Informed Choice in the Chiropractic Family Practice

icpaParents today appreciate knowledge. As practitioners working with parents, it is important that we provide resources for them to make informed choices for their families’ health and well being. Questions about pregnancy, birth options, breastfeeding, medical treatment, nutrition are just some of the concerns parents are actively seeking answers to. When we provide them with the information to answer their concerns, we are offering a valuable service toward promoting the chiropractic family wellness lifestyle.

In our office, we have an extensive lending library with many books, videos and DVD’s. Throughout the 23 years we have been in practice, many patients have commented on this wonderful resource of information not available elsewhere. True, we have to replace books more often then I would like to; however the replacement fee is small compared to the benefit I know people are getting from the materials we make available. Let’s say, just one mother avoided the Rhogam shot during pregnancy when it contained the harmful preservative thimerosal, or perhaps another chose to change birth providers and avoided a c-section or another parent choose the watch-and-wait approach for their child’s ear infections and also avoided the adverse effects of antibiotics and tubal surgery on their child—well, then the maintenance and replenishing of our library was worth every cent.

Most recently, we are sending every patient who comes in to the I.C.P.A. public website: This informative site was designed to provide parents with numerous articles, research references and commentaries about the many issues parents face when making informed health care choices for their families. The “search” option allows them to access many family-related topics.

The I.C.P.A. offers “referral cards,” so doctors can hand them out in their practices and neighborhood family centers throughout their communities. There is a place on the card to personalize it with your center’s name and contact info as well. Parents in your community become aware of you as a doctor providing the resources they are looking for.

Additionally, we carry bulk copies of the I.C.P.A.’s new public magazine, Pathways. This full color magazine is beautifully laid out and gives chiropractic the professional presentation it deserves.  The thought-provoking articles in Pathways are core to providing parents with credible information supportive of the wellness lifestyle.

Become a resource center in your office and community and begin  providing parents with the information they are actively seeking. Offering parents these sought out materials establishes your credibility and defines you as the family provider respectful of their right to make choices for their families’ lives and well being.

Dr. Jeanne Ohm instructs internationally on the topic “Chiropractic Care for Pregnant Women and Children.” She is executive coordinator of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and can be reached via their website at

Breastfeeding Difficulties and Chiropractic


:dropcap_open:M:dropcap_close:odern birthing procedures—even those with seemingly minimal intervention—are known to cause trauma and stress to the infant’s cranium and spine. In Biedermann’s text, Manual Therapy in Children, author R. Sacher tells us, “When considering injuries and dysfunctions of the spine and its associated structures, the significance of birth trauma is often underestimated, and the resulting symptoms frequently misinterpreted.” In the case of difficulty breastfeeding, as with many childhood disorders, the cause of the problem often traces back to undetected biomechanical injuries to the spine and cranium at birth. The failure to recognize these biomechanical injuries and their relationship to difficulty in breastfeeding leads to incorrect conclusions and, therefore, inadequate recommendations and treatments. Without real solutions, mothers become discouraged, successful breastfeeding is not achieved and women abandon the practice out of frustration.


Breastfeeding is, by far, the best choice for infant feeding for numerous reasons. Significant research shows that, from a nutritional, immunological, digestive, neurological, developmental, mental, psychological and emotional standpoint, there is no replacement.  Today, more and more women are choosing the healthy, natural benefits of breastfeeding. Exclusive breastfeeding is the optimal feeding mode for an infant’s first six months of life. Many women initially plan to breastfeed for that length of time, yet fall short because of difficulties that seem to have no solution. Many of the care providers they consult are unaware of the biomechanical disorders in the infant’s spines and craniums, which cause the difficulty in breastfeeding. This lack of knowledge leads to ineffective recommendations with poor results. Unless the biomechanical cause of these difficulties is addressed, women may become frustrated and abandon their original intent to breastfeed their babies.  In these instances, it is imperative that family chiropractors offer mothers and their infants care appropriate to their needs.

Some of the most common indicators of difficulty with breastfeeding are:

• Babies who cannot latch firmly
• Babies who can latch and not sustain sucking
• Babies who are unable to smoothly coordinate suckling, swallowing and breathing
• Babies who can feed in only one position or postural
• Babies who seem dissatisfied when nursing and who remain fussy and distressed throughout the day
• Babies who chew and damage the mother’s nipples
• Babies who may not feed any better from other devices
• Babies who have the need to suck 24/7

It has been my experience of 24 years in practice that, when infants presented in our office with the above signs, once evaluated and adjusted accordingly, they responded favorably with chiropractic care. Normal function in the infant was restored and breastfeeding continued without further complications and hindrances. Providing the mother with effective solutions allows the mother and child to continue to benefit from this superior practice of bonding and feeding.

As doctors of chiropractic, it is our responsibility to inform parents about the importance of chiropractic care right from birth. Among other numerous benefits of chiropractic care for infants, the ability to successfully breastfeed has life long consequences for the baby’s future health potential. A chiropractic evaluation should be included as a standard of care for all infants. Offering care for newborns may very well be one of the most important contributions chiropractic brings to the wellness lifestyle.

Dr. Jeanne Ohm instructs internationally on the topic “Chiropractic Care for Pregnant Women and Children.” She is executive coordinator of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and can be reached via their website at

“Experimental and Investigational”

Around the country, Blue Cross Blue Shield policies are denying chiropractic care for children under the age of 12. Labeling chiropractic care for children as “experimental and investigational,” BC/BS is seeking to intimidate parents into believing that chiropractic care is not safe or effective for children.


Doctors of Chiropractic have been adjusting children for over 100 years. The reported incidence of malpractice with children is extremely minimal. As one chiropractic insurance claims adjuster told me, “In fifteen years, I have seen maybe five cases of malpractice involving children. Most of them had to do with the child tripping over the adjusting table or some similar type equipment related injury.”

The current attempt by BC/BS to intimidate parent’s right to choose is absurd, considering all of the on-going treatments their policies cover without question. Listed below are just a few current scenarios where questionable treatment protocols for our country’s children were established by conventional medicine without the sufficient documentation to substantiate their safety and efficacy. These services were accepted and covered without a blink and now current, published research studies are revealing the danger and ineffectiveness of these “approved” treatments.” To add insult to injury to the consumer, these experimental treatments are still covered by insurance policies in spite of the new findings!

If your patients are faced with this apparent dichotomy in insurance policy coverage, their insurance companies need to know they are not willing to have their intelligence insulted and their right to choose denied. Change will come with consumer demand.

Unquestioned, routine procedures

The following scenarios are just a few examples where this double standard in health care coverage is revealed…

Unnecessary flu shots: Last year there was a huge push for flu shots for infants. There was no data to substantiate it. Now, a new study, published in “The Lancet”, found that flu shots don’t really work in children younger than two years of age. In addition, the scientists said they “recorded no convincing evidence that vaccines can reduce mortality, hospital admissions, serious complications and community transmission of influenza” in young kids.

The interesting point to note here is that without any scientific data for efficacy, the flu shot was recommended and paid for. Interesting to note is that the flu shot, like all vaccines, is considered “preventative medicine” and frequently chiropractic care is denied because it is preventative care.

Leading Drug Company Deceives Parents: It was bad enough that the toxic substance thimerosal was ever put into vaccines without even testing its effects, however what is even worse is when it was finally exposed that it may be having adverse effects on children, a leading drug company continued to supply the infant hepatitis B vaccine, still contaminated with thimerosal, for two years after announcing that it had eliminated the toxin from the vaccine.

It was September 1999, in the midst of concerns about the risks of mercury in childhood vaccines, when Merck stated that the FDA had approved a preservative-free version of the vaccine. Despite Merck’s news release that stated, “Now, Merck’s infant vaccine line is free of all preservatives,” the company still distributed the vaccine containing thimerosal until October 2001.

Again, it is interesting to note that in spite of the known toxicity of thimerosal and its presence in childhood vaccines, insurance companies continued to cover these contaminated vaccines without any control standards of safety for the covered vaccine.

Ritalin and Cancer Risks: The rise in the use of Ritalin in this country is frightening. In an alarming study conducted at the University of Texas, researchers have discovered that every child they tested who was taking Ritalin (methylphenidate) developed chromosomal aberrations that have been associated with an increased risk of cancer.

The researchers tested 12 children before and three months after beginning a daily Ritalin prescription for treatment of ADHD. Every child experienced an increase in genetic damage that is associated with the development of cancer after taking the drug. In the words of the authors, “In every individual examined, there was a statistically significant increase in every genotoxic endpoint analyzed… for each of the parameters tested.”

While there has been significant criticism and cause for alarm in prescribing psychotropic drugs to children, rather than a decrease of use, the amount of children taking these drugs has escalated in the past few years. With all of the literature cautioning its use, how can this be? Perhaps the accessibility of Ritalin and other drugs via “health” insurance coverage may be contributing to its frightening rise? It remains to be seen whether the insurance industry will act on behalf of our children’s safety and question their routine coverage for these experimental and investigational substances.

Offer Parents Support

It is through public awareness and consumer demand that double standards are eliminated. The I.C.P.A. and its national public advertising campaign is reaching the consumer in numerous ways. To become involved, please visit our site at:

Dr. Jeanne Ohm instructs internationally on the topic “Chiropractic Care for Pregnant Women and Children”. She is executive coordinator of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and can be reached via their website at

A Glitch in the Matrix

A recent paper released by the ICA Pediatric Council and written by Dr. Joan Fallon, “A matrix for chiropractic care” has many family practitioners up in arms about its validity and intent. The following is a brief response from the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association’s Research Director, Dr. Joel Alcantara. It is important to note that the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) is the oldest and largest pediatric organization and is separate and distinct from the ICA Pediatric Council.

The chiropractic care of children has been an integral part of the practice of chiropractic since its inception. However, only relatively recently has pediatric chiropractic been considered a new specialty as highlighted by textbooks, specialized post-graduate programs as those offered by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and the publication of a peer-reviewed journal specifically addressing the needs of children. A recent article by Fallon1 published in the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatric provides a “matrix for chiropractic care” of children. It is important to note that Fallon is associated with the ICA Pediatric Council, which is not affiliated with the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.

The matrix provides for seven categories of care with specified treatment frequencies. The following is a short critical appraisal of her article.

Similar to all healthcare providers, chiropractors face various clinical decisions to provide the most appropriate care. No more in this true than in the practice of pediatric chiropractic. How much care should children receive? What is too much? What is not enough? What are the limits and what are the needs? What frequency of care should one recommend to parents? Why does the child need care? Such challenging questions give rise to clinical guidelines and as defined by the Institute of Medicine,1 they are “systematically developed statements to assist practitioner and patient decisions about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances.”

Clinical guidelines have the potential benefit of improving health outcomes in patients and improve the quality/appropriateness of clinical decisions. On the other hand, clinical guidelines have limitations and have potential harms. Herein lies the critique of Fallon’s matrix of care for children. Like Fallon’s matrix of care, guidelines may be wrong. For one, although the scientific inquiry on the chiropractic care of children is in its infancy, a number of research endeavors have been published in scientific journals.  Fallon’s review of the literature to support her matrix of care is lacking, misinterpreted and ultimately, misleading.  Secondly, clinical guidelines are rigorously developed by experts in the field. From what could be discerned, her matrix of care is more of an opinion-piece presumably based on her clinical experience. Fallon’s matrix of care has no clinical rationale from a chiropractic perspective. The categories of care are whimsical and have no clinical precedent from which to provide an authority or judgement with respect to treatment frequencies. They do not take into account the detection and correction of spinal and extra-spinal subluxations. Rather they focus on condition-based care from which treatment frequencies are arbitrarily assigned rather than a rigorous review of all the available literature. Ultimately, Fallon’s matrix provides for suboptimal, ineffective and potentially harmful chiropractic care.

As for the publication of Fallon’s article in the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatric, I question the peer-review process. It is obvious that peer-review was lacking in this case as exemplified by the inclusion of something as simple as “a fall” being denoted as a condition of care. The peer-reviewers should have weighed the harm versus the benefits that such a poorly written article may have on the practice of pediatric chiropractic.


1. Field MJ, Lohr KN, eds. Clinical practice guidelines: directions for a new program. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1990.

Dr. Jeanne Ohm instructs internationally on the topic “Chiropractic Care for Pregnant Women and Children”. She is executive coordinator of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and can be reached via their website at


Post Partum Postural Considerations

Part One: For the Mother

We can certainly see the need for regular chiropractic care throughout pregnancy—the varied postural distortions with weight gain and an increase in the hormone relaxin bring many mothers-to-be into our offices seeking help for these normal and often uncomfortable adaptations. It is within our scope of practice to assist the mother post partum in regaining spinal stability with the chiropractic adjustment and recommendations for postural positions she will encounter with her new baby.

Carrying the new baby

The first consideration is carrying the baby. Because all the parents are using car seats these days, they have resorted to using these seats as carriers as well. Almos all parents will leave the child in the car seat to carry the baby into the office, store, house, etc. When parents come into your office carrying their child in on eof these carriers, point out the i8mbalances these are causing them by side carrying this heavy load. This constant repetitive distortion of the parent’s spine can adversely affect the spine. Usually, the parents carry the infant to one side, causing increased stress to their spinal structures. As a doctor of chiropractic, you will find neck strains, upper thoracic tension and sacral distortions associated with incorrect or repetitive baby carrying.

To help avoid these common discomforts, I suggest to the mother that the car seat is for the car and that they use alternate types of carriers to transport their babies outside of the car. One option is the age-old method of simply carrying the baby in one’s arms.  Although most practical and easiest to implement, many mothers will tell you that they  have a tendency to carry their babies on one side or the other because it is simply more comfortable that way. To avoid this one-sided propensity, I offer the options of “body carriers” or “baby wearing”. These include a wide variety of carriers: wraps, slings,  pouches, front holders, side holders, back carriers. Whereas most offer numerous benefits to the mother—baby weight balancing, free hands, and slow and consistent adaptation to the baby’s weight gain—there still remains the consideration that each individual carrier places the baby in one particular position on the mother and, therefore, has the potential of cumulative repetitive stress on the mother’s spine and nervous system. With this important insight in minde, I offer parents the knowledge of various baby carriers available and that they purchase serveral variations of carriers to accomodate their child’s needs to be held as often as possible.

Breastfeeding postures

Another source of spinal stress in the new mother is compromised breastfeeding postures. In addition to lying down with the baby, the most common posture for breastfeeding is in the mother’s arms with a tendency to slump forward. This distorted posture for the mother may cause upper thoracic sprain/strain, cervical and lumbar stiffness and resulting curve compensations for all areas. The best solution to avoid these repetitive postural distortions is to advise the mother to purchase a breastfeeding support pillow and use it as often as possible.

To find out more about choosing carriers and breastfeeding support pillows, visit

Dr. Jeanne Ohm instructs internationally on the topic “Chiropractic Care for Pregnant Women and Children” She is executive coordinatior of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and can be reached via their website at

The I.C.P.A. Presents on Behalf of Chiropractic in Pregnancy

icpaDuring June 16-18, 2005, the World Federation of Chiropractic and the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research co-sponsored their biennial research conference in Sydney, Australia. Joel Alcantara, D.C., presented a paper, written by himself and Linda Mullin, D.C., entitled “Patients with Malposition and Malpresentation Pregnancies Cared for with the Webster In-Utero Constraint Technique: A Retrospective Analysis.”

Dr. Alcantara is Research Director of the International Chiropractic Association, in Media, PA, and is in private practice in San Jose, CA.

Dr. Mullin is in private practice in Marieta, GA, and an instructor at Life Chiropractic College.

In the introduction of their paper, Drs Alcantara and Mullin observed that the miracle of birth is preceded by a myriad of biomechanical and physiologic changes for both mother and fetus. With growth of the fetus, the mother’s abdominal muscles are stretched and tone is diminished with the abdominal muscles losing their ability to contribute to neutral posture. As the mother’s production of the hormone relaxin increases ten-fold, the hormone creates arthrodial laxity, which allows for the pelvis to accommodate the enlarging uterus. However, it also weakens the ability of static supports in the lumbosacral spine to withstand forces that may lead, from a chiropractic perspective, to vertebral subluxations.

Given that perinatal morbidity and mortality are increased in malposition/malpresentation pregnancies1,2 and that Caesareans, with their inherent risks to both mother and fetus, are the common medical approach for such patients3, the authors suggested that it is important that conservative alternative approaches be investigated. Removal of vertebral (sacral) subluxations in women with malposition/malpresentation pregnancies (i.e., breech pregnancies) using the Webster In-Utero Constraint Technique4 have led practitioners to observe the malposition/malpresentation fetuses to correct to the vertex position, thus allowing for vaginal delivery. To further investigate this chiropractic practice phenomenon, they performed a retrospective analysis of patients with malposition/malpresentation pregnancies under the Webster In-Utero Constraint Technique.


A retrospective analysis of patient files in one private chiropractic practice was performed. In addition to outcome of care (i.e., correction of malposition/malpresentation pregnancy), the following were noted: the number of weeks of gestation when care was initiated, the number of patient visits as well as the period of care, and the types and frequencies of malposition/malpresentation.


A total of 30 patient files were examined. The average age of the patients was 30.93 years (age range, 20-46 years). Patients, on average, were in their 34.4 weeks of gestation (range, 29-39 weeks of gestation). Fetal malposition/malpresentation consisted of one in the facial position, four in the transverse position, 11 in the posterior lie position and 14 were in the breech position. The average number of visits was 3.7 (range, 1-9 visits) within an average of 8.6 days (range, 2-28 days). All malposition/malpresentation pregnancies were corrected using the Webster Technique as verified by ultrasound.


This retrospective analysis provides supporting evidence on the effectiveness of the Webster Technique in correcting malposition/malpresentation pregnancies.

The results of this paper are encouraging and additional projects are in process to further explore the importance of chiropractic care throughout pregnancy. All doctors of chiropractic are invited to visit our website,, and explore the opportunities to participate in our research projects.


1. Olds SB, London ML, Ladewig PA eds. Maternal Newborn Nursing. 6th edition. Prentice Hall Health, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 200: 606-65.

2. Thorpe JA. Malpresentations and special situations. In Creasy RK, ed. Management of labor and delivery. Cambridge, MA 1997:620

3. Hofmeyr GJ, Hannah ME. Planned caesarean section for term breech delivery. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2003;(3):CD000166.

4. Pistolese RA. The Webster Technique: a chiropractic technique with obstetric implications. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2002 Jul-Aug;25(6):E1-9.

Dr Jeanne Ohm instructs internationally on the topic “Chiropractic Care for Pregnant Women and Children”. She is executive coordinator of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and can be reached via their website at

The Importance of Occipital Care in the Newborn

happybabyHaving worked with infants for many years and being continuously frustrated by the effects of birth trauma to their delicate nervous systems, I have been drawn to deeper levels of analysis and correction. For many years, I relied on gentle, specific, segmental adjustments of the spine. The extent of these injuries, however, led me to observe their spines from a more global perspective, looking for the effects of dural stress in the cranium and spinal column. I began doing gentle dural stretch releases focusing on the occiput.

For anatomical review, the occiput is composed of four separate pieces:  the vault, the base and the two lateral portions where the condyles are.  Together, they form the foramen magnum.  At birth, these portions are separate and moveable, connected by the membranous dura matter.  The compressive forces of even normal, natural births, slide and frequently misalign the occipital bones.

Deep in the cranium, the base of the occiput forms the foramen magnum with its articulation to the sphenoid. The sphenoid is considered the “keystone” bone of the skull, because it connects with almost all of the major bones of the skull.  Occipital distortion, therefore, can adversely affect the entire cranial alignment. Additionally, the flexion/extension motion of the entire cranium depends on the mobility of the sphenobasilar joint.  This important, rhythmic motion allows the cerebral spinal fluid to circulate freely, providing vital nutrients for the central nervous system.

Birth, as we know it today, with its many operative and unnatural interventions, causes an undo amount of compression on all of the cranial bones. Left uncorrected, this causes a lifetime of cranial distortion.

One study examined more than 1,200 “normal” newborns.  88% manifested some sort of cranial faults.  Of the 88% examined, 94% had been born under anesthesia, resulting in greater use of obstetrical operative devices.  Of this same 88%, 95% manifested a disturbance of the occipital condyles, with 75% demonstrating bilateral compression of the condyles.

The occipital condyles are the “footers” which line up the atlas and, therefore, affect entire spinal alignment.  Additionally, distortion of the dura from cranial misalignment has a torsion effect on the entire spinal column. Addressing the occiput and, consequently, the dura in our care, facilitates a deeper, more significant correction. I encourage all doctors of chiropractic to continue to explore avenues of knowledge, which will further enhance the invaluable service we provide.

Dr. Jeanne Ohm instructs internationally on the topic “Chiropractic Care for Pregnant Women and Children”. She is executive coordinator of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and can be reached via their website at

Educating the Public

Doctors of chiropractic have been working with children since the early days of chiropractic, over 100 years ago. Their reliable services have offered parents a safe option for natural health care. The founder of chiropractic, D.D. Palmer, D.C., had this to say in 1910: “The principles of chiropractic should be known and utilized in the growth of the infant and continue as a safeguard throughout life.” Truly, the importance of chiropractic care for the family was recognized and practiced since the onset of the profession.

Over the years, the practice of chiropractic became known by many as merely the treatment of bad backs and necks. When I began care, in 1976, I went to a doctor of chiropractic because of spinal injuries. Within several months of regular care, my back pain resolved but, even more significantly, my migraine headaches went away, my allergies subsided, my bouts of asthma disappeared and my menstral cycle became regular. My doctor of chiropractic explained that chiropractic care was the restoration of normal nerve function. Since all body functions are dependent on a healthy nerve system, many health changes can occur under regular chiropractic care. Thus began my revelation about true health and wellness and my pursuit of chiropractic as a career.

When we first opened our office, 24 years ago, my husband and I discovered that most people, like ourselves, begin care because of spinal injuries and/or pain. And when we take the time to explain the essentials of chiropractic to our patients, they, too, understand the role chiropractic plays in the family wellness lifestyle.  

Today, we have parents coming to our office drawing the natural conclusion that, since doctors of chiropractic are working with the nerve system, their children need care as well. Just a few weeks ago, a mother made an appointment for her son in our office. In our initial consultation she revealed that her son had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and, since ADHD was determined to be a dysfunction of the nervous system, the logical steps for her son should include care that addressed interference to the optimal function of his nerve system. Based on speaking with other parents and researching the role of chiropractic on the internet, she chose to bring her son in for an initial exam to determine if her child had any spinal subluxations that may be affecting his ability to concentrate.

Today is, fortunately, the age of information, where parents are privy to knowledge previously kept from the public. The internet has allowed parents to explore and research information on their own—affording them the ability to make informed decisions for their families’ well-being. Additionally, parents are talking with other parents, sharing success stories about their children’s health, and opening new doors and options they were not previously aware of. The importance, safety and efficacy of chiropractic care for children is reaching more and more parents, and whole families are participating in wellness lifestyle changes that are making a huge impact on their families’ present and future well-being.

It is truly an exciting time of movement and change as parents are taking active responsibility for their families’ health. We are proud to play our role in offering information that supports the chiropractic family wellness lifestyle on our public website, We respect and appreciate parents’ right to choose wellness, and we will continue to provide parents with perspectives that offer families the solutions they are seeking.

Jeanne Ohm, DC, has practiced Family Chiropractic since 1981. She is currently Executive Director of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and is the instructor on Perinatal Care in their 360-Hour Diplomate program. She can be contacted via their site at

Chiropractic and the Family Wellness Lifestyle

familyHealth care today is going through a paradigm shift from a symptom disease based system to a function performance based system. Emphasis for care is being placed on the individual’s ability to regain and maintain a state of well being. Practitioners who are in this paradigm respect the body’s own natural ability to be healthy and whole. Consumers are actively seeking providers who are working within this new paradigm.

The following quote by Ronald J. Glasser, M.D., sums up the health crossroads we now face. This  former Asst. Prof. of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota says, “It is the body that is the hero, not science, not anti-biotics…not machines or new devices. The task of the physician today is what it has always been:  to help the body do what it has learned so well to do on its own, during its unending struggle for survival—to heal itself.  It is the body, not medicine, that is the hero.”

True wellness includes all aspects of your life: good foods, adequate body movement, positive mental attitudes and a nerve system functioning at its peak. It far surpasses the old thought process that the mere elimination of symptoms equals health. Achieving true wellness includes practices that address your body’s ability to function at peak performance, and the trust and commitment in your body’s ability to be well.

Chiropractic care plays a vital role in the Family Wellness Lifestyle. As leaders in this health care paradigm shift, chiropractors offer families the means to achieve the true wellness parents are now seeking. The very basic philosophy on which chiropractic was founded includes a deep respect for the body’s inherent ability to heal and be well. The science of chiropractic is based on the importance of a functional nerve system—the vital key to health and well being. The art of chiropractic is the specific adjustment that restores function, allowing the body to express itself fully.

As our society makes the shift into this paradigm of wellness, we, as chiropractors, will be in greater demand to fulfill the needs of these families seeking wellness. It is important that we acquire the skills to care for more children and pregnant women, as these specific groups often present with challenging cases. Working and growing together, as a profession, to meet the consumer’s needs will insure our greater service and success as doctors of chiropractic.

Jeanne Ohm, DC, has practiced Family Chiropractic since 1981. She is currently Executive Director of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and is the instructor on Perinatal Care in their 360-Hour Diplomate program. She can be contacted via their site at

Identifying Causes for Spinal Stress in Children

Physical trauma to the spine and the result of back pain caused by heavy backpacks has been receiving national attention. Parents are becoming aware of the reality of spinal stress in their children. In addition to the backpack dilemma, there are numerous overlooked causes of children’s spinal injury not as well known.  Simply put, any trauma to the spine can cause misalignment of the vertebrae resulting in immediate or delayed spinal problems.

Traumas are in the form of micro or macro. Macro-traumas are the obvious falls, bumps, crashes we know children frequently experience. Micro-traumas are those positional/postural repetitive traumas that we do not frequently associate as an onset to spinal distortion and, therefore, future pain. Trauma may cause immediate pain; however, many sources of back and neck pain are the result of previous injuries and then repetitive postural habits exacerbating the original trauma.

babyfirststepSome causes of Macro-traumas in infancy are:

• Operative deliveries (c-sections, forceps, vacuum extraction, and, even, hand deliveries);
• Falls from beds and changing tables;
• Learning how to walk, and falling 25 times a day on buttocks;
• Auto-accidents (even minor fender benders);
• Tossing babies into air (causes whip lash).

Some causes of Micro-traumas in infancy are:

• Keeping babies in infant carriers and not allowing enough belly time;
• The use of walkers and jolly jumpers;
• Encouraging babies to stand before they are ready to;
• Improper diapering skills.

childinjurySome causes of Macro-traumas throughout childhood are:

• Playground injuries;
• Falls from play activities (roller blading, sledding, bikes, etc.);
• Sport tumbles, jolts and jars;
• Auto accidents, even minor fender-benders.

Some causes of Micro-traumas throughout childhood:

• Too many seated hours—regardless of chair;
• Sitting on floor with their feet straight out in front;
• Lying on their backs with their heads propped up with pillows, to read or watch TV;
• Sleeping on their stomachs.

Jeanne Ohm, DC, has practiced Family Chiropractic since 1981. She is currently Executive Director of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and is the instructor on Perinatal Care in their 360-Hour Diplomate program. She can be contacted via their site at