In North America, Lyme disease is the most common insect-borne infectious disease with a whopping number of 300,000 cases reported a year . 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 . 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 .
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!