On November 30, 2020, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study showing chiropractic helping a baby who has suffered birth trauma resulting in a brachial plexus injury. John Hopkins Medical describes the brachial plexus on their website as, “The brachial plexus is a network of nerves in the shoulder that carries movement and sensory signals from the spinal cord to the arms and hands.”
During the birth process, if the newborn is positioned in a certain way during delivery, the newborn’s shoulder can get caught in the mother’s pelvis. This type of problem is known as shoulder dystocia, and can lead to brachial plexus injury or even a broken clavicle bone. In shoulder dystocia, excessive force is commonly used to attempt to deliver the baby vaginally, and, in many instances, the procedure is abandoned, and a cesarean is performed. Brachial plexus injury during birth is relatively rare, occurring in less that half a percent of live births in the United States.
In this case, the mother of a 5-month-old boy brought her son in to the chiropractor for help. Her baby son was not using his left arm. The woman stated that her pregnancy was without incident, but the delivery was very difficult. She reported that her baby was in a transverse (sideways) position causing his shoulder to get stuck. Because of this, a large episiotomy was performed and the baby was delivered vaginally with great difficulty.
Immediately after birth, his mother noted that her baby was protective of his left shoulder and kept his left arm straight and less active than his right. The infant also could not lie on his belly for more than five minutes without becoming fussy.
A chiropractic examination noted a stiffness and rigidity of the muscles and shoulder joint on the baby’s left side. Palpation of the spine noted areas of concern for possible subluxation. From this examination, the baby began receiving age and size appropriate specific adjustments to address the subluxations.
By the fourth chiropractic visit, the boy’s mother reported that her son was moving his arm more frequently and he spent more time on his belly. By the sixth visit, the baby boy enjoyed being on his belly for extended periods of time. On the 15th chiropractic visit, a re-evaluation was performed. During that visit, the boy’s mother stated, “He is doing great under care! He’s using both his arms equally and he might even have a tendency towards his left hand now!” She also reported that her son was able to pick up bigger balls with his left hand than with his right.
In the study discussion and conclusion, the authors wrote, “The patient presented to the private family chiropractic office at five months of age without having improved upper extremity movement or strength noticeably since birth.” They sum up the results by saying, “This case study describes the positive health outcomes and prevention of surgery following chiropractic care in a baby suffering from obstetrical brachial plexus palsy secondary to birth trauma.”
The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published the results of a case study on November 16, 2020, documenting chiropractic helping a 7-week-old infant with multiple health issues. These problems included acid reflux, problems with swallowing, difficulty sleeping, problems with latching, spitting up after feeding, gas and a superior gaze.
According to the Mayo Clinic website, “Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid frequently flows back into the tube connecting your mouth and stomach (esophagus). This backwash (acid reflux) can irritate the lining of your esophagus.”
This authors of this study report that in the pediatric population, GERD occurs in approximately 67% of infants before the age of four months, and decreases to 21% by six months of age. This problem can further cause eating problems and frequent vomiting which can lead to slow weight gain and respiratory issues. In most cases, this problem will self-resolve by the age of 12 months.
In this case, a seven-week-old baby boy was brought to the chiropractor by his mother. The baby was suffering with acid reflux and difficulty latching. His mother also reported that her son had a left head tilt, and an upward gaze. She also noticed that her baby had painful swallowing, was spitting up his food, and had trouble sleeping. The infant’s problems started four week earlier. Two weeks before seeking chiropractic, his mother took him to a medical doctor who diagnosed the boy with GERD and prescribed a medication to treat his problem.
Upon initial inspection, the baby boy appeared to be under-weight and had an upward gaze. An age appropriate chiropractic examination revealed the presence of vertebral subluxations. With this information and the approval of the boy’s mother, specific chiropractic pediatric adjustments were started.
After the first adjustment, the boy had an appointment with his pediatrician who commented that the boy had returned to normal weight and seemed free of any symptoms from GERD. The MD also noticed that the boy was holding his head up straight instead of tilting to one side, and the boy could lie on his belly without discomfort.
The boy’s mother also reported that her baby’s appetite had increased, and he was not fussing or crying after each meal. It was also observed that the boy was sleeping much better. After just two adjustments during 10 days of chiropractic care, the pediatrician reduced the baby’s prescribed medication and ultimately discontinued it altogether after three weeks of chiropractic care.
In their conclusion, the authors summed up this case by saying, “The case of a 7-week-old male diagnosed with GERD and a history of birth trauma, poor sleeping and feeding habits was presented. Significant improvements were observed following the introduction of chiropractic care.” They continued, “The resolution of these health challenges after two adjustments suggests there is a possible connection between them and vertebral subluxation.”
The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published the results of a case study on August 3, 2020, describing a case of a child who was suffering with bedwetting, constipation, headaches, allergies, and cold hands being helped by chiropractic.
Bedwetting at night is medically known as nocturnal enuresis (NE), and occurs in up to 15% of seven-year-olds who have no problems during the day. The condition is more common in boys than girls and is commonly associated with behavioral disorders. NE was thought to be self-limiting but has been shown to be persistent and can remain during the entire childhood of those affected, and thereafter remains in 1% of adults.
The study authors note that, from a medical perspective, this condition is not a health priority and therefore treatment is “vague and futile.” As they note, “…medical treatments typically include nighttime bells or alarms, medications such as tricyclic antidepressants, behavioral rewards and punishments, requirement of voiding before sleep, and limitation of nighttime fluids.”
In this case, a six-year-old boy was brought to a chiropractor for help with multiple daily health issues, including nightly bedwetting. According to his parents, the boy was also suffering with headaches, constipation, earaches, allergies, asthma, cold hands, and ADHD. It was reported that the boy had been suffering with bedwetting, ADHD, and headaches since birth. The boy, who was very active and involved in sports, was being treated medically for asthma, allergies, constipation, and headaches, for which he was given multiple medications.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included a visual inspection, palpation, surface EMG readings, and spinal x-rays. It was determined that subluxations were present, and a chiropractic adjustment care plan was developed.
As chiropractic care continued, the child’s health began to improve. The study reports that the boy’s parents noticed a decrease in the number of times the child would have a wet night. By the twenty-first chiropractic visit, the parents reported that their son had not had a wet night in over a week. At sixteen weeks of care, his parents reported that their son was no longer suffering from cold hands or constipation. They also said that their son was 80% improved with his remaining conditions including ear infections, allergies, asthma, ADHD, and headaches.
In their conclusion, the authors noted, “This study presents relief of nocturnal enuresis, headaches, ADHD, asthma, allergies constipation, earaches, and cold hands in a 6-year-old male following chiropractic adjustments.”
The Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics (JCCP) published a review of studies in their November 2018 edition that shows that breastfeeding early in life reduces the possibility of childhood obesity. This paper reviewed previous studies on breastfeeding as it related to early obesity in children.
This study was conducted at AECC University College, Bournemouth, in the United Kingdom. The statistics of obesity in this study were from the European union, but similar, and in many cases worse statistics are true in the United States. The issues are therefore comparable on both continents and should be addressed equally on both sides of the ocean.
The study begins by noting that obesity in the European Union (EU) is increasing. Notably, England and Poland have demonstrated the steepest increases in obesity. It is estimated that each year 400,000 children across Europe are becoming overweight or obese. Evidence shows that overweight children generally become overweight adults. This then puts them at higher risks of all the health issues that arise from obesity as well as a higher risk of death from the issues related to obesity. It is estimated that in the EU around 2.8 million deaths per year result from obesity associated diseases.
The study authors point out that proper diet and exercise can correct obesity, but they concede that the implementation of this lifestyle is many times easier said than done. They also note that there is a correlation between the tendency to become an overweight child and breastfeeding early in live. They state, “Several high-quality studies indicate that breastfed children have a lower risk of childhood obesity.” Unfortunately, the researchers point out that England has one of the lowest rates of breast feeding in Europe.
The study recommendations for breastfeeding say, “It is extensively acknowledged that infants should be nourished with nothing other than breastmilk for the first six months of life and that breastfeeding should continue with the addition of complementary foods for up to and beyond two years of age.” The researchers sought to find out if lower rates of both exclusive breastfeeding and combination of breastfeeding and formula feeding could affect the increase rate of obesity in children.
Using a calculation known as the body mass index (BMI) as a common way to determine obesity, the researchers looked at a large number of studies to determine how many fit the criteria and could add insight into breastfeeding rates and the effect on obesity. In their review, they determined that 25 studies with 226,508 subjects met their criteria. Data from these studies was then analyzed to draw conclusions.
The results of the analysis of all these studies showed that babies who were breastfed for seven months or longer were 22% less likely to be obese compared to who had never been breastfed. When the researchers compared those children who had at sometime been breastfed to those that had never been breastfed, the results still showed a 15% reduction in obesity for those babies who had some breastfeeding as compared to those who had never been breastfed at all.
In their discussion the authors state that, “The answer to the research question is that breastfeeding appears to reduce the risk for childhood obesity, at least to some extent.” They continued in the study conclusion by saying, “Research suggests that early breastfeeding is protective against childhood obesity.”