Month: January 2017

Analyze Your Child’s Posture

When most people think of chiropractors they think of back issues and posture.  While we help patients with a variety of health areas, we absolutely help with back and posture issues.  Children don’t experience the same pains as an adult.  As an adult we earn our pains over years of trauma both physical and emotional.  We experience our pains as dull aches, soreness, spasms, cramps, sharp stabs.  We do repetitive activities for years to create layers and layer of damage (work duties, family duties, same hobbies, same sleeping position).  For children, the pain receptors aren’t as well developed so that is why your kid can fall or bump into a wall and bounce off and keep going.  In any person, pain is only a small portion of the nerves, about 10%, so it is easy for someone to have a problem without having pain.

One quick way to assess spinal health is to look at posture.  Looking at someone straight on, from the front we should see a level head, level shoulders and level hips.  From the side we should see the ears over the shoulders and shoulders over the hips.  We should be balanced and upright with only minor changes.  The body is good at compensating so these changes are the way the body deals with stressors and trauma.  Chiropractic corrects which the body cannot do alone.

In children who are not standing yet, we analyze the spine by looking at range of motion in the head.  Do they nurse equally from both breasts?  Can they turn in both directions?  When they are in the car seat or swing does their head flop to one side or stay centered?  Are their hips rotated?  Are there flat spots on the skull?  We also look at crawl pattern, bowel movement frequency, sleep habits, and primitive reflexes.  Primitive reflexes are something we are born with but they should go away as we age and our higher centers of brain function develop.  If we retain these reflexes then we know there is a neurologic issue with development.  One example of a primitive reflex is the grasp reflex where a child will grab your finger if you place it in their hand.  There are several that we check.

Last week I had a 3 year old boy brought into my office by his mother.  She noticed that his head was severely tilted to one side and he wouldn’t turn his head on that side.  He would turn his whole body and hold his head still.  When asked if he had pain he would point to his neck.  She did not recall any trauma.  An exam revealed a spinal misalignment of the second cervical bone which controls most of our rotation.  It also controls nervous system connections to the sinuses and the eyes and the scalp.

The posture exam revealed a severe head tilt to one side.  His ear was almost to his shoulder.  When asked to turn to that side he would rotate his body at the waist instead of the neck.  When I put a little pressure on the area he would flinch and pull my hand away.  Chiropractic treatment is very gentle and the amount of force is based on the person’s size so for a small child it is very light.  He did great with his treatment and after one visit his range of motion and posture were greatly improved.  He LOVES coming to the office and at night he excitedly asks his mom if “tomorrow do I go to Dr. Brie’s?” I love to see his big smile when I walk into the room.  He is feeling good, moving well, and playing like every child should.  Had mom not paid attention to the posture change she may have not gotten him help until an ear infection or sinus problem or balance issue showed up.

Check your child or bring them into the office for an evaluation.  www.livewellpgh.com 724-940-3900

#chiropracticforlife #posturepointers #choose2livewell

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Chiropractic for Constipation

My last blog focused on poop so I figured it was naturally a good follow up to discuss what happens when there is a lack of poop.  Constipation.  Late last year I had a patient referred into my office for constipation.  The patient is 3 years old and had been having only 1 bowel movement a week for several weeks.  She would cry because the pain of pooping was extreme, she would avoid having bowel movements for fear of pain and the parents were forced to use enemas.  This is devastating for a child and equally stressful for a parent.  After one adjustment she was having a bowel movement every 3-4 days, after the next it was every 2-3 days and after just a handful of treatments she was having daily bowel movements.  I love when she comes into the office with a big smile and says “I pooped!”  She is no longer afraid, no longer having pain and is back to being her playful self. The parents’ stress level is dramatically reduced.  The family was referred to my office by a friend and former patient.  Imagine if that hadn’t happened?  What colon issues were being created?  How was the stress affecting sleep?  How was the stress affecting the parents and their relationship?  What are the long term effects of medications and enemas?  What other issues were arising from holding toxins in her body vs. excreting them?  What about social and emotional stress?

Why do these complaints respond to Chiropractic care?

Chiropractic is not condition specific.  The goal is not to “treat” the constipation.  The goal is to make sure the body no longer has blockages in functioning.  A fully functioning body will be able to perform the task of having regular bowel movements to rid the body of waste.  Adjustments are used to structurally optimize the spine which reflects nervous system function.  Think of a garden hose that has a kink in it.  How well does the water flow out?  Same disruption happens when the spine is “kinked” by being out of alignment.  The nervous system is like the electrical system of the body.  The brain’s job is too gather sensory information, assess the situation and then transmit a proper response.  If the system is hindered then the proper response will not be sent and ultimately the body will have dysfunction (constipation, diarrhea, cramping, pain, etc.)

#bowelmovementsforthewin #chirokidsarehealthykids #poopingproblems #choose2livewell

Do you know a child who suffers from digestive issues?  Send them to the office today.  724-940-3900

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Parents Know Poop #chiropractickids #knowyourcolors

Never in my life have I thought about, talked about, or studied poop more than once my son was born.  Most of this discussion will focus on the bowel movements of a breastfed baby so remember that diapers of a breastfed baby can vary compared to a formula fed baby.  Many new parents become concerned when they see their child’s diapers and the colors of poop vary.  It is just one of the many things that we are unsure about and have never experienced.  Most of the time a slight change in color or consistency is normal and not concerning, just like in an adult, however there are a few things that parents should be making note of.

In the first 5 days after birth, your child’s poop is going to change in color from black to yellow.  Baby’s first poop is black and sticky. This is called meconium and it is odorless because until the intestines contain bacteria there is nothing to make poop stinky.  That doesn’t last long because bacteria starts to build with the first feeding.  Some babies will pass meconium while still in the uterus, usually as a result of an infection or a difficult delivery.  This is dangerous because the baby can aspirate the meconium and get a lung disease. Babies should have their first bowel movement sometime in the first 24 hours.  If it takes longer than this, doctors may start to look for problems such as intestinal blockages, an underdeveloped anus, or stool that is stuck, called a meconium plug.

By day 3 or 4 poop should turn a greenish color.  Then by day 5 it should be yellow.  Breastfed babies usually have bowel movements that are watery with little whitish seedy-looking bits. It is often described as mustard.  Formula-fed babies may have less watery stool, usually pasty in consistency and yellow or tan in color. Many parents get concerned if they see the stool is green rather than yellow but all earth tones are fine, from yellow to green to brown.

Parents should make note of 3 color changes- red, white and bright green.

Red: While blood in a baby’s stool may simply be the result from mom’s nipples bleeding, it’s always wise to have a doctor check the baby out.  Blood can be an indicator of illness, injury or allergies.

White: Poop the color of clay can be a sign of serious liver disease

Green:  The occasional green poop is not unusual in the breastfed baby but consistent green bowel movements are not normal for a breastfed baby. Most of the time, green poop is not a cause for serious concern.  It can indicate an imbalance of foremilk/hindmilk and mom may need to keep baby on one side longer for feedings. More serious, and fairly common, is bright green poop that is due to a sensitivity to something in the mother’s diet, most often dairy products.  Viral infections/colds can create mucusy green poop. Teething, eating large amounts of green foods and starting solids are also common causes.

Babies should have 6-8 wet diapers, ideally half wet and half bowel movements.  After the first 1-2 days you should not notice any orange or red urine.

Baby should not go more than 24 hours without a wet diaper.

As a parent you will have many dinner conversations regarding poop.  When was the last BM?  Was it big?  Was it solid?  And you will discuss the change as baby moves to solid foods and bowel movements get more solid and more stinky.  You will undoubtedly get poop on you at some point.  Have to use ninja maneuvers to get your child out of their onesie after an explosion.  But you will figure it out and before you know it you will have superparent powers and be able to analyze them, clean them, change them, and discard that diaper before that little hand even tries to sneak down to grab a fist full.