hard and cause and effect can be hard to establish. However further research in this area could help us better understand the relief that can occur by re-establishing normal biomechanics to this important area of the body.
A case of shared care
Joint dysfunction can be painful at any age. Last year one of my 3 year old patients started complaining of foot pain, pain that would make him cry and he asked his mom to rub his leg and foot. His mother took him to their naturopath who s took an x-ray and concluded that nothing had been broken but they weren't sure what to do other than rest the foot. When Mom asked about taking him to the chiropractor the ND said absolutely! When he presented to my office the physical exam did not show any signs of a traumatic injury but I found decreased range of motion at the talocrural joint as well as the second and third metatarsalphalangeal joints, some tenderness with palpation at those joints, and no significant history of changes in footwear or accidents. I adjusted his foot and ankle; his range of motion was reestablished at the end of the visit but the joints still felt boggy so a small piece of kinesio tape was applied to the dorsum of the foot and I set up to follow up with them at the end of the week. He and Mom reported no further incidence of pain in the foot. I sent a report to the naturopath so they knew his pain had been resolved.
research on adverse effects
My wish for all medical providers is greater transparency so individuals can make better choices for themselves. Chiropractic care is non-invasive which means the risk of adverse reactions is small which makes it a great option for a conservative trial of treatment. Here are some papers that looked closely at my field.
+Carnes et al did a systematic review of AE and manual therapy (MT) in all age groups (8 prospective cohort studies, 31 RCTs). Found no reports of serious or catastrophic AE. Authors concluded “The risk of major AE with MT is low... the relative risk of AE appears greater with drug therapy...”
Carnes D, Mars TS, et al: Adverse events and manual
therapy: A systematic review. Manual Therapy 2010;15(4):355-363.
+ Bourgeois et al examined data from children seeking
medical care for an adverse drug event (ADE) during an 11-year period in the U.S. (1995-2005). Findings: the mean annual number of ADE-related visits was 585,922, of which 131,142 were ER visits. Children 0-4 years accounted for highest number of visits:
○ 43% of all ADE visits involved this age group.
○ 13.2 ADEs per 1,000 children given rx in this age group.
○ Most frequently implicated drug in this age group -
Bourgeois FT, Mandl KD et al. Pediatric Adverse Drug Events in the Outpatient Setting: An 11-Year National Analysis Pediatrics 2009;124;e744-e750. www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/full/124/4/e744
standard of care
Most chiropractors I know who have had additional training or classes to work with kids and infants agree that treating kids is a privilege. By keeping our fee schedules the same for patients of all ages we honor that each person gets our best care, attention, and treatment no matter their age or presentation.