A Range Of Chiropractic Benefits

By Dr. Robert J. Anderson
Interviewed by Rasa Fournier
Wednesday - September 01, 2010
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Dr. Robert J. Anderson
Chiropractor and owner of Ohana Chiropractic Center

Where did you receive your training/schooling?

I’m a McKinley High School graduate and then I went to the Mainland to Cleveland Chiropractic College in Kansas City, Mo.

How many years have you been practicing?

Since 1999. I was in Lancaster, Pa., and I moved back home in 2008 with my wife and family.

Can you talk about ear infections and other nonmusculoskeletal benefits of chiropractic care?

Usually if you have recurrent ear infections, you have other things going on besides just the need for the antibiotic. Afew years back a journal article came out that said you should use manipulative treatment to decrease the need for antibiotic use. People who do adjustments are chiropractors. So, if people come in for recurrent ear infections, chiropractors look at subluxations or joint dysfunction. You’re not actually treating the ear infection, you’re checking for things that are more chiro-practically related. When you clear those irritations, the patient is not suffering from what their medical doctor might have called a recurrent ear infection. They’re not getting ear infections as often and they no longer need to get on that antibiotic roller coaster.

What other things do chiropractors help with that the public might not know about?

People often don’t know that chiropractors can work with pregnant women. When you’re pregnant, what are you going to do when you have low back pain? It’s a result of the pregnancy, but that’s a biomechanical stress on the low back. Achiropractor can make sure that the pelvis is well-aligned and keep the structures working better through the pregnancy.

If patients lay tummy-down on the table, how do you work on a pregnant woman’s back?

I have “pregnancy pillows” that have cutouts in the middle to accommodate the belly. They lie on these and if they get really big at the end of the pregnancy, we keep piling them up. We’re just making the mother work better - the biomechanics of her low back, musculoskeletal things. She’ll have aches and pains because everything is swelling and growing and there’s a lot of strain and stress. There’s no relief from the medical side when you’re pregnant - they don’t want you to take anything. So, chiropractically, we work with your body and it helps you have a nicer time.

Dr. Anderson applies chiropractic treatment

What ages do you work with?

Infants to geriatric. I’ve had patients who were days old and patients well into their 90s. Chiropractic is safe for all ages. You modify the technique based on the age of the patient and the things that need to be worked on. So with babies you do not

adjust like an adult. With an infant, it’s pressure release because they don’t have musculoskeletal tightness - particularly infants that are really colicky and fussy and they’re spitting up too much. We work on the cranial system. Alot of times it’s from birth trauma. As the baby is being born, there’s a little tugging that’s going on to help them out of the birth canal. That can cause irritation in the cervical spine, and when you clear that out they’re able to nurse a little easier; they’re less fussy. Babies can’t complain, they can only cry. So if you have a baby who’s not happy, a lot of times when they get adjusted they sleep better, they’re less fussy, less irritable, which then makes the mother happier.

You mentioned helping patients with asthma?

Because all nerves come from the spine, when you adjust the body it can help make those end organs work better. Part of what’s going on with asthma is the lungs can’t express themselves

as well as they should. You find that with chiropractic adjustments they don’t need to use their inhalers as often. You’re not ever taking them off their medications, because if you need it, you need it. Most of the time what you find is if they get adjusted on a regular basis, it lessens the asthma so they’re having fewer attacks or more spread out attacks, as opposed to more frequent attacks. My goal is to make sure that you work as well as you can, and if that gets you to use your inhaler less, that’s a great thing.

Any other benefits the public might not know about?

I see a lot of kids with bed-wetting issues. Again, what you’re looking at is structural, and if you can influence how the nerves to the bladder work, because chiropractic works with nerves, what you’ll end up finding is that kids wet their beds less frequently. The kids you see are the ones who are potty-trained, but they go into such a deep sleep that they don’t get the cue to wake up. We’re not trying to take the place of medicine; we’re trying to work in conjunction with whatever the doctors are

doing because it’s a multi-faceted problem. It’s not, “Oh, you just need this one simple adjustment,” but you also need some behavioral stuff to change as well. Chiropractically, what ends up happening is that you’re working on the structures related to the bladder and you find that the kids now have more dry days.

How has your practice evolved since you started?

When I first started, I was in Lancaster County, Pa., and I had a half Amish practice. Since moving back home, I don’t have as many rural country patients who are farmers. I used to see people who had been kicked by their cows or horses. Here I have surfing injuries. There’s definitely a difference between a city practice and a country practice. In the country, you may see patients before they go to the hospital, whereas here they go to the hospital first. I’d have patients come in and I’m going, “Really, we need to get an X-ray, that’s probably a fracture.” In the city, usually if something is broken they’ll have been at the hospital and gotten an X-ray.

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