A majority of our practice members are actually children. Often times people are confused by this. Why would you adjust a newborn? What does an adjustment on a baby or child look like? Babies don't have back pain, why would they go to a chiropractor?


A common misconception is that babies are born as healthy as they will ever be: a blank slate. But this is not the case. The birthing process is very traumatic. A scientific study was completed to see how much trauma a baby went through in a routine vaginal birth. What they found was astonishing! They found that during the process of birth, the babies neck will undergo anywhere from 20-60 pounds of tractional force. As the babies head crowns and is exposed, the head is put into rotation and laterally flexed before applying a "pulling" force to expose the shoulder. This amount of force is more than enough to cause severe subluxations. The most common subluxation during the birthing process is a misalignment of the top bone in the neck, called the atlas. 

When I first saw this study, the amount of force was hard for me to grasp. What I did was compare the amount of force on the babies neck to that of an average adult. If this amount of force was applied, proportionally, to a 160 pound adult, it would be equivalent to 1,200 pounds of tractional force! 


An adjustment on a baby or child is very different than an adjustment on an adult. When adjusting a baby we do not thrust to make the adjustment. We instead use something called sustained contact. After identifying the areas of the spine that need to be adjusted a sustained force is applied to the vertebra in the direction of correction. The amount of force used is comparable to the amount of force you would use to check a fruit for ripeness or the amount of force you would feel comfortable placing on your eyelid. These adjustments are so gentle, often times babies sleep through them. 


When I talk about adjusting newborns and children, people almost always ask, "what have you been able to help with?" A few common things that we have seen in newborns over and over again in this office are breast feeding issues, colic, and ear infections.

Breast feeding issues are very common. Often times we see a child that can easily feed on one side, but has problems when switching to the other side. The reason for this is very simple: the baby cannot easily rotate their head in both directions. This is because the atlas is responsible for 80% of the rotation of the cervical spine. The atlas also happens to be the most common misalignment during the birthing process. Once the proper biomechanics of the atlas vertebra are restored, the baby can then rotate their head in both directions and feed on both sides.

Colic is an interesting term used for newborns. It is most commonly used to describe a baby that is generally irritable and fussy. In fact, most issues with colic are due to digestive issues including constipation or gas. Again, we look to the nervous system to find the cause of these issues and again we come to the atlas vertebra. There is a very important nerve in our body called the vagus nerve. This nerve wanders through the body from vital organ to vital organ including the digestive organs. The vagus nerve travels through a structure called the carotid sheath which passes just in front of the atlas. When the atlas misaligns, it puts pressure on this structure and can cause a number of issues including colic. And for all of us that have had children, colic sucks. Colic leads to the baby being uncomfortable and not sleeping which leads to the parents not sleeping. Often times people get upset when I tell them about this because, "no one ever told me that a chiropractor could help with colic! We just suffered through it!"

In an earlier post I covered the issue of ear infections in great detail. Again, we look to the atlas as the cause of the problem. Children already have Eustachian tubes that are oriented in a more horizontal position than adults. This leads to the ears not draining efficiently. In addition, the misaligned atlas causes issues with a muscle that controls the draining of the ears called the tensor veli palatini. These two factors together create the perfect conditions for an infection of the ear to take place. As a child that suffered from chronic ear infections, this is a topic that I am very passionate about. Every child should be checked and adjusted to reduce the chances of getting an ear infection.


In our office we have a saying, "as the twig bends, the tree grows." This means that healthy kids grow into healthy adults and vice versa. We take our children to the primary care physician for "wellness checks", and we take them to the dentist to get their teeth checked, why not take them to the chiropractor to have the most important structure, the nervous system, checked?

Give your children the best start in life and set the example of proactive health by taking them to the chiropractor. Don't wait until something is wrong to go to your chiropractor. Prevent these things from ever happening by being proactive! 




As a child I had chronic ear infections. My mother would take me to our primary care physician and I would get prescribed an antibiotic. Eventually the symptoms would subside and I would discontinue the antibiotic treatment. Like clockwork, the ear infection would return as soon as the medication was stopped. Eventually, the medication lost its effectiveness and I had "tubes put in my ears". This method also proved to be ineffective. As a result, I had reoccurring ear infections until about the age of 13. At this time the ear infections ceased due to the more vertical position of my Eustachian tubes. 

Years later, while in chiropractic school I was listening to a lecture by Dr. Dan Murphy about ear infections. He said a number of interesting things that have stuck with me. One of these things is that most ear infections are viral infections causing antibiotics to be very ineffective and do nothing more than disrupt the normal balance of gut flora which leaves the child with a weakened immune system. He also said that chiropractors are best suited to treat ear infections to get a true lasting result and prevent them from returning.

Nearly 100% of children will have an ear infection by age 5. For some, ear infections may develop into a chronic, reoccurring illness. This is very uncomfortable for the child and may result in long term conditions such as balance problems and hearing loss. In additions, millions of dollars are lost each year due to parents missing days at work. 


Otitis media is the medical term for an infection of the middle ear. More often than not, this infection is the result of a virus. This occurs when the child's ears are not able to drain effectively causing the perfect, unsanitary environment for the viral infection to thrive. Children are already at a disadvantage because, at this age, the Eustachian tubes are oriented in a more flat position making it difficult to drain the ears effectively. As we age, the Eustachian tubes become more vertical which results in better drainage of the ears. This is why ear infections are very common in children and very rare in adults. 


Most people can voluntarily make their ears "pop", but few know the mechanism of how they do this. When you do this, you are contracting a tiny muscle called the tensor veli palatini. This muscle is responsible for allowing the Eustachian tubes to open which balances air pressure and allows for mucus buildup to drain into the throat. This muscle is very important our children's health relies on its proper function.

The most common reason for this muscle not functioning properly in children is a misalignment of the top bone in your neck, called the atlas. This misalignment is commonly caused during the birthing process. During the birthing process the child's head is rotated and laterally flexed before applying a tractional force to expose the child's shoulder. This tractional force has been documented anywhere from 20-60 pounds of force! This is more than enough force to misalign the atlas vertebra. This misalignment creates what we would call mechanical disafferentation which is a fancy way of saying an interruption in the signals normally sent to the brain created by motion and movement. When looking at otitis media, the motor nucleus of the fifth cranial nerve is of particular interest as it is the nerve that supplies and controls the tensor veli palatini muscle. Once the normal mechanical movement of the atlas vertebra is restored, proper nerve flow is also restored and allows the tensor veli palatini muscle to function as it should. This allows the ears to drain as needed and significantly reduces the risk of an ear infection. 


All the time I have parents come into the office with a child that has a current, active ear infection. Of course we are able to get positive results, but the pain on the child's part and the missed work days on the parents part could have been avoided by not waiting until the child was sick to seek chiropractic care. Chiropractic care is proactive and preventative which means that we can avoid discomfort and potentially harmful symptoms by ensuring that the nervous system is functioning optimally. 

If you can share one piece of information, share this: 

  • Chiropractic care is very effective with ear infections. 
  • Don't wait to get your child's nervous system checked. 





Something I hear all of the time is:

"I don't need to go to a chiropractor because my back doesn't hurt." 

To which I always respond:

"Great! I don't treat back pain."

This is usually greeted with a confused look. What do you mean you don't treat back pain? I thought chiropractors were doctors of the spine. 

This is a common misconception that most people have. Chiropractors are, in reality, doctors of the nervous system. We focus on one thing, and one thing only: VERTEBRAL SUBLUXATION COMPLEX. to explain this, we first need to cover a little bit of anatomy. 


The nervous system is a system in your body that includes several structures such as the brain, your spinal cord, and the nerves that branch off the spinal cord at every level of your spine. These nerves exit the spine and divide and divide and divide thousands and thousands of times until they contact every cell in your body. You can think of these nerves as communication pathways. The brain uses these nerves to talk to the cells in your body to tell them what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. It tells your lungs to breath, your muscles to contract, your kidneys to filter waste, and every other function of the body you can think of. The cells of the body also constantly use these nerves to update the brain with real time information. 


So where does the spine play into all of this? The spine is a structure that encases the spinal cord and protects it from damage. The nerves are in very close relation to the bones of your spine. When a bone of your spine becomes misaligned it can put pressure on the nerves causing a decrease in the function of these communication pathways. Now the brain cannot communicate as effectively with the cells of our body and the cells of our body cannot communicate as effectively with the brain. This interference in communication between the brain and body is called a VERTEBRAL SUBLUXATION COMPLEX. 

A chiropractor is trained to specifically identify and correct SUBLUXATIONS. Once identified, a specific adjustment can be performed to return that bone to its proper position and allow it to function as it should biomechanically. With the interference in the nervous system removed, communication is restored, and the body is able to function as it should. This is where we get the saying "The body needs no intervention, just no interference."


In our office we use state of the art technology to help us identify problem areas which allows us to get results much quicker than we would traditionally be able to get. The below picture is an example of the technology we use. This tool measures the function of each nerve as it exits the spine. As we progress through care we will see a change in these reports as the pressure is removed from the nervous system. White represents normal levels, green is mild, blue is moderate, and red represents severe nerve interference. The picture below demonstrates how consistent chiropractic care can improve the function of our nervous system, and thus all other systems in the body. 


Lets return to our original statement of "I don't need to go to a chiropractor because I don't have back pain." We now understand that chiropractic care can help with much more than just low back pain. It can improve any system or function that is controlled by the nervous system.

Now here's the kicker: How do we know if our nervous system is not functioning well? When we look at our nervous system we can see that only 20% of this system is dedicated to providing a sensation of feeling. The other 80% is dedicated to a specific function. This means that most of the time we cannot feel SUBLUXATIONS. The best way to ensure that your body is functioning optimally is to visit a local chiropractor and get a functional nerve assessment. 




Knock Down Blood Pressure!

Elevated blood pressure continues to be a major concern for health care practitioners. The American Heart Association reports that 1 out of every 3 adults has elevated blood pressure. If we estimated that Benicia alone has 18,000 people over the age of 18, that would mean that 6,000 people in Benicia have high blood pressure!

Why should we worry about high blood pressure?

Elevated blood pressure levels significantly increases your risk for a number of dangerous conditions. 

High blood pressure has a major impact on the health of our arteries. As the pressure in our arteries increases, puts a huge amount of stress on these structures. The once healthy and elastic arteries become hardened and narrow which limits the blood flow through our bodies. A section of these weakened arteries can bludge outward. This is a serious, life-threatening condition called an aneurysm which is prone to rupture and cause internal bleeding. 

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can also lead to damage of the heart muscle, itself. The blood receives it's blood supply from arteries called coronary arteries. When these arteries are damaged and narrowed, this limits the blood supply to the heart muscle and can cause chest pain and heart attack. Increased blood pressure also cause the heart to work harder than it would under normal conditions. This leads to thickening and hardening of the left ventricle which reduces the hearts ability to move blood throughout the body. If left untreated, the heart muscle will simply begin to wear out which leads to heart failure. 

As if damage to the arteries and heart weren't enough, high blood pressure also increases your risk for damage to the brain tissue. Common conditions include transient ischemic attack (TIA) and stroke. The later is a loss of oxygen and nutrients to the brain cells causing permanent, irreversible damage. High blood pressure can also lead to a special type of dementia called vascular dementia. This is when the arteries in the brain become narrowed reducing the blood supply to these cells. This reduction of blood means there is less oxygen and nutrients for these cells which leads to poor, altered function.

It is clear that high blood pressure predisposes us for a plethora of other unwanted, negative conditions. Another structure that is damaged due to poorly managed, chronic high blood pressure are the kidneys. In fact, high blood pressure is the leading cause of kidney failure. As the arteries that lead to the kidneys as well as the kidneys internal vascular structures become damaged they cannot effectively remove waste from our bodies. This condition often requires dialysis treatment and is irreversible. 

It is clear to SEE that high blood pressure is an extremely negative health condition. That is of course assuming that you do not have high blood pressure because chronic high blood pressure can cause a massive amount of damage to the structure of the eye. retinopathy is a very common condition linked to high blood pressure. Retinopathy is a condition in which the delicate blood vessels supplying the retina are damaged which can lead to blurred or complete loss of vision. Fluid can also build up underneath the retina due to leaky blood vessels. This is called choroidopathy and is also linked to elevated blood pressure. 

Common treatment for high blood pressure is the prescription of medication. While this medication can be effective for some, it generally comes with a number of unwanted side effects. In addition, this approach does not treat the CAUSE of the high blood pressure. It is safe to assume that high blood pressure is not caused by a lack of blood pressure medication in our diet. 

Chiropractors have a different approach to helping a patient overcome high blood pressure. We often say, "The body needs no intervention, it just needs no interference." We look to the nervous system and assess any areas of interference that may be contributing to the elevation of blood pressure. Once corrected, the nervous system is able to function as it should and often times, the blood pressure is normalized without the use of any drugs or medications. 

One of the most well known studies in chiropractic research is the blood pressure study. This study was lead by Dr. George Barkis, MD. This study look specifically at the alignment of the top bone in the neck, called the atlas. The conclusion of this study was that following 8 weeks of active, specific chiropractic care blood pressure was significantly reduced. In fact, Dr. Barkis was quoted saying, "This procedure has the effect of not one, but two blood-pressure medications given in combination." He goes on to say that not only was this method of care effective, but it was "adverse-event free" meaning that they saw no side effects in any of the study participants. 

Help us create a healthier community by sharing this information with someone you know. 

You never know how far reaching something you think, say, or do today will affect the lives of millions tomorrow
— B.J. Palmer


  1. Bakris, G, et al. “Atlas vertebra realignment and achievement of arterial pressure goal in hypertensive patients: a pilot study.” Journal of Human Hypertension, vol. 21, no. 5, Feb. 2007, pp. 347–352.
  2. Basile J, et al. Overview of hypertension in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 3, 2016.
  3. Kumar V, et al. Blood vessels. In: Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Aug. 4, 2016.
  4. Description of high blood pressure. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbp. Accessed Aug. 3, 2016.
  5. Gargiulo R, et al. Hypertension and chronic kidney disease. Disease-a-Month. 2015;61:387.
  6. Kaplan NM, et al. Ocular effects of hypertension. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 3, 2016.
  7. Goodman, R. (1992) Hypertension and the atlas subluxation complex. Journal of Chiropractic Research and Clinical Investigation. Vol 8 No.2. Pp 30-32.
  8. Klotter, J. (2007). "Chiropractic and high blood pressure." Townsend Letter: The examiner of Alternative Medicine. 39.
  9. Knutson, G. A. (2001). Significant changes in systolic blood pressure post vectored upper cervical adjustment vs resting control groups: A possible effect of the cervicosympathetic and/or pressor reflex. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 24(2), 101-109

ADD/ADHD Can be impro...

ADD/ADHD is a condition said to affect 11% of children in the United States. This condition is most often spotted by either a parent or teacher and has three primary characteristics: inattentiveness, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. The presentation of a child with ADHD can vary greatly. One child may be hyperactive while another often "often stares off into space". 

A question we often get is, "what caused my child to have ADD/ADHD?" There is much debate about what causes this condition. Some health care practitioners believe it has its origin in genetics. Others believe it is the result of exposure to toxic substances or traumatic brain injury. As a chiropractor, we know that the cause of this condition is the result of neurological interference that causes improper nervous system function. 

There have been many published and peer reviewed research papers written by chiropractors that show significant improvement in patients with ADD/ADHD. Removing the neurological interference in the nervous system has shown:

  • increased ability to focus and engage in social interactions
  • decreased classroom and home distractions
  • reduced learning disabilities
  • reduced aggressive behaviors/outbursts
  • decreased prescription medications and medical costs
  • decreased child care costs
  • improved quality and quantity of sleep
  • reduced number of missed work days by parents.

Who do you know that would benefit from understanding that they can reduce the amount of medication they take and improve their overall quality of life through chiropractic corrective care?





  1. Alcantara, J., & Davis, J. (2010). The Chiropractic Care of Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. A Retrospective Case Series. EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing. 6(3), 173-182.
  2. Karpouzis, F., Bonello, R., & Pollard, H. (2010). Chiropractic care for pediatric and adolescent Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A systematic review. Chiropractic & Osteopathy Chiropr Osteopat. 18(1), 13.
  3. Kuhn, K. W., & Cambron, J. (2013). Chiropractic management using a brain based model of care for a 15-year-old adolescent boy with migraine headaches and behavioral and learning difficulties: A case report. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 12(4), 274-280.
  4. Pelham, W. E., Foster, E. M., & Robb, J. A. (2007). The economic impact of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adolescents. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 32(6), 711-727.



A 10 year old boy presents for care at a chiropractic office. He does not have any back pain or "traditional" symptoms that would urge his parents to bring him to a chiropractor. In fact, this child has a condition known as enuresis or more commonly referred to as bed wetting. This condition has a huge impact on this child psychologically as he is too embarrassed to participate in any sleep overs with his friends for fear that he will have a bed wetting incident. 

This story is more common than you would think. For most, this condition spontaneously resolves as they develop more control over their bladder. However, nearly 5-7 million children in the United States have continued difficulty with bed wetting with a frequency of more than three times per week.

The standard approach to bedding wetting in the medical field is a prescription of desmopressin acetate (DDAVP). In one study this drug showed improvements by decreasing the number of incidences by 2.2 times per week. This drug is said to work rapidly and can be used for both short-term and long-term effects. However, there are a number of side effects seen while taking this medication including:

  • headache
  • nausea
  • stomach pain
  • diarrhea
  • tingling of face
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle weakness
  • weight gain
  • fatigue
  • increased aggressive behavior
  • dizziness
  • seizures
  • loss of consciousness.

In addition, this drug has a high relapse rate once medication is discontinued. 

More people are beginning to chose chiropractic as a first choice when it comes to chronic bed wetting. There are numerous research and case studies that show significant improvement and complete resolution of symptoms while following a consistent chiropractic care plan. Specific chiropractic care can remove neurological interference and restore proper bio-mechanics to the lumbar spine which has shown:

  • restoration of bladder control
  • resolution of bed wetting
  • decreased anxiety and nervousness
  • reduced medication and avoided surgeries
  • increased quantity and quality of sleep
  • decreased medical and household expenses
  • increased self confidence. 

People of all ages benefit from chiropractic care because it restores optimal function of the nervous system, allowing the body to health from the inside out, without drugs or surgeries. Help us create a healthier community by sharing this information with someone you know. 

You never know how far reaching something you think, say, or do today will affect the lives of millions tomorrow.
— B.J. Palmer



  1. Hafer, Christine, & Alcantara, Joel. “Resolution of Nocturnal Enuresis Following Adjustment of Vertebral Subluxations: A Case Report.”  Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, & Family Health.  2015.1 (2015): 5-8.
  2. Neally, Rochelle, & Alcantara, Joel. “Resolution of Chronic Nocturnal Enuresis in Children with Asperger’s Syndrome Following Subluxation Based Chiropractic Care: A Case Series.”  Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, & Family Health.  2015.4 (2015): 131-139. 
  3. Marko, RB Chiropractic Pediatrics Vol. 1 No. 1 April 1994.
  4. Langley C. Chiropractic Pediatrics Vol 1 No. 1, April, 1994. 
  5. Reed WR, Beavers S, Reddy SK, Kern G. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1994 (Nov-Dec);17 (9): 596-600
  6. Kreitz, B.G. Aker, P.D., J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1994 (Sep);17 (7): 465-473
  7. C. Carolyn Thiedke, M.D., Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
  8. Am Fam Physician. 2003 Apr 1;67(7):1499-1506.
  9. Evans, Jonathan H C. “Nocturnal Enuresis.” Western Journal of Medicine 175.2 (2001): 108–111. Print.