Month: May 2016

Chiropractic Kids & Mental Health

A study published in 1975, compared chiropractic care vs. drug treatment in children with learning and behavioral impairments due to neurological dysfunction.  It was reported that chiropractic care “was more effective for the wide range of symptoms common in neurological dysfunction syndrome.”  The author also reported that chiropractic care was 24% more effective than commonly used medications.

While chiropractors do not “treat” Add/ADHD, the effects of chiropractic care on children diagnosed with learning disorders and hyperactivity have been described in a growing body of scholarly publications.

The use of psychotropic drugs in children has exploded in recent years.  The number of prescriptions written for methylphenidate (Ritalin) has increased five fold since 1991.  The production of Adderall and Dexedrine, also used to treat ADHD, had risen by 2,000% in nine years.

Parents facing mental health issues with children should consider adding chiropractic care to their routine.  Remove nervous system interference so that the body can heal itself and improve function.  Call to set up an appointment.  We are here to help.

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Baby Carriers

In addition to chiropractic care, many parents ask me about what they can do at home to help take care of their newborn’s spine.  And also how they can reduce crying and reflux and improve happiness and sleep.  The benefits of baby carrying have been widely noted and researched.  This is something every parent can do.   Carrying a child in the upright position provides a variety of health benefits.  This does not apply to the way you should transport your child when in a vehicle.

When we look at a person from the side we see 3 main curves that help keep the spine moveable and balanced.  They absorb stresses placed on our bodies from daily activities such as walking, running and jumping.   These curves are not present at birth.  They develop gradually to adapt to gravity.  At birth, babies are curled up and the spine is a C shape.  As the neck muscles get stronger and they begin to lift their head against gravity the curve in the neck starts to develop.  This happens in the first few months.  Then as they start to crawl, the lower back curve and muscles start to develop.  This happens around 6-12 months.  Initially, when a baby is lying flat, the C curve is stretched into a straight line and causes spinal strain and can hurt the development of the hip joints.  This does not mean that if you put your baby in a stroller for a short time it is going to cause a problem, but on average, infants between 3 weeks and 3 months are only carried less than 3 hours per day.  Babies spend a lot of time in car seats, cribs and strollers.  I encourage parents to increase the amount of baby carrying time.

But what carrier is best and how do we use it?  There are many good brands of baby carriers.  Consumer Reports lists Infantino, BABYBJORN, and ERGObaby as the top three brands.  Here are three tips when selecting and using a carrier.

  1. It is important that when you use a carrier on the front of the parent that the baby is facing in towards mom or dad not out. If the baby is facing outwards their center of gravity is shifted and pressure is placed on the baby’s shoulders, chest, thighs and spine.
  2. Most carriers are designed with the wider part of the base towards the outside so when the baby is placed facing mom or dad their butt can sit in this wider part. This causes the spine to be straightened and hyperextended due to weak abdominal muscles and lack of leg support.  The baby should not face outwards until the carrier is oriented on the parent’s back, not their front.
  3. The fabric of the carrier should cover all the way to the knee to best support the legs and best position the pelvis and spine.

Children carried by a parent get to experience an ever-changing world of motion and stimulation.  They receive a lot of sensory and motor benefits for development.  Plus, children grow so fast and it is a great bonding time for parents.  If you want more information on the benefits of baby carrying please contact Dr. Brie at drkemp@livewellpgh.com.  At Live Well Chiropractic OUR job is YOUR family.

 

Brie and Dane