Clinic to offer ‘healing hands’ to help children

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 1, 2002

Did you know that it’s possible to have potentially lifelong back problems at an early age and that these problems often spring up during our younger years, without us knowing about it? That they can exist for long periods of time without causing much noticeable pain or discomfort?

Dr. Elizabeth Shearin has seen these things before.

&uot;Some of my younger patients don’t have pain, but they still might have abnormalities or fixations – parts of their spine that don’t move like they should,&uot; said Shearin, employed at the Slone Chiropractic Clinic at 4100 Pruden Blvd.

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In honor of October being National Spinal Health Month, the doctor is offering discounted services for her younger patients. The campaign, &uot;Healing Hands Helping Children,&uot; offers scoliosis screenings, exams, and X-rays for children under the age of 18, all for $15 (which is $115 off the regular price).

But the benefits don’t end there – proceeds will be donated to the Make-A-Wish foundation.

&uot;This doesn’t just benefit the children, but the charity as well,&uot; says Shearin. &uot;This is an important thing, and we just hope that people take advantage of it.&uot;

Her physical exam consists of several orthopedic tests.

&uot;I feel the spine where the child is moving, and when he or she is still, just to make sure that the spine is moving normally. If I find that the spine might be curved because of scoliosis, an X-ray will determine the severity.&uot;

She also looks for such abnormalities as high shoulders or hips, or head tilts; things that only an experienced chiropractor will notice.

With school sports in full swing, the program is especially beneficial to football and basketball players, or other small athletes.

Even if Shearin does discover a problem, simple measures are often all that is required to solve it. &uot;Many of my recommendations deal with exercises or home care,&uot; she said. &uot;I hope that if I see these patients now, I won’t have to see them later on in life.&uot;

To set up an appointment or learn more about the Make-A-Wish Foundation, call 539-4100.

The Make-A-Wish foundation grants wishes to children between the ages of two and 18 who suffer from life-threatening injuries or diseases. Volunteers visit the child and his or her family to ask, &uot;If you could wish for anything in the world, what would you wish for?&uot; (the most common wish is, &uot;I want to go to Disney World!&uot;).

For more information on the local chapters of the foundation, call 456-5292 or 1-800-895-WISH (9474).