Friday, January 11, 2013

Colic - Teething - Ear Infection Triad in Infants

 A classic scenario, a parent notices their infant has started having trouble sleeping.  She is waking often at night and crying more during the day and night.    She may begin chewing on EVERYTHING!  Later she is pulling on her ears frequently.  No matter what the parent does to console this baby, nothing helps this otherwise healthy, possibly even exclusively, breastfed little girl.  Attempts at more frequent nursing, teething remedies, and extra cuddles may help here or there, but aren’t making a significant difference.  We see this scenario over and over again.  It is very difficult on the parents, they are frustrated they can’t help their baby, they are over tired and don’t know what else they can do.

Photo from Sydney Ear Nose & Throat Clinic
I frequently see this combination occurring together, what I call colic, teething, ear infection (otitis media) Triad.  These three all have something in common, and that is a subluxation or fixation in the upper cervical spine.  When a fixation exists it causes inflammation.  Couple this with the inflammation that occurs in the head/neck region from the coming tooth eruption you now have an uncomfortable, inflamed little one.  This inflammation makes it difficult for sinus to drain normally.  The little one can easily begin to develop a runny nose or sinus congestion.  Now, take into consideration that in infants and children the eustachian tubes are horizontal and run slightly uphill, unlike adults which run downhill.  This factor already makes it a challenge for tubes to drain and explains why children are more prone to ear infections than adults.  As children grow older, their eustachian tubes will eventually be positioned down hill and this won’t be a factor.  You can see how the inflammation along with the growing congestion and positioning of the eustachian tubes can cause this uncomfortable, inflamed, teething little girl to develop an ear infection.  The fluid isn’t draining properly and becomes stagnant and  an infection may follow.  What we commonly see is that it is not initially recognized by the parents or the pediatrician that a subluxation of the neck exists so the standard treatment is given, a round of antibiotics.  Weather it’s the antibiotics or just time, the ear infection may eventually resolve only to return again soon after.  This can happen again and again.  Before you know it ear tubes are being suggested for this precious young one.  And to think, all of this could have been prevented.  The problem is many parent’s aren’t aware that a subluxation can result in this scenario.  Many pediatricians either aren’t aware of this or are not open to considering chiropractic as a possible solution to this cascade.  Fortunately for those of you who are reading this, you are gaining valuable information to help your child or to share with your friends and family with little one’s who may be suffering from this triad.  If the subluxation is found and corrected, the inflammation is reduced, the sinuses can drain appropriately and the little one is now more comfortable, sleeping better and ear infection averted.  

Happy drooling teether
The existence of a subluxation also explains why the typical teething remedies, breastfeeding and consoling by the parent did not take care of the problem.  It’s not to say those aren’t helpful because they probably were but they were not fixing the root cause of this triad.

So please, parents, when your child starts to give you signals such as difficulty sleeping, colic, chewing on everything, runny nose, and pulling on ears, be empowered by the knowledge you have gained, you are their care provider, they are counting on you.  These signs are their communication.  Take your little one to your chiropractor.  It is a simple, gentle, non-invasive and completely safe treatment method to treat the root cause, the spinal fixation, so that her body can do what it innately knows how to do.  You will save her from unnecessary antibiotics, from tubes with potential devastating consequences (we know children who have experienced hearing loss from tubes).  She will be so grateful and you will be too when you see that precious little one feel better, sleep better and you will in turn sleep better too.  We are so thankful to have learned this information before having children and our children have benefited.  We hope your family will benefit too!

Sources and Resources

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cutting Edge Treatment You May Benefit From

Chiropractic adjustments of the spine and extremities can provide amazing results for injuries, pain, illness, and disease.  It has always been our goal to provide quality natural health care.  To meet this goal we believe integrations of many techniques to complement adjustments will provide this exclusive care.  
One of these techniques we utilize and have seen amazing results with over and over is  one that is performed by very few practitioners in central Ohio.  We are the only office in north east central Ohio offering this cutting edge care.  This technique I’m raving about is called Graston.  
Graston is an instrument-assisted soft tissue technique used to detect, diagnose and treat fibrous adhesion found in muscles, ligaments, tendons, and fascia (thin covering over muscles).  These fibrous adhesions, if left untreated will cause decreased flexibility and range of motion and will weaken muscles and joints, increasing the risk of further injury and pain.  The Graston Technique is an extremely effective method to treat these adhesions.  Many times there is instantaneous results.  We truly believe that if Dr. Greg had access to this treatment when he was a college baseball pitcher and began to have shoulder pain, it would have prevented him from tearing his rotator cuff and the resulting surgery, long recovery period and loss of a year of play time.  We are ecstatic to offer this treatment to our patients!  It is invaluable to our athletes but isn’t just for athletes either.  Many other’s can also benefit from Graston.  To explain further how Graston works, read these examples below.  Which category do you fit into?
Scenario 1:  
The Spring Cleaner.  Let’s say you decide to do some spring cleaning and you haven’t been as active as you should have this winter.  You may be reaching, lifting,  or scrubbing in hard-to-reach areas and the next morning you wake up with a sore  shoulder.  Most likely small micro-tears have occurred in the the shoulder musculature.  Graston will help alleviate the soreness, minimize scar tissue build up, and prevent loss of flexibility and strength.
Scenario 2:  
The Runner.  Maybe you are a runner and you are going for a morning run.  It is a chilly morning and you hit snooze a few times so you decide to skip the warm-up and jump right into a fast pace.  A few minutes in you feel sever pain, and are stopped in your tracks.  You just pulled your hamstring, ouch!  A large inflammatory response sets in causing pain and swelling.  The body is trying to repair.  Initially, Graston can be used during this acute phase to help mobilize the inflammation and swelling.  A few days later Graston will be very helpful to help prevent adhesions and significant scar tissue formation as the body repairs the damaged muscle.  Graston will assist in the proper “laying down” of collagen in parallel rather than if a disorganized fibrous bundle.  This will allow for smooth muscle contraction and faster recovery.
Scenario 3:  
The Procrastinator.  This last group probably makes up the majority of Americans.  This is the person who either experienced scenario 1 or 2 or both and did nothing or maybe you used some ice (or worse, heat) and an over the counter and hoped for the best.  In this case much time has passed and there are significant fibrous adhesions and scar tissue build-up already causing reduced or painful range of motion, weakness, and possibly even further injury to the same area or other area’s from trying to compensate.   If you are the procrastinator the good news is that Graston can still help out a lot.  The down side is that you should expect it to take longer and additional soft tissue treatments may need to be used in conjunction with the Graston to achieve the best results.  
What is great is that Graston can really provide amazing results for all of these situations.  
A sampling of common conditions Graston relives:
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Plantar Fascitis (foot pain)
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Rotator cuff injury
  • Knee injuries
  • Trigger points
  • Tendonitis
  • Morton’s Neuroma 

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