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Posted on 09-24-2013

INFANT CHIROPRACTIC CARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Good Morning!

The above headline appeared in the 09/20/2013 Bend, OR newspaper, The Telegraph:

Chiropractic care for infants is not necessarily new, though it has become more mainstream in recent years.

According to a study by Anthony L. Rosner for the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research, manipulation of children dates from at least 1727, when French physician Nicolas Andry coined the term “Ortho-Paedics” to depict “straightening the young.”

While some may think chiropractic treatment is just for adults with bad backs, for a large number of adults, children and babies, it’s used to help the body heal and function at an optimum level and for reducing symptoms for a variety of conditions while preventing future problems.

Dr. Katie Drake Sherer, a chiropractor with Dr. Frank Bemis and Associates in Alton, specializes in pediatric care and nutrition.

Some parents are skeptical or even a little bit nervous about chiropractic care for their child, but the truth, she said, is it’s a wonderful tool for children with a range of health issues from colic and reflux to ear and sinus infections.

“Though chiropractic care does not treat the symptoms specifically, doctors of chiropractic have found after adjusting hundreds of babies that most will respond within a short amount of time,” Sherer said.

Why does chiropractic work when other methods fail? Sherer said it’s simple. It revolves around a technical term known as vertebral subluxation.

“Nerve supply is vital to the proper function of every system of the body, including the stomach, intestines, and other abdominal organs as well as all the areas of the head and neck,” she said. “Every bone in the spine must be in motion. At every vertebral segment, a nerve exits and travels to a specific area of the body. Any vertebral subluxation causing interference to the nerves in this area could adversely affect organ function and resultin discomfort, gas or reflux in the case of colic, and decreased drainage of the sinuses and ears resulting in infections.”

But she’s quick to explain that chiropractic adjustments for children are much different than adjustments for adults. They are extremely gentle and use a very small amount of pressure.

“All children respond differently, and it’s hard to say how quickly each child will respond to care, but most take only a few adjustments,” she said. “I usually tell parents that within two weeks there should be a change in the child.”

She maintains that chiropractic treatment is safe at any age, from 1 minute old to 100-plus years, and said that children under chiropractic care have been shown to avoid catching colds and miss less days of school.

“Chiropractic is safe and gentle for any age,” she said. “However, not all chiropractors accept pediatric patients. Some specialize in certain fields from rehab to geriatric care and in my case, pediatrics. A well trained practitioner will present no risks.”

The youngest child that Sherer herself has adjusted was 2 hours old, and she first adjusted now 6-week-old Isaac Wilson when he was 3 days old.

Sherer first met Isaac’s mother, Sarah, when she came to see her for pelvic pain while pregnant. Wilson was happy with the care she received, and she and her husband, Kevin, decided they would bring their newborn baby boy for a basic wellness checkup, because, Sherer said, just the business of being born can be stressful on a baby’s spine. At around 4 weeks old, Isaac developed colic, reflux and gas. After just four gentle adjustments, he began to show improvement.

“He is so much better now,” said Sarah Wilson. “He even holds his body differently. He’s not as rigid and he smiles a lot more. We plan to continue to bring him every few weeks.”

Sherer said parents often bring their children for wellness adjustments to keep their immune systems healthy. The most common complaints for which parents seek chiropractic care are colic, gas, constipation, reflux, ear infections, sinus infections, asthma, difficulty with latching during breast feeding and torticollis (neck muscle contractions).

Megan and Dave Baiter brought their now 19-month-old son Jake to Sherer for chronic ear infections when he was 9 months old.

“He had five ear infections within five months, and we were told he needed ear tubes,” said Megan Baiter, who also sees Sherer for treatment of migraines. “We weren’t ready for him to have that surgery, and I heard that chiropractic care could help.

“We brought him to see Dr. Katie three times a week at first, and we began to see a difference,” she said. “It’s been 10 months, and Jake has not had another ear infection, and we didn’t have to get the ear tubes. We now bring him every six weeks as a preventative.”

“Truthfully, I was skeptical at first,” said Dave Baiter. “But it worked. I’m happy with our decision.”

Malinda Medford and her daughter, 2-year-old Kaden, both see Sherer for asthma. Medford’s 7-month-old son, Trey, comes to Sherer for colic. Symptoms of all three have shown a positive response.

Jill Fry said her 9-month-old daughter, Piper, was severely constipated just a few months ago.

“There were times when she wouldn’t have a bowel movement for as long as 10 days,” Fry said. “After we started coming to Dr. Katie she’s been fine.”

“Most parents also notice that after the second or third, adjustment there is a significant change in sleeping patterns, the child tends to sleep better,” Sherer said.

And, she said, chiropractic and medicine work very well together.

“There are definitely cases when a child needs to seek out the care of a pediatrician as well as receive an adjustment,” she said.

As for follow up care, she usually tells parents to watch for signs of discomfort and if any symptoms occur, they can call for an appointment, or they may choose to bring their children in for maintenance or preventative care every few weeks.

“Maintenance care is important because it helps to maintain a healthy nervous system and ensures that the joints of the spine are all moving properly” Sherer said. “If the nervous system doesn’t function correctly, the body will not function as it should.”

On a related note, Sherer specializes in the Webster technique, with the goal of reducing pelvic stress and sacroiliac subluxations in pregnant women. Attention is also given to the round ligament, which attaches the uterus to the wall of the abdomen. Making sure that the round ligament is balanced on both sides, she said, helps reduce the risk of a breech delivery.

“Many women rely on chiropractic care to reduce their pain as much as possible with a natural approach. And many women have noticed easier deliveries after receiving chiropractic care versus their first deliveries without prior care,” Sherer said. “The contraction of the uterus is more effective when the pelvis is balanced, and a faster delivery is always a good thing.

“But the birthing process is a pretty traumatic event so I would recommend an adjustment after birth no matter how smooth the delivery,” she added.

Sherer and her husband, Dr. Jacob Sherer, who is also a chiropractor at the same practice, both have a master’s degree in sports rehabilitation and an internal health specialist certification. He specializes in sports injury treatment and prevention and acupuncture. Though in general, he leaves the treatment of infants to his wife, he has strong feelings about the importance of chiropractic pediatric care.

“It is extremely important for children to develop with a solid foundation. Removing stress from the spine with chiropractic adjustments can prevent future injury and illness for any child,” he said. “Parents need to be aware that even minor trauma like a fall can affect the outcome of a child’s health, and this continues into adolescents when sports and other activities become more important parts of their lives.

“Setting a good foundation through chiropractic care at an early age can affect the rest of a child’s life,” he said.

Folks, if you haven't had your kids checked in our office for early onset of misalignments then NOW is the time!  You don't want your child to grow into those misalignments which can put them at risk for scoliosis and degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis) along with a host of other possible issues when nerves are compromised.  The Chiropractors here at WellnessOne of Redding have vast experience caring for children and would love to have a look at your precious little one.  If you or someone you know has kids that need to be checked...refer them to us for a complimentary evaluation.  

It's your future...be there healthy with WellnessOne!  Have a blessed day!

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