March 2012

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live with family Ask Doctor Mom Preventing the need to say 'whoops' By Dr. Elizabeth Goetz Parent-to-Parent By Kelsey Sorenson It's no secret that many people turn to chiropractic care to treat everything from injuries to chronic pain. But many chiropractors say the treatment can also do wonders on the smallest of spines. Much like adult chiropractic care, pediatric care focuses on disorders of the musculoskel- Pediatric chiropractor Dr. Amy Anderson answers common questions about why it helps to keep kids' spines in line I've always thought "whooping cough" sounds old fashioned, but it is not a thing of the past. In fact, it is a disease on the rise, and continues to be most dangerous to the smallest members of our population: babies. Commonly referred to as pertussis, the bacteria that causes whooping cough, this highly contagious disease can strike at any age. Adults tend to have mild, cold-like symptoms that lead to a cough that won't seem to go away. But children are more severely affected, first with mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing and cough, then with bouts of coughing that can be so severe they cause vomiting, exhaus- tion and the inability to catch a breath. The typical bout of coughing is often followed by a loud gasp for air—pro- ducing the "whoop" for which pertussis is named. For infants, the symptoms can be worse. Instead of coughing and whoop- ing, they may have trouble breathing or even more serious complications such as seizures. Antibiotics may be helpful if given etal and nervous systems, but uses gentler versions of chiropractic techniques. Why does it work? Dr. Amy Anderson of Bakke Chiropractic Care, a chiropractor certified in pediatric care and a mother of three, explains how this approach can be an option for problems that arise at any age. What ailments does pediatric chiropractic care treat? In infants we use it to treat colic, ear infections, difficulty breastfeeding or problems eating and sleeping. Then as infants get older, parents seek care for children not hitting milestones such as sitting, crawling or walking. It can also help when school-age children experience injuries by encouraging their body to heal more quickly. Why is the treatment effective? For example, colic is usually a sign that the baby is in pain, either because of their digestive or nervous system. Sometimes in utero or during birth, their spines can get out of align- ment, and relieving that pain can sometimes reduce colic. Or if it's digestion related, we can address problems with the diaphragm. For all patients, you'll know within four to six visits if it's going to help, and if it doesn't, I refer them to the proper physician or therapist. Are there any risks to chiropractic care for kids? There is almost no risk, because it's such a gentle technique. That input into the body has as much risk as massage therapy. For kids, the techniques usually just feel good—like getting a massage. 24 BRAVA Magazine March 2012 early, but may not reduce symptoms once the coughing has begun. Anyone with pertussis should see their doc- tor to find out what they can do to reduce the likelihood of spreading it to children. The good news is that most children are vaccinated for pertussis. Infants start receiving this vaccine when they are 2 months old and complete a series of five vaccines before kindergarten. Though the vaccine provides great protection through childhood, it may wear off by early adulthood. Pertussis booster vaccines are recommended between 11 and 18 years of age and again in adulthood. All new parents should also be sure that their pertussis vaccination is current. With those simple steps, hopefully you'll never have to hear the "whoop" in your home. Dr. Elizabeth Goetz is a pediatrician at UW Health and mother of three.

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