Healthy Children and Chiropractic

Providing health care services to children involves a dimension not often encountered in rendering care to adults. Not only must the child’s needs and concerns be addressed, but those of the child’s parents as well. The child doesn’t have educational bias, is usually simple to care for, and will respond immediately to physiologic changes that enhance life expression. The parents may require more attention to further their knowledge and understanding of health. This article addresses the issue of how to know if a child’s health is improving, and how to assure the parent of this.

There are two models of health: biomedical and social science. The biomedical model refers to physical symptom status and laboratory tests. The social science model refers to the individual’s functional status; the ability to utilize the uniqueness of one’s environment and one’s experience. It also includes the changes to one’s perception, the ability to make healthier choices, and improvement in one’s overall quality of life.

Health, by definition refers to optimal function physically, mentally and socially, not merely the absence of disease and infirmity. The social science indicators must be considered to fully assess health. Since chiropractic is a non-medical discipline, it is all the more vital that our chiropractic and health assessments not be largely based upon medical indicators. In the course of chiropractic care, it is common for parents to remark that their child’s disposition has improved, that he learns better in school, that she is more at peace, that he reacts to stress more effectively, sleeps better, and that in general he is more able to function without restriction. These are all indicators of health. At times a presenting symptom may not reduce or be eliminated, but the child’s health will be improving in a variety of other ways.

It is important to eliminate inconsistencies in our philosophy, clinical approach, and communication. If we wish to assist in the restoration of spinal integrity (with its associated enhancement of health and well being) through specific adjustment of vertebral subluxations, then our methods of outcome assessment must be consistent with this.

Is the spine healthier than at the entrance visit? What is the general trend, and what are the specifics at the time of re-evaluation? Is there a positive improvement in both the correction of subluxations and spinal integrity? And lastly, what is the child’s personal assessment or the parent’s opinion of the child’s status in the following categories:

1. Physical State
2. Mental Emotional State
3. Stress Evaluation
4. Life enjoyment
5. Overall Quality of life.

It is important that the chiropractor not focus more clinical attention on the presenting complaint or symptom than the social science health and wellness indicators. The patient/family member might equate chiropractic care with a particular physical symptom’s improvement rather than the goal stated above. Often particular symptoms may intensify during the healing process, while other indicators of health and wellness improve. The presenting complaint may be amongst the last of changes in the health picture. The practitioner must be certain of his or her focus and intent in monitoring the patient’s progress.

A parent may notice their child has a fever, however the child’s behavior may not appear any different than usual. In another instance the child may be less feverish, yet his behavior may be considerably affected. Is the fever in itself a measure of impaired health? Or has the overall picture of the child, including his interaction with his environment, reactions to stress, mood, and sense of humor been viewed? Rather than questioning an adaptation of the body’s internal wisdom, such as fever, ask instead about how the patient feels (or appears to feel) about how he feels. In questioning a parent simply shifting the wording from “Tell me about Johnny’s symptoms” to “Tell me about Johnny” will yield a far greater spectrum of information about your patient. The biomedical approach deals with the conditions only. The social science indicators refer to the person in which the condition is present. As chiropractors, it is the person, not the condition we seek to help.

A recent research paper titled A Retrospective Assessment of Network Care Using a Survey of Self Rated Health, Wellness and Quality of Life1 presented the largest epidemiological study of a chiropractic population to date. It represents the largest study of chiropractic patients for such a wide range of health and wellness indicators. It established the initial validation for a new instrument of patient self evaluation for the categories mentioned above. Patient’s reported significant, positive changes in all the mentioned domains of health, as well as an enhanced quality of life. The improvements reported suggest that this particular application of chiropractic is associated with significant benefits in all categories. This study of 2,818 patients, conducted through multiple departments at The University of California, Irvine not only documented the health benefits of chiropractic care, but has established a new basis for evaluation of the health and wellness benefits of non medical disciplines.

Since the overall health and wellness benefits continued throughout the duration of care in the population reported in this study, it would be unfortunate to identify the goal of care as the reduction of a particular symptom, and miss the greater implications of long term vertebral subluxation based chiropractic care to the child’s health. With accountability to our objectives and alignment of our procedures and communications, we can use safe, effective and gentle applications of chiropractic adjustments to position ourselves as leaders amongst the non-medical approaches to the health and well being of children.

New York City Chiropractor Dr. Nektalov provides Chiropractic Care for the whole family at his Queens, NY office. Dr Nektalov is experienced in aiding the Health and overall well being of children through Chiropractic Care.

Holistic Approaches to Asthma

Asthma is a common word in many households. A growing number of children live on beta-2 agonists, steroids and anti-leukotriene medications that treat the acute and chronic symptoms of asthma. These medications have helped save many lives. However, these medicines, unfortunately, do not cure the asthmatic condition. They merely serve to quiet the visible expression of symptoms.

Medicines do not influence the factors that generate the imbalances in the body causing the onset of wheezing. The imbalances that trigger the symptoms of asthma persist despite the use of medication and the relief of symptoms. These imbalances arise mostly from problems within the child’s immune system. The key to treatment lies in the evaluation of the underlying factors that contribute to the development and expression of asthma symptoms. The goal is to assess the imbalances and address their causes.

Asthma is defined as a reversible, chronic, obstructive, airway disease. On clinical exam, a child with asthma is found to be wheezing and coughing. Often there is difficulty breathing, labored breathing, poor air movement, shortness of breath and irritability. Occasionally, a child may be pale or have blue lips. In the worst case scenario there is somnolence or coma. However, the lungs are rarely involved. Rather, the smooth muscles of the affected airways are in spasm and there is swelling and inflammation of the lining of the airways. An important segment of our immune system is found in the lining of the airways. Significant portions of the immune system are found in the linings of the digestive tract, the skin and the nervous system, including the brain. The body obtains its major protection against the outside world from the proper functioning of these four areas of the immune system. All parts of the immune system are in constant communication with each other. An acute asthma episode is triggered by a challenge to the immune system at one, several or all four of these areas of the body. In a healthy child, when the immune system is stressed, chemicals are released that produce inflammation. These chemicals are made by immune cells that migrate to the site(s) where the body is challenged. Redness, heat or fever, swelling, tenderness and loss of function are the five signs and symptoms of inflammation that are clinically present, either singularly or in combination. By the end of the inflammatory process another group of immune cells begins to produce chemicals that have anti-inflammatory properties. These anti-inflammatory chemicals aid in quieting the area of inflammation. As a result, the symptoms of inflammation begin to resolve. The body, in the ideal situation, is genetically programmed to heal itself. The resolution of symptoms during an inflammatory response is dependent on the delicate balance between the production and activation of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory immune chemicals. An acute episode of asthma occurs when this delicate balance is tested. Thus, asthma is a condition of acute and chronic inflammation. The goal of treatment is to evaluate any one of a number of contributing factors in a child’s environment that can produce a state of inflammation. Perfumes, smoke, pollen, volatile chemicals, exhaust fumes, pollution, animal dander, metals, dust and mold are some of the inhalants that can adversely affect the immune response in the linings of the airways and trigger an episode of wheezing. Dairy, soy, nuts, sugars, dehydration, processed flours and grains, processed fats, fried oils, nutritional deficiencies, food dyes, chemicals, preservatives and additives, metals, soda, junk food, fast foods and certain prescription drugs and over the counter medicines can instigate an inflammatory response in many parts of the body especially in the airways of children who are prone to wheezing.

Emotional stressors such as fear, anger, anxiety, worry and grief can both acutely or chronically stimulate an inflammatory response in the nervous system leading to an immune response in the airways of children with asthma. Even extreme emotional outbursts, positive or negative, along with exercise, can bring about a state of inflammation. Birth and head trauma along with other traumas to a child’s body can cause an impairment of blood flow, lymph flow and nerve supply to and from the muscles of the chest wall and the smooth muscles of the lining of the airways. This dynamic can compromise a child’s ability to breathe efficiently and maximize air exchange in as many airways as possible. The parasympathetic and sympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system regulate the state of contraction and relaxation of the smooth muscles of the lining of the airways, respectively. When both branches of the autonomic nervous system are in balance, the smooth muscles do not spasm. Some children with asthma can develop bronchospasm when there is over stimulation of the parasympathetic branch and/or a weakness in the sympathetic stimulation of these airway smooth muscles. Any one of the above contributing environmental factors-respiratory irritants, ingested materials, physical and emotional nervous system traumas and stressors-can influence the over or under stimulation of the parasympathetic and sympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system, respectively, leading to the onset of bronchospasm in children with asthma. Prostaglandins, leukotrienes and cytokines are the major immune chemicals that function in the body to produce pro and anti-inflammatory responses. The ingredients that make up the building blocks for these chemicals come directly from the diet. Most of these chemicals are made up of polyunsaturated fats in the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acid family and from complex oligosaccharides (sugars) that are fundamental to the proper function of every one of our cells, especially the immune cells. These fats and sugars are essential in our diet and cannot be manufactured in the body. Many vitamins and minerals are needed to help stabilize the structure of fats and sugars in cell membranes and aid in their production, release and function. When a child with asthma consumes an overabundance of omega-6 fatty acids and simple sugars, which favor the production of proinflam-matory immune chemicals, and/or consumes an insufficient amount of omega-3 fatty acids and complex sugars, which favor the production of anti-inflammatory immune chemicals, the stage is set for the development of wheezing with swelling and inflammation of the airways. The trigger(s) that cause the body’s immune cells to release these pro-inflammatory chemicals during an acute asthmatic episode may come from any one of the contributing factors mentioned above-respiratory irritants, ingested materials and physical or emotional traumas and stresses to the nervous system. There was great enthusiasm when the anti-leukotriene medications (e.g., Singulair) came out on the market. It was seen as a major breakthrough for children with chronic inflammatory conditions like asthma and inflammatory bowel disease since we knew that these children had high circulating levels of pro-inflammatory leukotrienes. Leukotrienes are some of the most potent inflammatory agents in the body. Prescribers of these medications hoped for a reduction in the symptoms of inflammation in these children. In reality, the medicine does nothing to stop the body from producing the leukotrienes. So what happens to these pro-inflammatory leukotrienes? They continue to circulate in the body. The inflammatory response persists in spite of an alleviation of symptoms. Many children with asthma do not need these medicines to block the action of the pro-inflammatory leukotrienes. A simple change in their diet will reduce leukotriene production altogether.

A diet of mostly nutrient empty processed foods with a deficiency of important vitamins and minerals, an abundance of simple sugars and an excess of unhealthy fats favors the production and release of pro-inflammatory chemicals and weakens the anti-inflammatory response. A diet high in simple sugars causes insulin levels to remain high or fluctuate in very high and low ranges. These types of insulin responses stimulate the release of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins, leukotrienes and cytokines which weakens the production of their anti-inflammatory counterparts as well.

Holistic Approaches:

Recognize, understand, reduce and eliminate contributing factors:

1) Clean up the environment reducing exposure to known respiratory irritants. Continue to look for other possible airborne irritants that are not very obvious.

2) Teach older children to take full, proper breaths. Have them sit or stand in an upright position in a calm environment. Ask them to inhale through the nose and feel their diaphragm pushing down towards their feet while the abdomen relaxes, pushes out from their bodies and fills like a balloon. Make sure the shoulders and chest wall are still and not part of the respiratory effort. Ask them to feel their chest wall filling with air after their abdomen expands. On the exhale, have them reverse the process letting the air exit through the mouth, allowing the abdomen to return to its normal position bringing the belly button back towards the spine. Encourage them to practice this type of breathing at all times, especially during more stressful encounters, until it becomes second nature. Yoga, hypnosis and meditation are several tools to help children with asthma improve their breathing.

3) Clean up the diet by removing unhealthy fats. These include partially hydrogenated oils, margarine, vegetable shortening, cooking oils such as corn, vegetable, safflower and sunflower oils and fried foods and oils. These oils are found in supermarket and bakery packaged foods and used in restaurants for cooking and frying. Read labels. Use olive oil, organic butter, ghee, grape seed oil, coconut oil and cold pressed oils for cooking and flavoring. I do not recommend flax seed oil for children as a source of omega-3 fatty acids. There is scientific evidence that the oil is not processed in the body to help promote anti-inflammatory responses due to weak enzyme systems in children. If children are unwilling to eat fish and sea vegetables for their omega-3 intake, there are good tasting cod liver oil preparations made by Carlson Labs and Nordic Naturals. (3,5,8)

4) Clean up the diet by removing simple sugars and regulate insulin levels. These sugars include glucose, sucrose, fructose and lactose and processed white flours. These sugars are ubiquitous in cereals, juices, cookies, cake, candy, pastries, soda, soft drinks, shakes, snack bars, milk, cheese, ice cream, bread, pasta, crackers and, unk, snack and fast foods. (5, 7,8, 9)

5) Sugar, like salt, is dehydrating to the body. Dehydration increases histamine levels. Histamine is another pro-inflammatory chemical that can worsen asthma. Water helps reduce histamine levels. Sixty-seven to seventy percent of a child’s body is made up of water. Make sure children with >asthma drink water as their main beverage and keep them well-hydrated. I have personally watched a wheezing child improve using hydration as a main part of her treatment. (1, 2)

6) Clean up the dyes, preservatives, food colorings, artificial sweeteners and additives found in most foods listed in numbers 3 & 4 above and in many prescription drugs, antibiotics and over the counter medicines. Several of these chemicals are known to interfere with important enzymes needed for production of pro- and anti-inflammatory immune chemicals

7) Encourage a diet of whole, fresh, simple foods including vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, meat, chicken, fish, eggs, whole grains, sprouted breads and some fruit. Flavor foods with fresh culinary herbs and spices. Depending on factors specific to the individual child, some children with asthma will improve on a diet of non-starchy vegetables, meat, chicken, fish and eggs, nuts and seeds and fats with small amounts of grains, legumes, starchy vegetables, sugars and fruit. Others will improve on starchy vegetables, legumes, whole grains and fruit with small amounts of non-starchy vegetables, animal proteins and fatty foods. (6, Processed foods and beverages taste good yet they have little to no nutritional value. As a mainstay in the diet, they can be harmful to a child’s health, especially for a child with a chronic inflammatory condition like asthma.

8) Relieve tension on the autonomic nervous system. The best way to do this is through evaluation and care by a doctor of chiropractic, osteopathathy or a cranial sacral therapist. Some children, whose asthma is more related to an imbalance in their autonomic nervous system rather than a problem with their diets, will respond better to these types of treatments. The diet changes will still be of benefit nonetheless.

9) Avoid Motrin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. In a subset of children with asthma, these medications will increase the production of pro-inflammatory leukotrienes. 10) Address stressors that may affect the emotional state of the child. Increased peer pressure, academic pressure, over stimulation, over scheduling, problems in the home, inability to express emotions such as fear, anger, anxiety, worry and grief with build up of these emotions, exposure to violence, anger or fighting, and feelings of smothering and suffocation are some of the concomitant stressors that serve as triggers for children with asthma.

Batmanghelidj, MD, F., ABC of Asthma, Allergies and Lupus
Batmanghelidj, MD, F., Water: For Health, For Healing, For Life: You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty
Enig, Ph.D., Mary, Know Your Fats
Ivker, DO, Robert, Nelson, ND, Todd, Asthma Survival: The Holistic Medical Treatment Program for Asthma
Weil, MD, Andrew, Spontaneous Healing
Wolcott, William and Fahey, Trish, The Metabolic Typing Diet

Resolution of Breech Presentation With Chiropractic Care

In the April 11, 2011, issue of the scientific periodical, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, is a documented case study showing chiropractic helping a pregnant woman with a breech presentation pregnancy. A breech presentation is when the fetus is not in the proper head-down position as the delivery date is approaching.

According to the study, a breech presentation is created by “intrauterine constraint” which the authors describe as, “as any force external to the developing fetus that obstructs the normal movement of the fetus.”

The study reports that, in the United States, 86 percent of infants with breech presentation are delivered by cesarean which increases risks to the mother and the baby.

In this case, a 25-year-old woman went to a chiropractic office 31 weeks into her pregnancy. She was referred to the chiropractor by her obstetrician who had recently performed an ultrasound which confirmed the breech position. She was hoping to avoid a c-section birth.

A chiropractic examination was performed using the procedures of the “Webster Technique”. The Webster Technique is a specialized analysis and procedure developed by the late Dr. Larry Webster who was affectionately known as the “grandfather of chiropractic pediatrics”. A determination was made that this woman fit the protocol, and so the chiropractor applied the Webster Technique.

Within four hours of the first Webster Technique adjustment, the woman reported feeling “a lot of movement”. The woman commented that she felt the fetus had shifted from a breech position to the transverse position. After her second chiropractic visit, the woman had a prenatal visit at which the obstetrician confirmed that the fetus had turned to the proper vertex position. The study noted that the woman continued to receive chiropractic adjustments for resolution of low back pain until delivery. She eventually had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery.


Scoliosis: What Is It?

Normal spines have 4 natural curves from the side. When looking at the spine from the side, it curves out at the cervical spine (neck), in at the thoracic spine (mid-back), out at the lumbar spine (low back), and slightly in at the sacrum.

When looking at the spine from the back, it should be straight. If it curves to either side, then it’s scoliosis that occurs in approximately 2-4% of population. On an x-ray, the spine of a person with scoliosis looks more like an “S” or a “C” than a straight line. We see this back issue often at our New York City Chiropractic Office

It can be associated with back pain, neck pain, diminished quality of life, limited activity, decreased respiratory function and lower self-esteem.

Scoliosis is more prevalent in girls and is usually detected between 8 and 14 years of age by either a pediatrician or the parents.

Current Medical approach to scoliosis treatment:

  • 0-25 degrees – observation
  • 25-40 degrees – bracing
  • 40+ degrees – surgery

There are millions of people worldwide suffering from scoliosis. Thousands of children will have dangerous and unnecessary spinal fusion surgery every year because parents are told that surgery is the only way to treat scoliosis. Research studies from 1991 to 2010 have shown medical bracing is ineffective in correcting scoliosis or delaying future surgery. Bracing also restricts movement causing muscle weakness and reduced flexibility in a child.

Scoliosis Care for Children From a Queens Pediatric Chiropractor

PARENTS!!! You have much more effective and safer options. CLEAR-Institute has developed a system that can effectively reduce and stabilize scoliosis without bracing or surgery. There is no one magic chiropractic adjustment or therapy which will work in every case. Scoliosis treatment must be customized to the particular, specific needs of each individual patient.

  • First step gathering all information during very detailed spinal evaluation, followed by seven small, precise x-rays which are necessary. These seven views will include three side views of the neck, a side view of the low back, two frontal views of the neck, and one frontal view of the low back.
  • Second step is prior to receiving chiropractic adjustments; the patient is required to warm up their spine using devices such as the Active Rehabilitation Chair, Cervical Traction, and the Vibrating Traction.
  • Third step would follow with mechanical adjusting instrument and specialized drop table pieces.
  • Fourth step after the adjustment the spine needs to be “set” in its corrected position to ensure the permanency of the changes. This involves spinal weighting protocols, whole-body vibration therapy and Scoliosis Traction Chair.
  • Fifth step would be a follow-up exam. We would have to take a post x-ray to validate the effectiveness of the treatment protocol.

Scoliosis Treatment Queens NY

Remember, early detection and intervention gives patients the best prognosis in their recovery from scoliosis. If you or your child have been told by your medical doctor “just wait”, get a second opinion by a chiropractic scoliosis specialist today.”To learn more about your treatment options please visit

Consider Chiropractic

Several studies support the idea that colicky symptoms may be linked to mild bio-mechanical disturbances of the spinal joints, affecting nerve system function which may be helped by chiropractic adjustments. A large, preliminary study reported significant improvement in colic, often after only a single chiropractic adjustment. Another study revealed that 91 percent of parents observed improvement in their babies’ symptoms after two to three adjustments. In a trial, infants were given either a placebo medication or a series of three to five adjustments using gentle “fingertip” pressure over two weeks. Infants receiving the spinal adjustments experienced a 67 percent reduction in daily hours of crying, compared with only a 38 percent reduction in infants on placebo medication.

How can I tell if my child has spinal Imbalances?

Just as it is important that you have your children’s teeth checked by a dentist, it is also important to have their spine checked regularly for proper development. Use the following list to check for spinal imbalances:

  1. Have your child bend over with arms dangling forward. When you run your hand over his or her spine, does it curve from side to side?
  2. Look at your child from the rear, does one shoulder blade stick out or appear to be higher than the other?
  3. When looking at your child from the rear, is one ear higher than the other?
  4. Does your child’s back appear to be humped or rounded?
  5. Do your child’s clothes fit properly; are hems and waistbands of skirts or pants even?

These “home evaluations” are just a few indicators why your child may need chiropractic care. Please find a doctor of Chiropractic, and have your baby checked as early as possible. Many potentially serious spinal disorders may be caught early and possibly prevented like Scoliosis.

Adjusting Infants? Certainly!

Most hospital births include unnecessary trauma. The routine procedures of technological birth (anesthesia, maternal position, a fearful environment) all contribute to increase in complications and often result in invasive, traumatic births. As we are seeing in the US, the startling rise in c-section deliveries is a good indication that these routing procedures are not leading to safer more natural births but rather to the practice of more invasive, unnatural procedures. Infant and maternal mortality rates are rising, not declining. Technology is not necessarily providing safer care.

A c-section delivery has as much, if not more, trauma than a vaginal birth. The pull force on the baby’s head and neck during the c-section may be considerably greater than a regular vaginal birth because the uterine muscles of the mother are not assisting the delivery process. Most moms who have had a c-section describe a pulling and tugging sensation as the baby was being taken out of the belly. This pulling (which sometimes even lifts the mother from the table) is the amount of force that is pulling on the baby’s fragile spine. Pulling, stretching, twisting the baby’s spine during delivery is known to cause nerve system stress. Mechanical devices such as forceps and vacuum contribute excessive stresses to the baby’s cranium, spine and nerve system.

It is my suggestion for you to find a Doctor of Chiropractic in your area who cares for infants. I believe all babies should be checked by a qualified chiropractor right after birth, especially s-section babies who may need additional cranial care. Also, for the future pregnancies, you may want to get under regular chiropractic care as well it will help restore normal biomechanical function to your pelvis throughout pregnancy and facilitate a safer, easier birth in the future.

The Effect of Chiropractic Care on an Infant with Problems of Constipation: A Case Study

Chiropractic Care on Infant with Constipation New York

Infant began having constipation at age 6 months when solid foods were introduced. In order for her to have a bowel movement she had to be in a warm bath with her legs up and her abdomen massaged. At one point, the baby actually became impacted and emergency care was needed. Was not uncommon for her to go a week to ten days between bowel movements. After the second chiropractic, adjustment patient had a bowel movement all by herself. Within two weeks began having regular bowel movements by herself every two or three days. At 23 months, the patient began to walk and she has at least one totally normal bowel movement every day.

Marko, S. Chiropractic Pediatrics Vol. 1 No. 3 Dec. 1994.

New York City Chiropractor Dr. Boris Nektalov provides exceptional chiropractor care for the entire family. He is experienced in Chiropractic Care for Children and also Chiropractic Care to reduce or eliminate back pain for pregnant women in NYC.

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