A few months ago, I was at my wits’ end with ear infections. My 9-month-old had his third ear infection in six months, which meant his third round of antibiotics. Just when I thought he was getting over his latest bout, the bacteria managed to travel from his ears to his lungs, and in the middle of June my infant was diagnosed with pneumonia. Thankfully, it was a mild case, and he got over it within a week, but at that point I was done. I was done with antibiotics that were only treating symptoms and not actually fixing the cause of the ear infections. I was done with sleepless nights caused by my baby’s aching ears. I was done with the fear of one day having tubes placed in my child’s ears. I was ready for an alternative solution to get rid of these ear infections once and for all.
That’s when I turned to a chiropractor.
I’ll admit I am a bit of a hippie when it comes to medicine. I love alternative forms like acupuncture and essential oils. Natural childbirth chose me the first time around, so I chose it the second time. I don’t even take cold medicine because every kind makes me loopy and groggy. For me, chiropractic care is great to maintain year-long wellness.
I was first introduced to chiropractic care during graduate school, when I suffered from daily debilitating headaches. Every day, I popped more and more painkillers in order to make it through my studies. It was getting so bad that I was ready to consult a neurologist. At that point, my mother suggested I see a chiropractor. Frankly, I thought that idea was nuts. I mean, nothing was wrong with my back. How could a chiropractor fix my headaches? Well, after taking a few X-rays, the chiropractor discovered that the C-curve in my neck had completely straightened out after years of being hunched over books. Turns out, the incorrect alignment of my neck was the direct cause of my headaches. After a month of adjustments, my headaches disappeared. I was sold.
During my time at this particular chiropractor, I saw many families bring their children in for adjustments; some of these children were only a few days old. It was then that I learned that chiropractic care was a holistic treatment to help build strong immune systems and promote healthy living.
How does chiropractic care work for wellness?
The idea behind chiropractic care is that every function in the body starts with the spine. The spine supports the brain and nervous system so that all the nerves in the body can send the proper signals for our organs to function properly. When one vertebrae is out of alignment, or subluxated, the nerves are pinched and can’t send the signals they need to rest of the body. As a result, we get more than just back pain. For example, when our chiropractor examined my son, he discovered that the C-1 vertebra in his neck was misaligned. This C-1 vertebra supports the nerves in control of the immune system. My son’s immune system wasn’t working at its full capacity, and as a result, he was more susceptible to ear infections. Once my son was adjusted, the ear infections ceased.
What else can chiropractic care treat for children?
I’ve had several friends take their babies to chiropractors to treat a number of different issues. One friend brought her daughter in to help relieve reflux; another friend used a chiropractor to help with issues associated with her infant’s lip and tongue tie. Others bring the whole family to the chiropractor all year long to ensure their spines are in proper alignment, which helps give a boost to their immune systems.
Does it hurt the baby?
Not at all! Both my kids love going to the chiropractor. It’s almost like someone is wrestling with them. They think it’s hilarious. Also, the chiropractor demonstrated on me how very little pressure he uses to get their vertebrae back in place. He’s incredibly gentle and makes the whole experience fun for the kids.
Yes, chiropractic care is expensive. Most insurance companies only cover a certain number of appointments, so if you choose chiropractic care as year-round wellness care, most of your adjustments will be out of pocket. For my family, though, the expense was a no-brainer. Our insurance only covers our children’s annual well-visits, so anytime they visited the doctor any other reason, the appointment cost us $120. As we were staring at the cost of ear tube surgery in the distance, the cost of chiropractic care was easily less expensive for us.
I know that this is not the case for every family. Thankfully, most chiropractors have plans to handle the expense. For instance, our chiropractor offers a budget plan where we can pay off our treatments over the course of several months; plus, we only have to pay for one family member at a time. In addition, if both parents are getting adjusted, then all their children are free. Because many chiropractors believe in this model of holistic health, they will do what they can to make it available to as many people as possible.
I’m happy to say that within one month of chiropractic care, my son’s ear infections disappeared. He hasn’t been on antibiotics in months, and I no longer fear the need for ear tubes. As a result, now our entire family is going to the chiropractor on a regular basis, and I’m feeling comfortable having this alternative support for our immune systems to get us through the winter months!