By Morgan Hawkins, Special to AZ Big Media

What used to be a place for quick neck adjustments and back corrections, now offers a therapy to lessen the severity of common neuro-developmental disorders, specifically seen in children.

Chiropractic care provides more than just treatment of neck, back and joint pain.  Chiropractors locate the area of pain or restriction and relieve discomfort that is commonly caused by distress in the nervous system.

Dr. Thomas Tuzzolino is part of a network of chiropractors who are focused on identifying what causes the severity of these disorders, as well as providing options for care that addresses those. They refer to this model as The Perfect Storm, which is in reference to all the factors, or “ingredients,” they often find in case histories.

“It’s typically not one thing,” Tuzzolino said. “What’s causing this is what we call the three T’s: traumas, toxins and thoughts.”

The Perfect Storm is geared toward newborns, children and teens because many conditions develop from physical (trauma), chemical (toxin) and emotional (thoughts) stressors that begin at young ages.

Traumas include physical stresses such as uncontrolled bumps and bruises at a young age or the birth traumas that unborn babies experience during labor and C-sections.

“All too often, I see children with problems so tremendous at such young ages it would absolutely blow your mind,” said Kelly Ferrand, a nursing student at Grand Canyon University.

Unhealthy family environments, such as those exposed to divorce, as well as an increase in mental health problems and the impact of technology on young generations are emotional stressors, Ferrand explained.

“The challenges of these three things hit on so many pressing issues, including emotional instability, social problems and detachment, as well as placing many children under a magnifying glass, creating an urge of insecurity and the need to want more, do more, have more and be more at such precious and fragile ages,” Ferrand said.

Thoughts are an emotional stress that Tuzzolino described as another one of the three T’s in The Perfect Storm. He explained that many people don’t associate stress with children. However, stress can occur on an unborn baby since the mom and baby share the same nervous system; when the mom is stressed, it results in a stressed baby.

Toxins are the final category in The Perfect Storm. It includes environmental toxins but also food choices, household cleaners and medications.

“One in nine kids are suffering from ADHD, most common treatments are a Class 2 controlled substance, which is the same drug class as cocaine,” Tuzzolino said. “And a shocking one in five children have some form of mental illness. All this, and the most common solution being offered is medication.”

Kristen Peabody, triage nurse manager at Arizona Pain, said that prescription medication, such as Adderall, is easily prescribed by primary care doctors and can be highly addictive.

“The pressure that some high school students feel makes them want to take the medication to stay up later to study for a test, or get that ‘concentrated’ feeling that Adderall can give you,” Peabody said. “I 100 percent believe that a child or teenager needs a specific diagnosis from a psychiatrist before any medication should be given, and Adderall should be the last resort because of the highly addictive effects of the medication.”

Tuzzolino explained how it has been shown that the root of these problems is through stress and restrictions found in the nervous system and in order for the severity of those restrictions to be reduced, it is important to detect the issue and correct it rather than turn to medication as a first course of care.

“Your spine is more than muscles, ligaments and bones – it’s a living, breathing organ,” Tuzzolino said. “North Scottsdale Family Chiropractic is different than most chiropractic offices. While we do care for adults with back pain, neck pain and headaches, our specialty is kids. The reason is simple. If you remove the nerve disturbance early enough, you prevent a small problem from becoming a big problem.”