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Newsletter Articles
December 2018

  • Chiropractic More Effective Than Laxatives for Pediatric Functional Constipation
  • Breastfeeding Reduces Chance of Childhood Obesity
  • Dogs with Paraplegia Helped by Chiropractic According to Study
Chiropractic More Effective Than Laxatives for Pediatric Functional Constipation

Chiropractic More Effective Than Laxatives for Pediatric Functional Constipation

In their November 2018 issue, the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics (JCCP) published a case study and review of literature following the case of a child who was suffering with functional constipation being helped by chiropractic. Functional constipation is when there is no underlying pathological condition causing the constipation.

Approximately 95% of all cases of constipation do not have an organic cause and are therefore considered functional constipation. It is estimated that 3% of children in the western world suffer from functional constipation. Medical care usually consists of lifestyle recommendations concerning food, and the giving of laxative medications.

Studies prior to this one reported that that 36.4% of children with functional constipation were taken by their parents for alternatives therapies such as acupuncture, homeopathy, osteopathic and chiropractic manipulations, as well as spiritual and psychological therapies.

Beyond just the physical problems from constipation, the long-term effect on a young child can be significant. Suffering with constipation for a long period can put a child at risk of missing developmental milestones, as well as suffering emotional and physical disturbances that can have severe consequences later in childhood and into adult life.

In this case, a 21-month-old girl was brought to the chiropractor by her mother. The girl had been suffering with episodes of constipation for the past 15 months. The problem started when the child started to eat solid foods at about the age of 6 months. The girl would only experience a bowel movement every 5 or 6 days. The girl would strain when going to the bathroom and would occasionally cry out in pain when passing a stool. Rarely, due to the hardness of the stool, the child experienced bleeding from her rectum.

The girl's parents tried to help their daughter through natural and healthy foods and increased fluid intake. However, eventually, they took their girl to an pediatrician who prescribed laxatives. The laxatives seemed to give some relief, but the problem would immediately return when her parents attempted to take their daughter off the drugs.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included a visual inspection, both static and motion palpation, and spinal ranges of motion. From the examination, it was determined that multiple levels of subluxations were present. Specific spinal adjustments, appropriate for the girl’s age and size, were started to address the subluxations.

After the girl's first adjustment, it was reported that she started having regular bowel movement either daily, or every other day. The girl’s mother immediately discontinued giving her daughter the laxative medication, as it was no longer needed. After five months of continued wellness chiropractic and without the aid of laxative medication, the girl had not had any issues with constipation.

In reviewing the available scientific literature concerning the medical treatment of functional constipation in pediatric patients, the authors concluded, "The effectiveness of laxatives is not showed in placebo-controlled trials and does not warrant the widely accepted usage. We observe that there are side effects in using laxatives for children." They continued, "Chiropractic experience-based practice showed positive results in functional constipation. Children and infants with constipation as with other conditions should be treated regarding all aspects of their health."

Breastfeeding Reduces Chance of Childhood Obesity

Breastfeeding Reduces Chance of Childhood Obesity

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."

Dogs with Paraplegia Helped by Chiropractic According to Study

Dogs with Paraplegia Helped by Chiropractic According to Study

On November 26, 2018, the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a study highlighting chiropractic helping dogs that were diagnosed with paraplegia secondary to intervertebral disc disease. The authors noted the reason for this study by saying, "The objective of this article is to explore the role of animal chiropractic in helping canines suffering from hind end paralysis secondary to vertebral subluxation and intervertebral disc disease."

The study begins by noting that the demand for alternative types of care for animals has been increasing as of late. One of the factors cited in the study for this increase is the expense of surgical procedures and rehabilitation for veterinary care.

Detractors of chiropractic care have long said that the positive results from chiropractic can be explained away by a placebo effect. However, this can not be the case in animals as chiropractic would not present a possibility for placebo effects when rendered to an animal.

It is estimated that 3.5% of dogs will suffer with intervertebral disc disease sometime in their lives. Typical medical treatment is medications or surgery with possibly some physical therapy. As in humans, this regime on canines is often expensive with less than great results.

Chiropractic care for animals centers around the detection and correction of subluxations. The study explains, "Chiropractic addresses vertebral subluxations in the spine via the adjustment. A subluxation, in terms of animal chiropractic, is defined as a shift in the normal structure of one vertebrae compared to those above and below, causing a biomechanical change that can interfere with the nervous system."

This study reviewed 24 individual cases of dogs who were brought into a veterinary chiropractic office. Each canine had been diagnosed with intervertebral disc disease by their respective veterinarians. Additionally, each of the dogs in this study also suffered from varying degrees of hind end paralysis because of their disc problems. The majority of the dogs were recommended to have a MRI followed by disc surgery.

All 24 dogs had significant inflammation and hunching in their mid-back areas. Some were experiencing pain from their problems while others did not seem to exhibit any pain. The common characteristic of the dogs in this study is that each of the 24 were found to have subluxations that were then addressed by chiropractic adjustments.

In this study, all 24 dogs experienced positive results. All 24 recovered completely from their hind end paralysis and were all were able to walk normally again. There was some variation seen from case to case in the amount of time needed, and the number of visits required before total recovery.

In the conclusion of the study, the researchers summed up the results by stating, "Twenty-four canines diagnosed with hind end paralysis secondary to intervertebral disc disease were evaluated and cared for in our practice. Every canine that began care eventually regained the ability to walk again. This indicates that chiropractic care may be an effective treatment to address biomechanical pathology that results from dysfunction of the spine."