Chiropractic effectiveness in children has been a long standing premise in our profession, with clinical results being obtained for years. Now more than ever research is documenting both need and effectiveness of Chiropractic care in children. This research comes from both medical and chiropractic sources.
In a paper by Abraham Towbin, M.D. from the department of neuropathology, Harvard Medical School, titled Latent Spinal Cord and Brain Stem Injury in Newborn Infants, he states, “…forceful longitudinal traction during delivery when combined with flexion and torsion of the vertebral axis is thought to be the most important cause of neonatal spinal injury.” It is evident that a close relationship exists between the traction stress applied and occurrence of subluxations. He further states “…these injuries occur often during the birth process, but frequently escape diagnosis.” Modern techniques of obstetrics seem to emphasize the speed of completion of a birth often at great cost to the newborns’ cranial and cervical biomechanics.
In a study in the United States conducted By Kravitis Driessen, Comberg and Karach for the National Safety Council, it was stated: “Unfortunately, babies seem to fall head first.” Of the 536 infants involved in the study, 255 or 47.5% fell from a high place such as an adult bed, a crib or an infant dressing table during their first year of life.
In an article by Percy in the C.M.A. Journal in 1970, he reported that falls from chairs and other high places are common in young children with resulting soft tissue injuries to the neck and rotational subluxation of the first cervical vertebra.
In a presentation titled Children and Chiropractic: A Summary of Subluxation and Its Ramifications by Hinwood and Hinwood, the following is stated. Children are generally extremely active and their bodies absorb stress during movement. A child may fall, be pushed or jolted, twist or turn, outside the normal range of motion. These forceful activities can produce vertebral subluxations disturb the normal nerve reflex pathways, causing what is termed traditionally in chiropractic as “nerve interference”.
Too little attention is paid to traumatic incidents which fixate or decrease normal movement of spinal segments, causing the typical hypo-mobile subluxation or creating excessive spinal joint play with the resulting hyper-mobile subluxation. It is important here to note that some authorities feel that this trauma need only be “MICRO” (minor, ie., slips and falls, bad posture) trauma, as distinct from “MACRO” (major, ie., car accidents, falls down the stairs, off beds and changing tables) trauma.
The eminent chiropractic authority on the fixation/subluxation complex, Henry Gillet, D.C. says, “The cause or causes of these subluxations are rarely of a macro-traumatic nature. On the contrary they can be called micro-traumatic nature, that is, they are caused by the daily wear and tear of actual living.”
Children are affected by all the causes of subluxation as quoted from Reikman and Flesia, remembering that falls, accidents, jars, slips, jerks and jolts are an everyday happening in the life of the average child. Micro and macro trauma result in nerve imbalances through subluxation.
Ruth Jackson, M.D. reported that an analysis of more than five thousand patients who had symptoms referable to the cervical spine revealed that over 90% of these patients had one or more injuries to the cervical spine, either recent or remote.
A study by Von Torklas and Gehle of the University Hospital, Hamburg, Germany, has found that even in the “healthy” children, the age group under eight years shows a 40% subluxation tendency.
Gutmann, a German M.D., concluded in a paper published in 1987 in “Manuelle Medizun” that blocked nerve impulses at the upper neck cause many clinical features from central motor impairment to lower resistance infections, especially ear, nose and throat infections. He states, “Chiropractic and radiological examinations are of decisive importance for diagnosis of the syndrome.” He further states that chiropractic can often bring about amazingly successful results.
From his and other German medical studies Gutmann concludes that approximately 80% of all children are not in autonomic (nerves that run the organs) balance and that many have atlas blockage or subluxation. He has been” constantly amazed how, even with the lightest adjustment with the index finger, the clinical picture normalizes, sometimes gradually, but often immediately.
Functional disorders (fixations) of children/s spines were investigated by Lewit in 1973, and he found that these disorders were the first manifestation of vertebroginic disease. Functional disorders in children may appear as loss of appetite, sleeping problems, psychic problems and dysmenorrhea, and may not exist as spinal pain. The author found that the functional disorders did not disappear without manipulative treatment.
Maigne, the eminent French orthopedist, states that “trauma to the cervical spine and head can cause irritation to the sympathetic fibers in the cervical spine, causing such problems as headaches, vestibular troubles, auditory problems, visual disturbances, pharyngolaryngeal disturbances, vasomotor and secretional problems and psychic disturbances.” Maigne adds that manipulation of the neck achieves excellent results with many of the conditions.
Toepel writes, “We know that 30% of all children under 12 years of age seen in the orthopedic out-patient department of the University of Pennsylvania had faulty posture.” In one of the Boston hospitals, about the same time, it was stated that 44% of the children had curvatures of the spine.
This information is provided by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association www.icpa4kids.com