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Chiroblog

The Importance of Movement in Childhood Development

Posted: October 15, 2019
By: Chris Johnson, intern, & Dr. R

It's a common trend in schools across the country: physical education classes are being cut and recess hours reduced. Young children are increasingly expected to sit still at their desks for entire school days. Even at home kids often spend hours each day in front of a television, computer, or phone. This is happening even as more and more research shows just how important movement is to the developing child, and how development can be stunted when children don't learn to move correctly.

What many parents don't realize is that movement skills and mental skills grow together. Each is affected by, and dependent on, the other. For example, the earliest signs of an autism spectrum disorder are often abnormal movement skills. These often include things like incorrect crawling patterns, and this is why it is so important to make sure your child is meeting their milestones. 

However, movement is a concern even for children who seem to be developing normally. While frequency of physical activity is very important, scientific studies have also linked the quality of movement skills to increased academic performance as well as improved mental health. That's why it is also crucial to have your child's movement patterns evaluated. Kids in our office are always checked to be sure that their movements are progressing normally. When faulty movements are found, exercises can be given to teach your child the proper movements, ensuring that their development continues normally and they develop the skills they need to thrive. This goes for children in school as well as infants who are have trouble rolling, crawling or walking. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31525169 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24290387 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31289454 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31586434 


Why the Activator Method chiropractic care is so effective

Posted: October 8, 2019
By: Grace Shiach,intern, and Dr. R

The Activator Method is a device-assisted form of performing a chiropractic adjustment. The Activator Method is one of the most widely-researched chiropractic techniques, and the only instrument adjusting technique with 23 clinical trials to support its efficacy. Activator Methods has published hundreds of clinical and scientific peer-reviewed papers, worked with major academic research institutions, and received grants from recognized entities like the National Institute of Health. 

Chiropractic adjustments involve applying forces at specific spinal levels to release the tension caused by a misaligned segment. It was shown that the Activator is able to provide 1mm of movement to a spinal segment where as a manual adjustment was shown to only  deliver 2% of the total force to the target tissue. The Activator is able to provide an adjustment up to 300 times faster than a manual adjustment, which results in the ability to deliver a gentler adjustment over a smaller area in order to more properly move the bones to promote healing. 

Dr. Rubin used more manual adjustment techniques for the first 15 years of his practice until he found the Activator Methods in 2001.  Over the next several years, he began taking post doctoral classes in Activator Methods and in 2008 earned the Advanced Proficiency Rating from Activator, which was a grueling written, oral and practical exam.  He has published several research papers on the effectiveness of Activator and enjoys using this adjusting tool on children and adults.  

https://www.activator.com/research/ 

http://bit.ly/2RysVLv 


Lyme Disease & PANDAS

Posted: October 7, 2019
By: Young Han, intern and Dr. Rubi

     In North America, Lyme disease is the most common insect-borne infectious disease with a whopping number of 300,000 cases reported a year [1].  A tick infected with Borrelia burgdorferi transfers bacteria through its bite to a human after being attached for 24 hours or more, and initially causes fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans [2].  This is why it is so important to do a ‘tick check’ if your child has been playing in wooded areas, since the quicker you remove the tick, the less likely they are to receive the infection.  If the Lyme is allowed to stay in the body, chronic symptoms such as joint pain, heart issues, stomach and sleep challenges, and multiple other nervous system and behavioral problems can occur.  Lyme disease can be devastating in its attack on a person with a weakened immune system

     Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Strep, also known as PANDAS for short, is also a condition on the rise and worth paying attention to.  This condition is ultimately caused by Strep bacterial infection, but interestingly the real problem is that the antibodies created by the body become “cross-reactive” and attack normal brain cells.  This may cause Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), tics, and other neuropsychiatric symptoms [3]. 

     Both of these conditions can create serious neuropsychiatric issues for pediatric patients.  Many parents say, “this isn’t my kid” in response to how different they become when affected by Lyme or PANDAS.  So how can chiropractic help patients with these conditions?  Chiropractic adjustments reduce vertebral subluxations, a condition which disturbs one’s nervous system by interrupting communication between the brain and the body. With each corrective adjustment, the brain receives and executes more properly through a “traffic-free” nervous system, and this would be crucial for children with infection-based diseases like PANDAS and Lyme disease.  After antibodies wipe out bacteria from the system, new and correct redirection from the brain can be achieved with chiropractic care helping to rebuild the nervous system. Chiropractic is neuroplasticity in action! 

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3548099/ 
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/index.html
  3. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/pandas/index.shtml

 


Eye Movements and Childhood Development

Posted: October 4, 2019
By: Chris Johnson, intern, & Dr. D

                  Nearly every child will have its vision checked at some point. You’re probably familiar with the traditional test, in which children are asked to read the letters on a poster from across the room. While this is a great way to screen kids for vision problems that might require glasses, you might be surprised to learn that many eye issues can go undetected during this typical screening. This is because many of the issues- such as the ability to focus the eyes on one spot, or to follow moving objects- are not really problems with the eye at all. Often, an imbalance in brain activity is to blame. These imbalances are especially common in children who are struggling developmentally, academically or behaviorally.

                  One of the best examples of this connection is seen in dyslexic children. Dyslexia, which is a difficulty with reading, was once something of a mystery to doctors. Recent research has shown that not only do some kids have trouble processing the words that they read, but often their eyes are actually unable to smoothly follow the words on a page. Instead, their eyes may jerk slightly back and forth, making the words nearly impossible to understand. No wonder so many of these kids tire out and are frustrated when trying to read. But there’s good news: Just like a muscle, “weak” areas of the brain can be strengthened with practice. Often, simple exercises can be performed at home to help strengthen any underactive areas of the brain. That’s why all children in our office are screened for problems with eye movements.

                  And there’s more good news! More research has shown the power of chiropractic care to help kids normalize brain and eye function! Chiropractic adjustments can help remove irritation from the nervous system and provide the stimulation needed to form strong connections in the brain. This is just one more reason that all children should be regularly checked by a chiropractor.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31407599

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31488747

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Carrick+FR%5BAuthor%5D+blind+spot


Sugar's Affects on your Child's Brain

Posted: August 7, 2019
By: Alyssa Quimby, intern, & Dr. D

Did you know what excess sugar does not only have a negative impact on your child’s cardiac health and waistline, but there are some recent studies on how sugar can negatively impact your child’s brain and memory function??

A study done by the University of Southern California found that a large amount of sugary drinks consumed during childhood will cause metabolic imbalances and have negative impacts on short term memory capabilities in adulthood. Another study conducted at UCLA on rats in 2012, showed that the more fructose the rats consumed, the slower the brain function and brain activity. Sugar causes inflammation in the brain, and this inflammation slows down cognitive function. Over time, this decreased cognitive function will negatively impact a person’s ability to focus and their ability to form memories. 

With extreme levels of sugar consumption, it can actually cause interferences with the neurotransmitters in the brain and these neurotransmitters are responsible for stabilizing moods. Without the ability to stabilize mood, this can lead to depression or anxiety symptoms in children. In a brain imaging study, elevated blood glucose dramatically impacts someone’s ability to process emotion. This can even be shown to impact healthy young people’s brains. A study in 2017 published in Scientific Journals, found that those with higher sugar consumption were 23% more likely to be diagnosed with a mental disorder than those with lower sugar intake.

So how much is too much?? Any added sugars consumed over 4 tablespoons per day is considered unhealthy for children. To put this in perspective, the average adult in America eats approximately 22 tablespoons of added sugars everyday! Try supplementing those sugar cravings with fresh fruit to give the brain the glucose it needs to function optimally without going overboard!  Or sweeten with healthier options like agave, evaporated cane juice, or maple syrup.  

http://www.aoafamily.com/blog/how-sugar-affects-a-childs-brain/

https://www.verywellmind.com/how-sugar-affects-the-brain-4065218

https://drdina.ca/how-sugar-affects-childrens-brains/


Stones that Align with the Sun

Posted: July 24, 2019
By: Alyssa Quimby, intern, & Dr. D

 

Stonehenge was put up in the center of this historical site in central England in about 2500 BC. There is an important significance on how the stones were aligned. Researchers believe that the stones were more than just a temple, but actually served as an astronomical calendar. There were carefully positioned in relation to the sun’s solstices. This careful alignment could not have been accidental, since the sun’s rising happens in different directions at different latitudes. So this alignment must have been very precisely calculated and the concept of alignment became fundamental to the design of Stonehenge. Not only were the stone’s alignment extremely important, but the physical site was purposely chosen by people who were knowledgeable in astronomy and where the sun rose and set at the time of each solstice. 

 The primary alignment at Stonehenge is called the Avenue. This is where the light from both the winter and summer solstice line up perfectly through the stones which makes for the breathtaking view you see above.

Alignment was the most crucial thing to make this phenomenon possible. It was well thought out and took time to execute. Alignment should be a crucial part in all of our lives. Not only it is important to have your spine aligned so that your brain and nerve system can work at its optimum potential, but to also have your lives aligned. Aligned to your core values, principles, lifestyle, beliefs. Your life will just as phenomenal as Stonehenge when you put in the time and effort to be ALIGNED! 

https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/history-and-stories/history/research/

http://www.arthistoryresources.net/stonehenge/archaeoastronomy.html

http://www.stonehenge-tours.com/blog.Astronomical-Alignments-at-Stonehenge.html


Nursing Issues with Newborns?

Posted: March 4, 2019
By: Dr. Drew Rubin and Dan Traxler

Breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural phenomena between a mother and her child. As ICPA director Dr. Jeane Ohm states “Significant research shows that from a nutritional, immunological, digestive, neurological, developmental, mental, psychological and emotional standpoint, there is no replacement”. The physical latch of the baby onto the mother’s breast itself is natural and incredible. Yet just because something is simple, natural, and beautiful does not mean problems don’t arise. Occasionally there can be issues with nursing and latching that can be due to a wide variety of factors. Without a proper latch, the baby will not be able to get the milk he or she needs, which can lead to not enough weight gain. An improper latch can also create cracked and painful nipples for the mother, which perpetuates the cycle of poor milk supply and malnutrition. This post aims to hit some of the most common problems we hear about with nursing/latching in our office. If you are someone who is having some of these issues or issues that are not discussed in this post, know that it is important to consult with your doctor or lactation consultant.

Fussy Baby - There can be a variety of reasons a baby is fussy. A baby’s only way of audible communication with the world is to fuss and cry. This can indicate tiredness, hunger, or overstimulated among other things.

Sleepy Baby - It is common for newborns to spend their time sleeping when they aren’t feeding. If your baby doesn’t wake to feed, try waking him/her every 2 to three hours by talking, changing their diaper, or holding him/her in a different position. Try massaging your breast gently, known as hand expressing, and the baby will most likely wake up and swallow. Also try gently stroking under the baby’s chin.

Tongue Tie-  Latest research has shown that up to 10% of children born today have tongue tie, or an extra thick piece of flesh under the tongue called the frenulum.  This thickened frenulum presents extra challenges in getting the child to latch properly since they cannot get their tongue fully out of their mouths.  This in turn affects the newborn’s cranial and upper neck so chiropractic and cranial adjustments can be beneficial for the baby.    

Flat/Inverted Nipples - If the baby is unable to get the entire nipple and areola in their mouth it can be difficult to form the suction to draw milk out of the breast. Some babies do not have a problem with inverted nipples, while to others it can present a problem. You can try breast pumping for a few minutes before nursing to draw out and lengthen your nipple, or talk to your doctor about a nipple shield.

Painful Breast- If a clogged duct persists or there is a damaged nipple or mastitis (breast inflammation), there can be redness and swelling in an area around the nipple. There are a number of home remedies for mastitis including placing cleaned dry cabbage leaves around your breast during the day, massaging, gentle heat, and boosting your immune system with chiropractic adjustments and/or vitamin C to help fight the inflammation. If the problem lasts for more than 24 hours, or you develop a fever, then consult your doctor or midwife.

Spitting Up after Feeding - Most babies spit up after feeding, and might be a sign that they slightly over ate or had gas during their feed. There is a difference between a “happy spitter” and an “unhappy spitter”. If your baby spits up once or twice and remains happy, doesn’t seem distressed and continues to gain weight then they are a “happy spitter”. If the baby seems distressed or extra fussy, or does not continuously gain weight or loses weight, or projectile spits then they would be an “unhappy spitter”. This might be reflux and often indicates they might benefit from chiropractic care as well as a change in their diet.

Nursing can be wonderful and it is not always easy. Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask questions if anything comes up or you would like to learn more about your nursing experience with your child. It is a learning process for both mother and baby. Many latching problems can be resolved with a few simple adjustments, but should anything persist make sure to reach your doctor, midwife, or lactation consultant. With some help, you can turn your breastfeeding challenges into a breastfeeding success.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25381293

http://icpa4kids.org/Chiropractic-Research/chiropractic-resolves-breastfeeding-difficulties-in-infant.html

http://bit.ly/2pKjD2t

http://bit.ly/2ym6qkn 

 

 


Technology as a new cause of subluxation

Posted: March 4, 2019
By: Dr. Drew Rubin and Krista Fran

The causes of subluxation have been described as the three T’s ever since 1910 when D.D. Palmer, the founder of chiropractic, identified them as thoughts, traumas and toxins. As the world around us changes it seems we have a new T to be introduced into the mix, technology.

It is easy for people to grasp the concept of how physical traumas can cause subluxations, or misalignments in the spine. Forceful injuries or falls and car accidents are obviously traumatic to the body, though we can also suffer from micro traumas due to common behaviors we do on a day-to-day basis. Such micro traumas can include: poor posture, carrying a heavy backpack/purse, wearing high heels, repetitive motions for work or sports, and poor sleeping positions. Trauma is the most well known cause of subluxation in today’s society. However, it is much more than that, which is where the other T’s come into play.

Toxins may not be as obvious of a cause as a direct trauma, but can have just as many consequences in disrupting the communication in your nervous system. Our bodies can become imbalanced through toxins found in what we eat or drink as well as toxins present in our environment. Some examples of these toxins are: GMO/processed foods, chemical cleaning agents, air pollution, food sensitivities/allergens, vaccines and other medications.

The third T, thoughts, tends to be the most overlooked cause of subluxation, but can be one of the biggest contributors. Stressful situations trigger a chemical imbalance in our bodies, blood pressure and heart rate increase, leading to muscle tension. Lack of recovery from this imbalance can disrupt every system of the body. Whether we are aware of the stress or not, it will still have a negative effect on our overall wellbeing. This is why it is important to take time to decompress throughout the day, stay active and focus on your breath.

Now, for the newest of the T’s…In the last 10 years we have really seen an evolution in technology. There are many benefits to this in society, however it has also led to a lot of problems with the generations that are now constantly on their phones or computers. As chiropractors we are seeing more forward head posture than ever before, it has even coined the name “tech neck.” Studies have revealed that American mobile phone users look down at phones an average of 2.7 hours a day, which can cause neck strain over long periods of time. An adult human head weighs about 10 pounds when looking straight ahead, but that weight multiplies to up to 50-60 pounds of weight on the neck when hunched over due to the effect of gravity. Some helpful tips to avoid this fourth T from causing havoc to your nervous system include:

  1. Raise your screen higher so that it is eye level
  2. Take breaks often and/or set a time limit for how long you will use your devices
  3. Sit in a chair with a headrest so you can maintain good posture
  4. Strengthen and stretch your muscles
  5. Get checked by your chiropractor to remove any nerve interference

Resources:

http://pathwaystofamilywellness.org/Chiropractic/thoughts-trauma-and-toxins-three-causes-of-subluxation.html

https://www.spine-health.com/blog/5-tips-prevent-tech-neck-pain

Cuellar JM, Lanman TH. “Text neck”: an epidemic of the modern era of cell phones? Spine J. 2017. 17(6):901-2.

 


Tongue Tie, Colic, Reflux & Chiropractic

Posted: February 25, 2019
By: Dr. Drew Rubin, Krista Frank &

Tongue Tie

The prevalence of tongue-tie in newborn infants is 0.3-12%. Tongue tie, also called ankyloglossia, is when the tissue attached to the underside of the tongue and the base of the mouth is very tight, thick, or extends too far forward in the mouth. This is something children are born with and means the tongue cannot move freely. One of the biggest concerns with tongue-tie is trouble breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is an irreplaceable bonding experience for mom and baby and has so many great benefits. Jeanne Ohm, D.C., offers the chiropractic perspective: “Significant research shows that from a nutritional, immunological, digestive, neurological, developmental, mental, psychological and emotional standpoint, there is no replacement.” However, due to the extra tissue present with tongue-tie it makes latching and suckling very hard for the infant; this can lead to malnutrition in baby and reduced milk production in mom.

Chiropractic is very beneficial for babies that suffer from tongue-tie. A strong focus is placed on the cranial bones and the affected facial joints and tissues (i.e. TMJ). With these specific and gentle adjustments the joints are put back into alignment, mobility is restored, pain and muscle tightness are alleviated, and the tissues are allowed to heal. Making sure the infants’ nervous system is clear also helps with their recovery if a frenotomoy (tongue-tie surgery) is necessary. Exercises will also be given for the parents to do at home in order to aid in the mobility process. The La Leche League identifies chiropractic as an effective modality for babies whose muscles and bones are not working well together causing the baby to be in pain, or to be a poor feeder. Addressing these concerns early can also help alleviate other symptoms tongue-tie may present with down the line like speech impairments and dental disease.

 

Colic and Reflux

Colic is when a baby cries for several hours a day for multiple days per week. Often the baby draws their knees up and is hard to comfort. Approximately 10-20% of babies suffer from this. Healthcare professionals say that colic is the waves of pain associated with distension of the bowel.

Reflux, on the other hand, is the movement of fluid, food and sometimes acid into the esophagus. Certain foods can trigger reflux or colic; the main culprits being food containing dairy, and gassy foods such as onions, broccoli and beans.

If breastfeeding, this relates to the food a mother eats or drinks. It is usually advisable that mothers avoid coffee, chocolate, alcohol and dairy for two to three weeks to see if this makes a difference. If not breastfed, the baby’s formula needs to be looked at. Often using a lactose-free formula can reduce gas or acid build-up. Probiotics for both mothers and infants can also help counteract this. How can chiropractic help with this? According to a study done by Dr. Alcantara and Dr. Anderson, they reported the successful chiropractic care of a 3-month old female with subjective complaints consistent with GERD in addition to fuss-cry-irritability with sleep disorder syndrome and irritable infant syndrome of musculoskeletal origin. This study suggests the possibility that similar patients may benefit from chiropractic care.

Resources:

https://www.motherlove.com/blog/view/How-can-chiropractic-acupuncture-cranio-sacral-help-with-breastfeeding

https://www.llli.org/breastfeeding-info/tongue-lip-ties/

Auerbach A. Tongue-tie: a holistic approach for breastfeeding infants. Pathways. Issue 48.

Ferranti, Melissa, Alcantara, Joel, & Adkins, Michelle. “Resolution of Breastfeeding Difficulties and Plagiocephaly in an Infant Undergoing Chiropractic Care.”  Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, & Family Health.  2016.2 (2016): 42-45.

Alcantara, J., & Anderson, R. (2008). Chiropractic care of a pediatric patient with symptoms associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease, fuss-cry-irritability with sleep disorder syndrome and irritable infant syndrome of musculoskeletal origin. The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association52(4), 248-55.

 


The power of communication and connection

Posted: January 28, 2019
By: Dr. Drew Rubin and Krista Fran

Do you feel like you are noticed when you walk into a room? The truth is you are; however, the real question is: what is the first impression that you are making? In order to have a professional presence about yourself you need to exude confidence.  You don’t have to have a loud voice or an over the top outfit on to stand out, you just need to know how to communicate properly and make the right connections. Chiropractic is a profession focused on connection, and we want to be able to communicate that message with you! Below you will find some of the top techniques to think about and utilize to enhance your communication skills.

  1. Maintain eye contact

This allows the individual that you are interacting with know that you are actively listening to what they are saying. The appropriate amount of time to use direct eye contact is between 40-60% of the time. Another important factor to note is where your eye contact is – the most professional use of direct eye contact is to think of a triangle from the eyes to the forehead, and focus your attention there.

  1. Be aware of your body language

The way you hold yourself and utilize your posture says a lot about you and the energy you portray. Remember to stand tall and in a neutral position (arms at your sides) while you speak. It is okay to use your hands to talk, just be aware that when it is done too much or too large of movements are used it becomes distracting for the listener. Finally, remember to smile!

  1. Master your handshake

A handshake is the physical greeting that goes with our words.  When you introduce yourself to another person or are responding to an introduction, have a firm, but friendly handshake. This exudes confidence as well as professionalism.

  1. Highlight your people skills

Small talk can be the gateway to a lasting relationship. Let the other person be the center of attention and ask them questions about themselves.  By doing so, you will demonstrate that you are interested in others and what they have to say.  Once the conversation has finished, they will leave thinking that you were very attentive and ultimately able to form abundant connections.

        5. Proper posture

Posture is the window into the spine and nerve system, and if your posture is not balanced, then your nervous system isn’t balanced either.  This makes it more difficult to connect with others if you are not well connected with yourself. Make sure you get your spine checked regularly to keep your spine, brain and nerve system as well connected as possible! 

These tools will help you be more approachable in any environment. Don’t be afraid to start conversations with people, because you never know what you are going to be able to learn or teach through the connections you form.

Resources:

Bloomstra Consulting founded by Ms. Erin Crotty

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