The Missing Link to Help Kids With Croup and Chronic Cough Without Medications

By Dr. Tony Ebel, DC, CPPFC, CCWP
The Missing Link to Help Kids With Croup and Chronic Cough Without Medications | PX Docs

If you are a parent whose child has experienced croup like me, you know how frustrating and heartbreaking it is to see your child constantly coughing and struggling to breathe. Especially at night, when it tends to get worse. This condition is also more severe during seasonal changes and teething.

Croup is another respiratory condition that can be life-threatening, and it is common among children. This condition makes the child’s breathing very difficult, and it can cause them to struggle to breathe. Croup is a deep, barking cough that causes discomfort and long, difficult nights.

When it comes to managing croup, you have two choices

Our son, Oliver, was born with a traumatic birth. He was born a little bit early, and then due to the physical trauma he experienced in his upper torso regions during the birthing process, it affected his respiratory system. He struggled to breathe, and we had to give him antibiotics and steroids, which negatively affected his respiratory system further.  He was facing an uphill battle with the development of his respiratory system. 

As a pediatric chiropractor, I’ve seen how this kind of trauma can affect a child’s plumbing and drainage, which is essential for getting rid of mucus and inflammation. During Oliver’s first year, he had croup three times. Two of those times, my wife Kristina had to take him to the emergency room, and thankfully only one night did we have to use a small dose of an oral-based steroid medication. 

Most parents have a very different experience with croup because their baby gets loaded up every single time with nebulizers, antibiotics, and steroid medications. While we are certainly not against medication, using it every time a child coughs or catches a cold can be harmful.

Regarding conditions like RSV or croup, it can be tough to decide between medication and a natural immune-boosting and immune-building route like chiropractic care. The medication route can suppress symptoms, but it doesn’t address the root cause, and it can worsen the condition, leading to long-term consequences of asthma, allergies, and autoimmune issues.

It’s important to understand that our approach differs from what many families are used to.

Rather than seeking out natural health or chiropractic care as a last resort, we encourage families to consider it as a first choice.

If we do need medications, and we thank God we have that option, they are used as a last resort. Then we work to minimize their impact on the body while maximizing the child’s ability to build resilience and overall health.

The power of the Nervous System

I want to map out the exact science behind how chiropractic care can help support and boost your child’s health. 

Our goal is not to treat or cure anything but rather to take care of your child’s nervous system, which controls their immune, respiratory, and digestive systems. By improving neurological function through chiropractic adjustments, we can help the body get over illness faster and build long-term health-building responses on its own.

To understand how chiropractic care can help, we need to first look at the negative side, which is subluxation. Subluxation has three components: misalignment, fixation, and neuro. 

The first component, misalignment, refers to tension within the neuro spinal system, which includes the nerves, muscles, ligaments, and lymphatics. Fixation comes from misalignment, and both of these contribute significantly to chronic cough and croup. When a child has chronic tension, congestion occurs, resulting in mucus and fluid buildup that can’t be cleared out of the throat or lungs.

We call this poor plumbing because, just like a clogged drain, when there is tension or fixation in the neuro spinal system, there can be a buildup of crud that can’t get out of the system. This poor drainage is the first part of subluxation that we need to address.

The second part of subluxation is neuro, which is the communication breakdown between the brain and the body. I want to talk about a concept called neuroimmune interference. This occurs when there is an imbalance in our neuroimmune function, resulting in increased inflammation and mucus production. Essentially, this happens when the sympathetic system, our fight or flight response, becomes overly excited and stimulated. This tension creates sympathetic dominance, and this is where chiropractic care can help.

Through chiropractic adjustments, we can release tension and break up congestion, allowing for easier drainage of mucus in the sinuses, throat, and lungs. This natural approach helps to reduce inflammation and mucus production without the use of medications.

Things to Consider Before Turning to Antibiotics and Medication

While medications may seem like a quick fix, they come with risks. Every time a child receives a round of steroids or antibiotics, there is an increased risk for future incidents of allergies, asthma, and autoimmune conditions. Medications, prescription or over-the-counter, get into the system and do the job for the body. 

It’s important to understand that God designed us to have defense systems. The first system is our plumbing system, where things can keep moving, and viruses and bacteria can be eliminated. However, when there is subluxation or stuck tension, things can’t get out, resulting in what are called opportunistic infections or pathogens. These can lead to more mucus and congestion, making it harder for your child to heal.

So as parents, the one thing that we can do to ensure their optimal health is to avoid medications whenever we can and focus on our child’s body’s plumbing and drainage. The second thing to consider is the state of your child’s nervous system. Is it stressed out and in a pro-inflammatory state? Fortunately, we can measure this tension, called subluxation, and find a natural, chiropractic immune-boosting route.

Birth Trauma and Stress

The number one cause of subluxation is stress during pregnancy and birth interventions such as C-sections, forceps, vacuum, or inductions that create physical trauma to the neck, skull, and torso. Breach positioning during pregnancy and spending too much time in car seats or baby carriers can also cause subluxation and tension in the upper torso and neck, leading to congestion and inflammation. If left untreated, this can lead to chronic illnesses such as allergies and asthma.  

To find out if your child has subluxation, we use a technology called INSiGHT scans to measure inflammation, muscular tension, and neuromuscular tension. These scans are completely safe and non-invasive, and we can use this information to provide soft, gentle adjustments that alleviate tension and inflammation.

If you’re looking for help with your child’s chronic cough and related issues, please check out our PX Docs directory to find a trained pediatric chiropractor near you. Many of these challenges stem from a missing link that may have been present since birth, causing problems throughout the respiratory, immune, and nervous systems. 

To get through this naturally and without medication, we encourage you to explore our website. There you’ll find articles, videos, and scans related to chronic cough and croup, which can help you better understand your child’s condition. When you’re ready, reach out to one of our PX doctors to get the answers and drug-free action steps you need to help your child in both the short and long term.

Dr. Tony Ebel is the lead writer and educational guide for PX Docs. He is a Certified Pediatric + Wellness Chiropractor with 15 years of clinical experience. In addition, Dr. Tony has been teaching and training other Pediatric + Family Chiropractors for the past 10+ years, primarily teaching the clinical protocols he created for pediatric neurodevelopmental challenges such as Autism, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, Epilepsy, Anxiety, and more. This clinical program is now taught in collaboration with the Life University Postgraduate Department and has over 500 graduates. Dr. Tony’s passion is educating, empowering, and informing parents about the nervous system's role in natural, drug-free healing for all pediatric conditions and cases.

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