Children and Neck Conditions


Some of the main conditions that I see in children include torticollis and ear aches.

Torticollis is a condition where the vertebra in the neck slip out of their normal position, impinging on a nerve which causes muscle spasm in the neck. Children with torticollis frequently wake up in the morning in pain, are unable to move their neck and will frequently have their neck turned and their chin down in a locked condition. Ice is the first line of defense followed by an adjustment of the vertebrae. This adjustment is not very pleasant for the child but with movement of the neck, the nerve is allowed to heal and the cycle is stopped.

The other condition I talked about is ear infections. The eustachian tubes in children are more parallel to the horizon and thus don’t drain as well. When the top bone of the spine (atlas) is rotated, this can put pressure on the structures in the upper neck and throat area, blocking the eustachian tube on one side or both sides. Thus, there is a buildup of fluid and potential for bacterial infection behind the ear drum. With an adjustment of the atlas and the base of the skull (occiput) the pressure can be relieved and the ears allowed to drain. The bacterial infection may need antibiotics to clear up, but after it is eradicated, the ears should do better. Keep in mind that once a vertebra is malpositioned, there is a propensity for it to return to the incorrect position.