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Fall 2000 Newsletter

Healthy Hints Newsletter Logo

As the twig grows into a tree, so does the body grow
from child to adult. Chiropractic care can help your
body grow right and function optimally.

Maxine with Taylor on bike photo

Even young children, like Taylor
Kutz, pictured here with
Maxine Fountain, need to wear bicycle
to prevent injury.
Get one for only $5 - See below.

This Issue: Nursery cartoon

Chiropractic Care for Kids

When I ask a parent the question, "How long since your child has had a spinal check-up?" they sometimes reply, "But my child doesn't have back pain!" When you consider that chiropractic is more than treating back pain, that it is about optimizing the function of the body through the nervous system, you can understand that there are many reasons children are treated by chiropractors.

Here are the top 10 of 82 pediatric conditions treated by chiropractors, as identified in a nationwide survey by Dynamic Chiropractic:

Baby photo
Ron and Julianna Moore photo

These conditions account for almost 70% of the reasons why kids of all ages make visits to the chiropractor. Consider helping your children to enjoy optimum health with regular chiropractic wellness care.

Right: Ron and Julianna Moore are two of Dr. Allen's happy chiropractic patients. Julianna said she felt safe and comfortable while being treated.

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The Santo's - A Healthy Chiropractic Family

Lisa, Sasha and Ellie Santos photo

Lisa Santo and her two daughters, Sasha and Ellie are a typical family receiving chiropractic care from Dr. Allen. In August 1998, while Lisa was pregnant with Ellie, she told me how chiropractic care had helped her. "When I first began seeing Dr. Allen in April of 1997, I could barely move my head from side to side and had severe pain in my lower back. In the span of only a couple weeks I was once again able to move freely. Since then I have had only occasional minor pain in my back and neck and I am currently in my 9th month of pregnancy! I really feel that a visit to Dr. Rick every few weeks has kept my back and neck in good shape. With some stretching at home and the chiropractic adjustments and massage I think I'm healthier than I've been in a long time!" Sasha has been checked over and is doing fine. As a toddler, Ellie was successfully treated by Dr. Allen for otitis media in cooperation with her pediatrician.

At right: Lisa, Ellie and Sasha Santo have all benefited from chiropractic care by Dr. Allen. As the poster on my front door says, "Chiropractic is a Family Affair."

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Ritalin and Prozac for Toddlers???

Researchers at Michigan State University have found that doctors are prescribing Ritalin, Prozac and other drugs used for treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to toddlers, children who are not even one year old! In the U.S. 1 to 3 million children are receiving stimulant drugs for ADHD, with Ritalin accounting for ninety percent, according to the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH). Experts say that there are no accepted guidelines for diagnosing ADHD in children younger than four years old and there is no data on the safety or effectiveness of these drugs in that age group. Ask Dr. Allen about alternatives to these drugs.

Drug Free America? cartoon

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Lots of Antibiotics, Little Success

Otitis media refers to inflammation of the middle ear area just behind the eardrum. Two out of three children under the age of three suffer at least one episode of otitis media, and up to one third experience six or more episodes by the time they start school. Common symptoms include irritability, difficulty sleeping, fussiness, ear pain and hearing loss.

Heard the latest on childhood ear infections? photo

Medical Treatment

Antibiotics are standard medical treatment for this condition, even though little scientific evidence supports their use. Current US Guidelines suggest observation for a period of three to six months before considering drug therapy and, later, tympanostomy tubes through the eardrum.

A recent article in the British Medical Journal compared antibiotic treatment vs. placebo (no treatment) for acute otitis media in children between six months and two years of age. The results showed only slight differences between the two groups. The authors concluded that the effectiveness of antibiotics (such as amoxicillin) for this condition is limited, especially in children under two years of age.

Chiropractic Treatment

Chiropractic management of the patient with earache involves a detailed and thorough evaluation, usually followed by a short course of spinal adjustment and manipulation of the neck muscles to help restore normal lymph drainage. According to 1992 survey data, children with earache attending the chiropractor will usually respond within about three to five visits. Children should be monitored closely and alternative treatments considered, including antibiotics, if no short-term response to spinal adjusting is apparent.

Eliminating Other Factors

It is obviously important to stop the reason for the fluid buildup in the middle ear. Oftentimes, this is due to a sensitivity to food, the most common being cow's milk. Eliminating cow's milk may be a simple answer that has been ignored. Lendon Smith, MD adds, "I could almost cry that not a word was mentioned about the importance of breast feeding and about building up the immune system with vitamin C, zinc, essential fatty acids, and time."

Dr. Allen invites you to discuss these alternatives for your child with your pediatrician. Please ask if you need guidance.


  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Clinical Practice Guidelines #12, 1994.
  2. Damoiseaux RAMJ, van Balen FAM, Hoes AW, et al. "Primary-care-based randomized, double-blind trial of amoxicillin versus placebo for acute otitis media in children aged under 2 years." British Medical Journal, Feb. 5, 2000: Vol. 320, pp350-54.
  3. Pulek J, et al: Eustachian tube lymphatics. Ann. Oto., 84:483, 1975.
  4. Fysh P: "Kids Need Chiropractic Too -- What For?" Dynamic Chiropractic, Dec 4, 1992.
  5. Fallon, JM. "The Role of the Chiropractic Adjustment in the Care and Treatment of 332 Children with Otitis Media." Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics, 1997:2,2:167-183.
  6. Twogood, Daniel. No Milk.
  7. Smith, Lendon. "Treatment of Otitis Media in Children." Dynamic Chiropractic
  8. Additional FREE Information is Available from Dr. Rick Allen's Resource Center.

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Bicycle Helmet Safety

Wear a Lid-Save a Kid

Kida wearing helmets photo Seventy-five percent of cycling fatalities are caused by head injuries. Bicyclists hospitalized with head injuries are 20 times as likely to die. Everyone should wear a helmet. Oregon law requires that children under 16 must wear helmets. For just $5 you can get a helmet at the Legacy Mt. Hood Medical Center Kids Fair in Gresham on Saturday, September 16th from 10 AM to 2 PM. For additional times or information, contact: Trauma Nurses Talk Tough at Legacy Emanuel Hospital (503) 413-4960.

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Children, TV and Back Pain

Sixty nine percent of children who watch TV more than two hours each day have back pain. Ask Dr. Allen why.

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When Should a Child See a Chiropractor?

When is it time for a child's first spinal examination? Should we wait until children complain of back pain before taking them to the chiropractor?

It is a generally well-accepted fact that children should have regular dental check-ups to identify problems at the earliest possible time. In this way, dentists attempt to identify early tooth decay and alignment problems of the teeth, because they know that the earlier the problem is detected, the easier it will be to fix.

Likewise, children should be examined at regular intervals during their growing years to identify spinal problems which may progress to become serious, permanent problems. Unfortunately, the generally accepted view is that one visits a chiropractor for backache or neck pain, and in the absence of these symptoms, it can be assumed that the spine is doing okay.

When evaluating the spines of adult patients, chiropractors frequently encounter degenerative changes in discs and vertebral joint structures which have been ongoing for many years, without any evidence of symptoms. The problem could even stem from trauma at birth. In many cases, it is only when the spinal degeneration reaches an advanced stage that symptoms of pain and stiffness occur. If the spinal problem causing these symptoms could have been detected at an early age, and the problem had been corrected, then a lifetime of misery due to chronic back pain could have been avoided.

Many of the worst spinal problems, which chiropractors detect on x-ray, show evidence of having been present for many years and can be identified, by the degree of degeneration, as having started during childhood. Orthopedists have identified that the time when the spine is most likely to develop problems, or for existing problems to worsen, is during periods of rapid growth. For this reason, a child's first spinal evaluation should be early in life when the spine is growing the fastest.

Mena-Chaves family photo

At left: Jorge and Adella Mena-Chaves enjoy a laugh with their baby Lesly, who was examined by Dr. Allen soon after birth and was later adjusted for a small rib subluxation at two months of age. Adella's mother, father and sister have all been treated by Dr. Allen.

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Free Wellness Workshops Every Thursday

Dr. Allen's free 1/2 Hour to Health is now 6:15 to 6:45 PM Thursdays each week. Seating is limited. Call (503) 257-1324 or email Dr Rick to reserve your spot.

Bring a Friend!
Refreshments Served!

Sept. 7Stressed Out? Try these tips!
Sept. 14Headaches-Drug-free Discoveries
Sept. 21Rocket Fuel Nutrition
Sept. 28Changing Concepts in Arthritis
Oct. 5Asthma: Breaking Free from the Drug Cycle
Oct. 12Optimum Recovery from Your Collision
Oct. 19High Blood Pressure Control without Drugs
Oct. 26Immune System Enhancement
Nov. 2Stand Tall!
Nov. 9Healthy Holiday Food
Nov. 16Carpal Tunnel Alternatives
Nov. 23No class
Nov. 30Scoliosis
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