More and more parents are looking to chiropractic care as a complementary part of their children’s health-care needs. The American Chiropractic Association reports survey findings showing an increase of at least 8.5 percent of chiropractic patients under the age of 17. A study by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention also stated that almost 3 percent of children in the United States receive treatment with chiropractic osteopathic manipulation.
As such, chiropractic is the most prevailing type of alternative medicine employed by children. Experts concur that chiropractic care can be useful for children who suffer from spine-related ailments. Like adults, children benefit from spinal manipulation and adjustments, as well as other kinds of care that fall under the purview of chiropractic.
However, chiropractic care should work as a complementary treatment to regular pediatric care. Chiropractic care works alongside a pediatrician’s treatment, but it does not replace the role of a regular doctor. The pediatrician may prescribe medications for certain necessary conditions, and treat the patient for more serious illnesses and injuries. A pediatric chiropractor, on the other hand, is instrumental in providing preventative, supportive wellness care, as well as alternative treatment in some cases.
Some studies indicate that chiropractic care may help children with various common ailments, ranging from colic and bedwetting, to asthma and ear infections. This is in addition to back and neck pain treatment. Studies have been conducted in order to determine the value and effectiveness of pediatric chiropractic care. These studies, which showed mostly positive results, concentrated on conditions other than musculoskeletal and included issues such as tonsillitis, enuresis, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, asthma and colic.
In the case of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), chiropractors are showing results with an alternative approach to treatment that focuses on nutrition, lifestyle, and postural muscle adjustments as opposed to the regular route of medication. This is no small gain considering how prevalent prescriptions for Ritalin, a commonly prescribed medication for ADHD, have become. Americans consume 90 percent of all prescriptions for Ritalin in the world – a fact that makes many parents weary of the traditional medical approach.
The widespread labeling and use of medication to address ADHD has become controversial, with many vague, but “undesirable” symptoms falling under the umbrella of ADHD. Some skeptics have also pointed to the link between the number of disabled children in a school and the amounts of funding a school gets.
In the case of ADHD, a chiropractic doctor begins by seeing the child as a whole, and seeks to consult with the child and the parents, asking questions such as, “Is the child bored or undertaking too many activities? Does the child have dyslexia, or a different learning pattern? Is he/she experiencing problems at home or with a teacher’s style?”
This is a startling different approach to the standard, questionnaire-based evaluation for ADHD. Another criticism for the traditional treatment for ADHD is that drugs don’t cure ADHD, and that most children who are diagnosed with it still experience ADHD symptoms in later years.
Chiropractic and chiropractic neurologists provide a non-invasive, holistic treatment approach that focuses on the underlying issue a child may be experiencing, not just the surface symptoms. Chiropractic neurologists identify the malfunctioning part of the brain, and seek treatment methods to address and correct the problem. A brain function exam is used, as well as tests focused on evaluating visual and auditory reflexes.
Once the underlying problem is singled out, patients are put on a treatment program that can often be done at home. Some patients might be asked to wear special glasses, smell a certain scent, or be put into timing therapies that help with planning, organizing, and coordination. It all depends on the individual child’s needs. But the most striking element of chiropractic treatment is that it seeks to address brain activity itself, paving the way for long term results. Nutritional changes are also recommended in order to prevent biochemical imbalances that lead ADHD.
As for chiropractic spinal manipulation, the treatment itself is sophisticated and individually tailored; the treatment for children is also extremely gentle. Doctors of chiropractic employ an active, drug-free method of health care, which includes patient examination, diagnosis, and subsequent treatment. Most parents claim their children receive the benefits of improved health by regularly visiting a chiropractor, and their children enjoy their chiropractic visits and adjustments.
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