In 1992, parents were first encouraged to have their babies sleep on their back. Since that time, there has been a 600% increase in flathead syndrome. More than a million babies will be diagnosed with this every year. This affects nearly 48% of all babies ages 0-6 months old.
In the chiropractic world, and in my mind, there are two main causes for this.
1. Cervical spinal restriction. This is usually evident in babies that have one side of their head that is flat. This is called plagiocephaly. When in bed or in a car seat the baby tends to always look one way. Turning one way will result in the same side of the head being up against something throughout the day, for some kids 15-20 hours.
2. Too much time spent in a plastic container on their back. I see this SOOO much. People use their "car" seat as an infant carrier for the first several months of the baby's life. A word of advise. Use the car seat in the CAR. Hold your baby. This is huge for development both physically and emotionally. And as the adult parent, hauling around a car seat with a baby in it is not ideal for your spine.
Get your baby checked for spinal restrictions.
Hold your baby close
Use the car seat in the car
Rotate the baby's head in their crib
Over the course of the last several months, basically since my last blog post in May, I have thought a lot about health, weight management, nutrition, diet and lifestyle. To me, all of these things are related. We have all heard the phrase, "You are what you eat!" But why is it that for most people it goes in one ear and out the other? People are not willing to make a LIFESTYLE change when it comes to FOOD in order to make themselves more healthy. Sure, some people will use the excuse, "I am just going to keep eating junk all the time, never exercise and I bet I live longer than you." That might happen. After all, there is no 100% guarantee that those that eat well live longer. We have heard about the man or woman that smoked 2 packs a day for 60 years, ate garbage regularly, never exercised that lived till they were 95 years old. And on the flip side, known someone or heard about someone that ate clean, fresh foods, exercised 3-5 times a week that died of a disease at age 34. I use this argument because it is not JUST about the end goal of living longer. LIFE should be about the JOURNEY!!! There should be JOY in the JOURNEY. This joy is quality of life. The feeling of being active and full of energy 365 days a year. Being able to play with kids and grand kids. Being able to run and not be weary. Waking up in the morning and not wanting to go back to sleep because your body hasn't had enough time to catch up from the constant abuse that you are giving it. People that treat their body like a garbage can might live longer, chances are decreased, but they might. But guess what? The quality of life is going to be very small. I am a firm believer that a great deal of health comes from what we eat. I think that it is vital to maintain a diet rich is REAL foods. Foods that you can grow and pick. In a perfect world, we would easily be able to obtain healthy, organic foods, rich in vitamins and minerals. But for some, based on location and schedules it is not always the easiest thing to do. I have implemented a system in my office that teaches people what types of foods to eat and when. This system is coupled with an herbal cleanse, metabolic nutritional supplements, fish oils, probiotics and a vitamin and amino acid energy drink. It is 24 days of a lifestyle change, that kickstarts a cleaner eating regime, coupled with amazing supplements. The people that follow this plan have an increased quality of life. Their JOY in their journey is increased, as they start to take better care of their bodies. Here is the link to the information on the system I have implemented. Advocare 24 day challengeLet us all GET healthy by moving well, and eating well. DR. RUTTER
I have been in practice for a while, and have seen a lot of different reasons for people seeking out help from a chiropractor. Without a doubt, the number one reason people come into my office is because they are in PAIN. Pain seems to be a driving force for most people. Nobody wants to live their day to day life in pain, that is understandable. Pain is annoying. Pain limits your physical activity. Pain causes problems with relationships. Pain hurts!!! Get the picture?!
So in they come....with pain. I always tell my patients that pain is a very small way of the body telling you that something else is wrong. We have a brain that controls every aspect of our body. It helps our heart beat, our stomach churn food into a pulp, our lungs expand to take in air, our legs to shift back and forth to walk or run, it raises our arms to high five when our team scores a touchdown and our hair to raise on our arms when we get cold, or hear the latest music group's lead singer belt out a perfectly pitched note. Our brain (the POWER) is concerned with how our body functions. Only about 10% of our brain's control is even concerned with pain. Think about it. If our body had to choose between walking down the street and digesting food at the same time, or make us realize that we have a slight dull ache in our low back, what we would choose it to do? Function is key. Pain might drive us to seeking results, but the functional results will be of far greater benefit.
So I deal with these patients seeking out chiropractic care to relieve pain, and they see results. Pain is decreased. But guess what else? They start functioning better as well. Why? Because CHIROPRACTIC WORKS on the nervous system. The power in the body is turned on. What I get to hear in my office.... "I have never felt better!" "I can garden longer now because I have less pain, and more energy." "I can run a half marathon faster than before, and the pain in my legs are gone." "My digestion and bowel movements have never been this regular in my life." You get the point.
People come in seeking pain relief, and they leave with life changing functional improvements. The POWER is on!!!
THIS is what chiropractic is all about. Changing lives for the better. Health is out there. Make a choice and obtain it.
Seek out chiropractic care.
We have all heard it before. "He was so healthy. He walked every day, ate well, played with the grand kids. He fell one day while getting into the shower, hit his head and explained that he was dizzy. We took him into the doctor only to find that he had a tennis ball sized tumor on his brain. He was dead 6 weeks later."
This is a tragic story, that has occurred to many people. In fact, this is exactly what happened to my grandfather. He was in his 80's.
Are these people healthy? Are the lack of symptoms enough evidence to prove that these people are in fact, healthy? I am inclined to answer, no. Health comes from the inside out, and is dependent upon our bodies ability to regulate itself. When our bodies become sick, they are losing a battle with the stressors that continually bombard the body from many different directions. We need to eliminate these stressors, and give the body the proper fuel, so that when bombarded, we are able to deal with these stressors.
It is important that we realize that a lack of symptoms isn't necessarily a good thing.
Lets take the high blood pressure debate raging on in our country today. A patient goes in for a routine annual physical. They are diagnosed with "high blood pressure." This is a symptom. It is the bodies warning sign that it is not able to regulate the blood pressure correctly. What is causing this increase in blood pressure? The doctor prescribes a medication to lower the blood pressure. Months go by and the patient is seen for a follow up appointment. The blood pressure has stabilized and is deemed normal. The drug is working. But has the drug moved this patient any closer to health? The answer is no. They are not any more healthy than they were before. In fact, some would argue that they are farther from health, because they have yet to address why their body was not able to respond to the stressors and regulate without the use of the drugs. And now they are at risk from the prolonged use of high blood pressure medications, and the side effects that are associated with them. Their symptoms are gone, but they are not healthier.
We need to shift our thinking. The world today, is primarily driven by the allopathic premise that, health comes from the outside, from drugs and surgery. There is a chronic illness pandemic in America today. Should we continue to spend money on more drugs and surgery, or should we somehow shift the paradigm to lifestyle intervention? Diagnosing chronic illnesses and treating them with drugs and surgery is not the the way to prolong healthy life and save money. The only way is by educating people on their lifestyle choices and how it will affect their overall health. Our bodies are healthy and resilient. We need to create an environment and take responsibility for our health. Let our bodies express themselves as they were designed to do. We must understand how every choice we make affects our overall well being.
Most parents have seen it with their children. A fussy child, pulling at their ears, runny nose, lack of appetite, feverish, crying. These are the symptoms of an ear infection. The leading reason, by far, for children to visit the pediatrician's office is due to the symptoms caused by ear infections. Ear infections, or otitis media, is a generic name for several conditions that can affect the middle ear, including inflammation of the middle ear, ranging from acute to chronic and with or without symptoms. The leading age group for OM is children under the age of two.
From 1975 to 1990, office visits for otitis media increased by 150 percent to 24.5 million visits, or 81 percent of the pediatric profile for children under the age of 15. Although the total number of office visits for otitis media decreased to 16 million in 2000, the rate of antibacterial prescribing was approximately the same (802 antibacterial prescriptions per 1000 visits fora total of more than 13 million prescriptions). An individual course of antibacterial therapy can range in cost from $10 to more than $100.
Are antibiotics the answer?
Is an ear infection really the lack of antibiotics?
How effective and safe are the drugs that millions are giving their children?
What other methods should be considered when the symptoms start to present?
In 1994, George Washington University and the University of Minnesota reviewed 33 studies evaluating the efficacy of various antibiotics for the treatment of otitis media. Using the statistical technique of meta-analysis, they discovered that drugs have only about a 14 percent advantage over the body's own immune system.The New England Journal of Medicine published a study regarding the use of antibiotics versus the use of a placebo. It revealed that during a one-week period, 94 percent of the recipients using antibiotics for ear infections resolved, while 84 percent of the placebo-controlled recipients resolved during the same time period. Dr. J. Owen Hendley, from the University of Virginia, reviewed 100 studies and discovered that antibiotics help only one out of eight children with ear infections.
In a recent study the authors presented the downside of the use of antibiotics by stating: "The bacteria, which cause ear infections, learn quickly to be resistant to antibiotics. At some point we're going to run out of drugs to treat the problem. Antibiotics resistance is a huge problem in this country. The practice of treating eight children to help one who needs antibiotics just makes it worse." Parents, beware of the side-effects and contraindications to the usage of antibiotics! Side-effects to drugs such as amoxicillin, Augmentin or ampicillin include diarrhea, hives and yeast infections. Children with a previous allergy to these drugs should not take them. Also, the cephalosporin antibiotics cefadroxil and cephalexin may present numerous side-effects, such as upset stomach; nausea; vomiting; depressed white blood cell (WBC) counts; anemia; rashes; and inhibited blood clotting. Ciprofloxacin side-effects are upset stomach; nausea; vomiting; loss of appetite; diarrhea; headache; sleep disturbance; increased risk of tendonitis; dizziness; mood changes; a depressed WBC count; anemia; rashes; and sun sensitivity. Its contraindications include children susceptible to seizures or with central nervous system disorders. Erythromycin side-effects are upset stomach and rash, and it is contraindicated if the child is vomiting or has nausea.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a wait and watch period of 48-72 hours. It is not until after that time, if the child still has a fever over 102 degrees that a course of antibiotics is recommended. They have set these guidelines for the very reason that there is an increasing and alarming rate of antibiotic use in children and the so called "super infections" are gaining ground on society, especially in children. It is not uncommon for a child to develop symptoms of an ear infection, and within 24 hours has been to the pediatrician and started a course of antibiotics. The chances of repeated antibiotic use in that child increases every time they take them. And the strength of the infections builds as well. When you take an antibiotic, it depletes all of the good and all of the bad bacteria in the body. The immune system is now compromised, making it easier for another infection to present or even the same one, had it not been properly diagnosed and treated initially.
Parents should be aware that a big part of the reason why children get ear infections is diet. There are a number of kids that are on the white diet. Their diet is primarily composed of inflammatory foods. These foods are white flour foods, dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt. White sugary foods and sweets. Anything processed that comes out of a box, juices and pastas. Fried foods, french fries, chicken nuggets (even if you bake them at home, they were once fried).
Chiropractic has been shown to relieve the symptoms of ear infections in children. Why would a chiropractic examination and adjustment of the child's neck help? The cervical plexus receives motor fibers that can be traced from the eustachian tubes (tensa veli palatine) to the superior cervical sympathetic ganglion. The chiropractic evaluation must include a thorough evaluation of the entire cervical spine for vertebral subluxation. A close examination of the C1-C4 region should be undertaken.
There is a lot of research correlating a decrease in ear infections and symptoms with chiropractic. A pilot study included 332 children from 27 days old to five-years-old, what were the effects of chiropractic adjustments on children with otitis media? The average number of adjustments administered by types of otitis media were as follows: acute otitis media (127 children) 4 adjustments; chronic/serous otitis media (104 children) 5 adjustments; for mixed type of bilateral otitis media (10 children) 5.3 adjustments; where no otitis was initially detected (74 children) 5.88 adjustments. The number of days it took to normalize the otoscopic examination was for acute 6.67, chronic/serous 8.57 and mixed 8.3. the number of days it took to normalize the tympanographic examination was acute: 8.35, chronic/serous 10.18 and mixed 10.9 days. The overall recurrence rate over a six month period from initial presentation in the office was for acute 11.02%, chronic/serous 16.34%, for mixed 30% and for none present 17.56%.The results indicate that there is a strong correlation between the chiropractic adjustment and the resolution of otitis media for the children in this study. Note: 311 of the 332 had a history of prior antibiotic use. 53.7% of the children had their first bout of otitis media between the ages of 6 months and 1 year and a total of 69.9% of the subjects in the study had their first bout of OM under a year of age. This is consistent with the findings of others. Fallon, JM. Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics Vol 2, No. 2 1997 p.167-183.
Although otitis media is very common in young children, there are ways to prevent it and treat it naturally. It really boils down to two different ways of treating it. There is the traditional way. Treating it with antibiotics, which carries with it a repeated use of the drugs as well as side effects and long term recurrence leading to surgery, placing tubes to help aid the draining of the fluid. The other way would be a more natural way by making certain dietary changes, and seeking out a chiropractic evaluation and/or adjustments.
When I started thinking about going into the health care industry a whole slew of questions started surfacing. I had grown up under the assumption, that it was completely normal to get sick every so often, and that the only way to treat most ills was some type of medicine. I have very vivid memories of having to wash down dinner with cough syrup. It was SO NASTY! I wasn't a chronically sick kid. In fact, I was very active and rarely missed school or any type of "fun" activity. I am grateful to my parents for bringing me up the way that they did. Now that I am a father to two very healthy and active boys, and have studied health, wellness and health care I will admit. I have some serious questions and concerns.
I have realized that the model of health care in the United States is primarily "sick care". It is a system that has been created over the years. It is a system that can be blamed on several decades of misinformation. I think that as we have "progressed" as a society and become smarter in a sense, we have left behind common knowledge of how to treat and maintain a healthy body and mind. With that said, I am very grateful for the advances in the health care industry, that have blessed me and my family and close friends.
According to The World Health Organization (WHO), the United States health delivery system ranks 37th out of 190 countries. Sandwiched in between Costa Rica and Slovenia. The United States spends more on medical care per person than any country, yet life expectancy is shorter than in most other developed nations and many developing ones. Have you ever wondered where the United States ranks with other countries in the world for life expectancy? You might guess it would be in the top 10. Wrong! Top 20? Nope. Top 30? No way. Top 40? Not quite. For 2010, the United States barely makes it into the top fifty, at 49th place. Life expectancy in the United States is 78.24 years, while the longest life expectancy is in Monaco at 89.78 years. Lack of health insurance is a factor in life span and contributes to an estimated 45,000 deaths a year. Why the high cost? The U.S. has a fee-for-service system—paying medical providers piece by piece for appointments, surgery, etc. That can lead to unneeded treatment that doesn’t reliably improve a patient’s health. Says Gerard Anderson, a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who studies health insurance worldwide, “More care does not necessarily mean better care.”
In the late nineteenth century, Louis Pasteur's "germ theory" became the medical paradigm, the controlling medical idea, for the Western world. In its simplest form, the germ theory proposes that the body is sterile and that germs from the air cause disease. The medical community started to look for the right pill to kill off the germ. This concept became ingrained into medicine and medical research. Most research goes to looking for the right pill for a specific disease.
With this model. It has taken the responsibility of health away from the individual. In my opinion, this has made us more sick as a society. It makes it easier to charade through life and live however you want, with the idea that there will probably be a pill for every ill. So in a sense, it is not entirely the fault of big pharma, the public is just as much to blame.
This theory is bogus. It is the soil not the seed. We need to create an environment in our bodies where the body can function at its optimal level. When we manifest with a problem, or a disease, it is due to our bodies in-ability to adapt to the world around it. We have an innate intelligence that serves us as an inner light. We need this light to be flowing freely, overpowering any type of darkness that enters our body.
How do we let this light grow and shine? It is multi-factorial. We need to eliminate toxins, traumas and poor thoughts. Dr. James Chestnut coined the term, and I love to use it, Eat Well, Move Well, Think Well. Motion is life and will play a huge role in our overall health and wellness. Our bodies are resilient and want to show us. We need to create that environment and take responsibility for our health. Let our bodies express themselves as they were designed to do.
Much love, DR. RUTTER
The development of a human is an amazing thing. The first body system to begin developing is the nervous system. Within days of conception, the different germ layers of the young embryo start to fold over themselves and create a canal in which, the brain and spinal cord stem from. It is from the nervous system, and the messages that it sends, that the embryo will develop into a fetus and a beautiful baby, ready for birth after 38-42 weeks of gestation. The nervous system will continue to be the master system of the body, controlling every function, processing every piece of sensory input available, basically making us who we are.
I mention this because it relates to chiropractic. Chiropractic primarily deals with the nervous system. We are who we are based upon what we take into our nervous system and how we process it. The world around us, as we know it, is directly related to the sensory input that we take in, beginning with our time in the womb, the first few minutes after birth and the subsequent days, weeks, months and years. Our overall health stems from our bodies ability to adapt to the world around us. A healthy nervous system is so important, because when healthy, it will have the ability to take the sensory input, process it, and adapt.
How can parents help their infants develop a strong nervous system?
There are many ways to do this. But the way that I want to address has to do with holding your baby close to you. A newborn baby needs constant love and nurturing. There is an old school of thought that dates back to the 1920's, that we were all born basically a blank slate, ignoring any evolutionary hardwiring or any inborn biological tendencies, and that in order to form an independent child it was necessary to prevent the newborn baby from creating dependent habits. Basically meaning that if you hold on to your baby, it will never let go. It is vital to the development of the baby that they feel an attachment to the parent. When the attachment with the parent is “secure,” the adult is modeling the capacities necessary for intimacy and social interaction and providing the child with a secure base from which to explore and learn about her world and the people in it. This neuroception of safety is the optimal biological condition from which to mature throughout the life span.
Keeping our babies close to us. Hold your baby upright. Hold your baby close to you so that it can see you, smell you, feel you, and see the world around you. When infants are help upright, they are allowed to practice compensatory movements, enhancing muscular strength and allowing for more control over their fine motor skills. When the parent walks, stops or turns, an infant's body naturally works against the pull of gravity to maintain it's position. That force of gravity is a positive element in the development of the baby. It allows them to hold their head up and keep their bodies balanced.
We should try and avoid placing our babies in "plastic containers" and laying them flat on their back as much as possible. These plastic containers are such things as car seats and strollers. Babies are born with a natural C shaped curve in their spine. Throughout development, the C shaped spine will gradually change into a S shape. This is made possible by experiencing gravity. Spending too much time in a car seat or stroller or on the back, can restrict postural options which can impact your baby's developing cranium and spine. Babies have a hard time acquiring adequate muscle strength to hold up their heads if they do not get much of a chance to experience gravity. Babies who frequently lie on their back either in a stroller, car seat or on the floor, may end up with plagiocephally, which is A deformed skull, flattened on the back or side.
The truth of the matter is that a Western infant between 3 weeks and 3 months of age is carried little more than two in a half hours a day. We have digressed in our child rearing and have gotten to the point that we allow objects to determine our babies sense of contact rather than ourselves.
KEEP YOUR BABY CLOSE TO YOU.
After several people urging me to blog, I have decided to do this. For those of you that know me well, you know that I am very opinionated. I am a chiropractor. I love what I do, and want to be able to share my thoughts on a wide range of topics about health care, wellness care, sick care, chiropractic, nutrition, and maybe a little Boise St plug here and there.
My goal through blogging/rambling is to help those out there understand a little bit more about certain topics. I am passionate when it comes to evaluating the human body and how we treat it, whether individually or society as a whole.
My goal as a health care practitioner, is to allow every human the opportunity to fulfill their full potential. I believe that all of us are special in the sense that we have an innate, inner light that flows throughout our body, that makes our body what it is. This innate intelligence is the same power that made our body. It is from this same power that our bodies can be healed. This innate intelligence is the expression of our nervous system. And I believe that we can achieve and maintain a healthy nervous system through chiropractic care. " Many people spend large amounts of time, energy and money trying to get rid of their pain and illnesses. But, in a very real way, we can add light to this situation as well, rather than trying to remove the darkness. We accomplish this by giving what are called chiropractic adjustments that re-establish the neurological CONNECTION between your brain and your body and allow your Life Force to again flow freely to all of your cells. THAT’S IT! That’s all chiropractic is about. It’s about making sure that the miracle-producing Life Force inside you has a chance to do its best to move you progressively toward optimal health, happiness and the full expression of your potential and your purpose in life." 1
I believe that we should all love our lives. We should face every day with an attitude of gratitude as we embark on another opportunity to better ourselves and fulfill our potential.
1. Donka DC
I am done. Dr Rutter