With the new school year in full swing, the last thing Ahwatukee Foothills residents Larry and Michelle Mushkin are worried about is their kids missing school because of a cold.
For the past two years, both of their sons, Darren, 7, and Andrew, 5, have been under the care of Dr. Aaron Kovac at Back in Line Family Chiropractic in Ahwatukee Foothills. Although they were hesitant at first about introducing their children to chiropractic care, Larry and Michelle are happy with their decision as both Darren and Andrew have suffered far fewer colds and illnesses than they used to, ultimately resulting in fewer missed days from school.
"Even when they do get sick, it seems as though the illness is generally milder and lasts for a lot less time," Michelle said. "Additionally, neither has had an ear infection since they started receiving care, and both had suffered from intermittent ear infections in the past."
For years there have been many studies and debates on the benefits of chiropractic care for children. In a recent study of 781 patients younger than 3 years of age, 85 percent of parents reported improvement. And 73.5 percent of the patients were 12 weeks of age or younger when they began care. Studies have also shown pediatric chiropractic treatment to help not only with back and neck pain, but with colic, bedwetting and asthma.
"It is important to be proactive versus reactive with a child's health, so we don't end up fixing things later in life" Kovac said. "I don't think there is an age that you can get checked early enough."
Kovac has been a licensed chiropractor since 2000 and has been practicing in Ahwatukee Foothills since 2003. At Back in Line, Kovac and his staff take a "whole person" approach by combining hands-on techniques, state-of-the-art physiotherapy procedures, and providing the newest natural health supplements and products.
It is families like the Mushkins, though, who are under care together that see some of the greatest improvements in their health.
"I typically see families that are under chiropractic care together have a better understanding of health care versus sick care," Kovac said. "Health is something that happens from within and something that you achieve from the efforts you put forth to get there. You just see a healthier family."
Darren and Andrew joined Michelle and Larry in chiropractic care about one year ago. Michelle admits that at first she was apprehensive about her children being adjusted, but they loved it and now actually fight over who gets to go first.
"Their first appointment was over before I knew it," Michelle said. "After all that worrying about getting them adjusted, it was so simple and painless. They hopped up on the table, got adjusted, and hopped down without missing a beat. I thought they would be nervous or hesitant, but they weren't at all."
Adjusting a child is a much simpler process then adjusting an adult, Kovac said, because there are no fibrotic adhesions set within the muscles and tissues and no arthritic calcifications, less force is used during the adjustment.
"These problems are what we are trying to prevent when these children become adults," he said. "There is not a cookie cutter process in developing a care plan for anyone. We look at the activity level of the child, their posture and immune systems, as well as if they suffered any trauma such as a car accident or sports injury."
Ultimately, as far as recommending pediatric chiropractic care to other parents, Larry and Michelle feel there is nothing to lose and only knowledge to gain.
"We just feel as though we are helping to combat some of the natural wear and damage that can occur to their bodies as they are growing," she said. "If it makes us feel better, why not them? We are seeing a chiropractor because we were feeling pain, but I would love for them to never be in that position in the first place."
Back in Line Family Chiropractic is located at 15215 S. 48th St., Building 5, Suite 156. For more information, visit www.backinlinechiropracticaz.com or call (480) 704-8818. Family check-ups, including an initial consultation, exam and X-rays are $19.99 through the month of September.