Chiropractor, Columbia, MO

Over-medicated and Under-adjusted

I was shopping in a local baby store last week and overheard a conversation between two mothers.

One had asked if a particular product had worked with her child who was teething. Both mothers agreed they didn’t want their children feeling any pain. To accomplish this, one of the mothers was giving her baby Tylenol pain reliever every 4 hours. I suspect this is a very common practice.

As a mother of two amazing little boys, I understand completely not wanting them to experience unnecessary pain. However preventing your children from experiencing pain comes at what cost?

Is it safe?

Adverse reactions to drug therapy are a significant cause of death and injury in infants and children under 2 years of age, as reported by the journal Pediatrics (2002, Nov)

“There is an epidemic of adverse drug reactions to NSAID’s. The Food and Drug Administration believes anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 deaths each year are the result of severe bleeding caused by NSAID’s. It is a big problem.”

Dr. James F. Fries. Professor of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine // in Marsa L. “America’s Other Drug Problem,” // Los Angeles Times Magazine, September 29, 1996

Drug therapy was associated with an average of 243 reported deaths annually over the 38-month study period, with 100 (41%) occurring during the first month of life and 204 (84%) during the first year. Although 1902 different drugs, biological products, and other chemicals were identified in the reports, only 17 drugs or biological products were a suspect in 54% of all serious and fatal adverse events in drugs administered directly.

Pediatrics. 2002 Nov;110(5):e53. Reported adverse drug events in infants and children under 2 years of age. Moore TJ1, Weiss SR, Kaplan S, Blaisdell CJ.

What are we teaching our children?

Pain is a part of the human experience, and it’s a very good thing if you use it appropriately.  How will our children ever be able to comprehend their feelings of physical and emotional pain and identify what these signals mean? No matter what the problem is, there is an answer in a bottle.

Many young people and even teenagers now live on anti-depressants and will be for the majority of their lives. Why? Has this approach to stopping pain from the earliest of ages, made them illiterate to their emotional and physical senses? Haven’t we taught our children from the very beginning that if you feel pain, you must cover it up immediately. Recall the mother’s words in the store, “I don’t want my baby feeling any pain”. It’s no wonder so many young people experience anxiety. They’ve never been forced to adapt to pain signals whether physical or emotional.

When we are FULLY informed as parents, only then can we make the best choices for our children. There is certainly a time and place for drug therapy, but by the profession’s own definition “first do no harm”, it should be a standard of care that we use these therapies only when the benefit out-weighs the risk.

Chiropractic as a first line of defense

The risks of a child suffering notable injury from a spinal adjustment are extremely minimal. Chiropractors have been adjusting children’s spines for more than 100 years and have an excellent safety record. Anyone who says otherwise has never seen a pediatric chiropractic adjustment.

A recent study done by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) in the United States, Canada, and Europe showed that only a few children (out of more than 10,000 visits) experienced minor discomfort and fussiness. The remaining children in the study had no adverse reactions to the adjustment. These preliminary data tells us that chiropractic care for children may be one of the safest forms of health care available.

Why do my kids need chiropractic?

A child encounters many physical stresses during their growing years. The resulting problems in children’s spines can occur at almost any point in their development and growth.

The earliest challenge a growing spine faces is the position it is forced to adopt in utero. Many women will have heard of fetal positions that can cause problems during labor (brow, breech, transverse, posterior, etc) contributing to the growing number of C-sections each year. What is less well known is that these fetal positions can also cause problems in the baby’s spine as well.

Spinal segments can be pushed out of place or jammed by the position of the baby in the womb. If this position is less than optimal, it can result in a longer and more difficult trip through the birth canal, which compound the spinal problems.

In this way, even natural birthing methods can stress an infant’s spine and nervous system—not to mention interventions such as induction, suction, or ceasarean section.

The cause of many newborn health complaints such as colic, reflux, breastfeeding difficulties, sleep disturbances, allergic reactions, and chronic infections can often be correlated with nervous system irritation caused by spinal and cranial stress and misalignments.

Since significant spinal trauma can occur at, or prior to birth, many parents elect to have their newborn’s spine checked right after birth.

How can I tell if my child has spinal problems?

Unless a child has an obvious problem it can be difficult for a parent to recognise when a child’s spine is not working correctly. There are some signs which can indicate spinal problems. These include disturbed sleep patterns, breastfeeding difficulties, restricted movement of the head and neck to one side, arching, pulling and scratching at the ears.

Common childhood disorders can also be linked with spinal dysfunction, these include:

recurrent ear infections
persistent sore throats and colds
bedwetting and/or constipation
growing pains

Now is the time of the year when a child’s body may be under the most stress!

Dr. David and Dr. Kelli Winarski

pregnancy chiropractor

Chiropractic for Pregnancy

As a pregnancy chiropractor in Columbia, MO, I see the wonderful benefits my pregnant patients receive from chiropractic care.

As a woman who has received chiropractic care throughout both of my pregnancies, I am amazed that all women don’t seek out chiropractic.

In fact one survey reported that only 31% of respondents used alternative therapies during pregnancy, and chiropractic was the third most common form of treatment sought (6%).

I hope to summarize here why every woman should have a pregnancy chiropractor as part of her pregnancy health care team.

One study published on April 1, 2014 noted that lower back pain in pregnant women is so common that it is almost considered a normal part of the process. They estimate that between 50%-80% of pregnant women will suffer back pain during their pregnancies! Good golly, that doesn’t sound like much fun when you are supposed to be preparing for the joy of a new baby!

The pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs, which are common medical treatments for back pain, are not safe for the developing baby. So…

What causes back pain in the first place?

Structural changes women experience is one contributing source of low back pain throughout pregnancy. The longer you are pregnant, the more changes occur to the spine. As the belly enlarges, it pulls the spine forward causing additional stress on the discs and sacroiliac joints. The rapid increase in weight gain of 25-35 lbs or more greatly increases the stress on the same joints.

In addition, the increase in circulating progesterone, estrogen, and relaxin (hormones) throughout gestation, especially in the third trimester, brings about ligament instability causing pelvic hypermobility and creates a decrease in spinal stabilization. Basically, your joints get looser leaving you vulnerable to injury.

Any old injuries that your body healed the best it could may have left imbalances in the muscles of the hips and pelvis. When combined with the loose joints and increased stress due to structural changes is a recipe for back pain.

Traction, pressure or stretch of the pelvic floor, bladder, urethra, rectum, and other pelvic structures can also cause referred pain and secondary muscle spasm. This same mechanism contributes to sciatic pain from spasm of the piriformis muscle. Sciatic pain (pain in the buttock from irritation of the sciatic nerve) often improves with chiropractic care.

All of these factors contribute to back pain experienced by the pregnant patient, leading some to seek chiropractic care.

What were the results of chiropractic care?

The data shows that 52% of pregnant women with back pain were improved at 1 week. The results also improved as chiropractic care continued. The percentage of pregnant women with improvement in their back pain increased to 70% at 1 month, and 85% at 3 months. At 6 months, 90% reported improvement. This is why we often recommend care throughout pregnancy!

Reduced Labor Times with Chiropractic

A retrospective review of statistics reported that first time moms who seek chiropractic care throughout pregnancy have, on average, a 25% shorter labor time whereas multiparous women (women who have had at least one other baby) who seek chiropractic care throughout their pregnancy have, on average, 31% shorter labor times! Sign me up!

We see this in our office frequently. When moms are adjusted throughout pregnancy, they are able to labor more efficiently and it’s not uncommon to have labors of 5 hours or less (of course there is no guarantee of this).

Assistance with Breech Babies

The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported in the July/August 2002 issue an 82% success rate of babies turning vertex when doctors of chiropractic used the Webster Technique (a specific chiropractic technique which reduces intra-uterine constraint).

Other benefits reported by real chiropractic patients include:

Improved sleep, less nausea, help with headaches and migraines, help with pubic pain, help with neck and other joint pain, healthier over-all pregnancy!

Some chiropractic techniques may not be suitable for pregnancy. Pregnancy chiropractors will have a table that adapts to your growing and changing body and/or pillows to help make your adjustment comfortable. Pregnancy chiropractors should be certified by one or more reputable chiropractic organizations. The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association is the premier authority on pregnancy chiropractic. You can find a doctor here

If located in Columbia, Missouri both of our chiropractors at Family First Chiropractic are Webster Certified through the ICPA.

Happy Birthing!

Pregnancy Chiropractor Columbia, MO







Chiropractor Columbia, MO

Are your sick habits making you sicker?

As we prepare to head into what most people consider to be the “cold and flu season”, it seems to me the marketing efforts for cold and flu remedies comes earlier each year along with the widespread push for the flu vaccine. Hundreds of over-the-counter medications, natural remedies, products, and services which claim to make you feel better faster.

But could your sick habits actually be making you sicker? In other words, what do you DO when you start noticing the signs of sickness and is it actually helping or hindering?

At the first sign of ailment, many people run to the pharmacy, Urgent Care or their doctor looking for a magic pill that will allow them to continue going about their busy lives without skipping a beat. The problem with this is that feeling better and being better are often thought to be the same thing, but that’s not the case.

So, what causes those annoying symptoms in the first place?
If we look at how the body functions instead of just going by how you feel, we know that our sick symptoms are actually the immune system at work. Fever, sore throat, cough, and congestion are a direct result of the army of cells inside us which fight off infections and foreign invaders. We couldn’t survive without the immune system, yet many over the counter remedies (OTC) and prescription medications work by suppressing the body’s immune system. By suppressing the immune response, you feel better. However, your immune response is vital to fighting off the infection.

What a conundrum.

It’s become so easy and mainstream to just pop a pill, few even question the safety or effects of doing so.

Here are 4 common offenders to use with caution:

1. Antibiotics

Over 80 percent of the body’s immunity is built in the intestinal tract by the friendly bacteria balance that resides there. The beneficial bacteria protect us from opportunistic infections. Antibiotics don’t discriminate between the beneficial bacteria and the offensive ones. Killing off your beneficial bacteria leaves you vulnerable to other types of infections. Many physicians support a “watch and wait” approach to seasonal symptoms but who has time for that? A study by University of British Columbia found that receiving antibiotic treatments early in life can increase susceptibility to specific diseases later on. Yikes!

2. Prednisone and other corticosteroids

These mimic the effects of hormones your body produces naturally. When prescribed in doses that exceed your body’s usual levels, corticosteroids suppress inflammation. This can reduce the signs and symptoms, but not the cause of inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis and asthma. According to Web MD, The Mayo Clinic and other reputable sources, corticosteroids also suppress your immune system leaving you vulnerable to secondary infections.

3. Fever reducers

Medications like Acetaminophen, an active ingredient in Tylenol and many other prescription and non-prescription medications are not fully understood. Acetaminophen “seems” to work on the parts of the brain that perceive pain and control body temperature. During a fever the body raises the temperature to create an unfavorable environment for foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses. It also mobilizes the immune system which you certainly want when you have a cold or other infection. Lowering the body temperature with fever reducers when there is an infection reduces the effects of the immune system.

4. Other common cold remedies…

are often a cocktail of various chemicals that aim to knock out multiple symptoms at once. They may include Pseudoephedrine (stimulant and decongestant), antihistamines, Dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant) Guaifenesin (an expectorant), and usually also include a pain reliever and fever reducer. Multiple medications may overtax the liver and have other effects we aren’t even aware of.

5. Popsicle and Ice cream for a sore throat…

Once again, the cold on the throat may feel better when it’s raw and inflamed. The high levels of sugar in popsicles and other frozen treats suppress the immune system. If there is dairy involved, please be aware that dairy products are mucous forming and will increase congestion when you are already feeling crummy. Opt for a natural sugar alternative like an all-fruit smoothie or honey infused with garlic to coat the throat.

Scenario: you’re starting to feel a little fatigued and if you really start to think about it, you’ve got a tickle in your throat, a little post-nasal drip. What you do next is very defining. It defines your health paradigm, how you view your body, and quite possibly how long and how frequently you are sick. Your sick habits will imprint on your kids and affect their health for the rest of their lives.

Do you…

1. Make the symptoms go away so that you can keep working and share with others?


2. Support your body’s natural function and build a strong immune system, even if it means feeling worse for a little while?

What are your sick habits? Leave a comment below. Follow Dr. Kelli on Google

Pregnancy Chiropractor Columbia, MO

chiropractor columbia, mo

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