Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wisdom Wednesday: Pediatrics

Treating children is a very rewarding aspect of practice. It was my initial motivation to get rid of the clinic jacket many years ago. It just scared the kids. When they saw that jacket, they knew a shot was close behind.

Just like all new patients, you have to put children at ease in your office. Depending on the age, I try to direct the consultation toward them, not their parents. I want to hear what they have to say. I need to engage them in the conversation.

From a chiropractic standpoint, no child is too young for an adjustment. I have adjusted many infants within 24 hours of birth for birth trauma. I have treated a lot of infants with colic. Frequently, colic is a lack of proper movement of the CSF (cerebral spinal fluid) with breathing due to cranial or sacral subluxations. These are easily corrected with non-force techniques.

Children love spinal manipulation. In fact, one of the problems treating children is that they will fake injures and symptoms so they can get an adjustment. They also respond much more quickly than adults. Often patients note an immediate improvement after spinal manipulation. Kids get up off the table and invariably say “I’m fine” or “I’m all better.” Their capacity to heal and their ability to avoid injury with trauma is much greater than adults. They also do not carry the inflammatory load of metabolic syndrome like many adults.

Using the QA format (Quintessential Applications) requires muscle testing. Generally, age four is the minimum age that a child will cooperate for muscle testing. If they are younger, I use a parent as a surrogate. Surrogate testing loses some accuracy but can still be effective. You just have to be very careful to differentiate whether any test result is related to the surrogate or the child.

Nutritional evaluation has some challenges. Many children have a horrible diet. Some of it is related to their strong taste buds limiting their palate. However, many parents just don’t pay enough attention to what their children eat. Food journals often disclose an absence of fruits and vegetables. Protein intake is often also low leaving refined carbohydrates as the major component of their diet.

Children also struggle swallowing pills and most herbs taste bitter. Even my adult patients struggle taking liquid herbal blends. Fortunately, the bioavailable forms of vitamin B12 taste great and most kids like ginger, especially when mixed with some other drink. Bioavailable folic acid is a very small capsule and if need be, it can be opened and the powder can be mixed with food. I try to limit supplementation to 3 or 4 products with patients anyway. It is really important to do so with children.

The best part about treating children is their tremendous capacity to heal. They respond to nutrition much like they do to spinal manipulation – quickly and with little effort. They also are very aware of their healing. As CSN&Y said in the 60s, “they speak before they can lie.”

The Bottom Line:
Children are a treasure and a treasure to treat.

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