Thursday, February 09, 2012

Healthier Children

Health Tip of the Week: The spine is one of the most neglected aspects of a child's health care. As it should be, careful attention is paid to pediatric well visits, eye, hearing and dental exams. The child's spine is often relegated to scoliosis screenings at the school nurse's office. Scoliosis screenings at the child's school provide a very important service, helping to detect many early spinal curvature problems. But scoliosis screenings do nothing to detect and correct vertebral subluxations. As adults, we tend to take the spine for granted. We think of the back and neck as a glob of muscles that can cause us periodic aches and pains. What we tend to forget is that the spine is the life-line of the body. All of our school children are taught at an early age that the nervous system (brain, spinal cord and spinal nerves) controls and co-ordinates every function in the body. When I say every function, I mean every function. Lungs breathing, heart beating, digestion, circulation, muscular performance, hormone production, cell creation and immune system function, to name just a few of the many thousands of bodily functions controlled by the nervous system. Even as you sit at your desk reading this Health Tip, your eyes are blinking, nails and hair are growing and lungs are breathing. All these functions are controlled by your nerves. Think of your spine and brain as a computer-controlled communication center. The brain, as the computer, communicates with the systems of the body, sending messages as nerve impulses through the spinal cord and spinal nerves. When the intended organ or system receives the message, it sends a reply message back to the brain through the nerves and spinal cord. This exchange of operating information is called a feedback loop. The brain-to-body and body-to-brain messaging through the spine is is how the body works. For the body to be 100% healthy, this communication network must function at 100%. If there is any less than 100% nerve impulse flow, the body loses a degree of function. A loss in function equates to a loss in health. If the nervous system is not working properly, body chemistry can be thrown out of synch, not only affecting many important chemical equations in the body but also affecting how the immune system works. As we all know, a strong, vibrant, healthy immune system means less colds and illnesses from viruses. As far as the boney spine is concerned, there is a direct relationship to nerve flow and spinal bone alignment. In between each vertebra are little openings from where the spinal nerve reaches out. If the vertebra (bone) is not in its proper position (a vertebral subluxation), the nerve is irritated and the flow of the nerve impulses are impeded. The decline in "messaging" through the spine that results from the subluxation directly affects the function of the nervous system. If the nervous system is not functioning properly, the body cannot perform as it is meant to, and health is lost. Subluxations are caused by muscular stress to the spine. Has your child ever fallen down? Played a sport? Bumped their head or had an accident? The major concern with subluxations is that symptoms do not usually develop until the subluxated vertebra has been present for quite awhile. (Think adults with back problems!) Chiropractors can detect and correct subluxations as soon as they occur, which can prevent a symptom or unhealthy condition from developing. A chiropractic examination should be a regular part of your child's healthcare program. Chiropractors have many non-invasive ways to check for subluxated vertebra. Motion palpation reveals fixated spinal joints. Surface Electromyography testing finds asymmetrical muscle patterns along the spine that can suggest abnormal spinal alignment. And lastly, spinal thermography can reveal irritated nerve impulses by detecting temperature differentials along the surface of the skin. Chiropractic exams for children are extremely important. They are safe for children and will help your child's body to be as healthy as it can be.

Thought for the Week: Health is a condition of wholeness in which all of the body's parts are functioning at 100%. ~ Webster's Dictionary

Chiropractic Thought for the Week: NFL Chiropractors, Dr. Michael Miller of the New England Patriots and Dr. Robert DeStefano of the New York Giants, explain that chiropractic is fundamental to the consequences of jarring impacts; they enhance body mechanics and joint motion while improving structural balance vital to preventing and addressing many common injuries. “Most of our players will get adjusted prior to games to adequately prepare their bodies for battle. Several times during the playoffs, incidents occurred that required chiropractic care and, subsequent to sideline treatment, players were able to return to action the following play. We expect to have the same efficiency going into and during the Super Bowl.”