Kids need Chiropractic, too!
Pediatric chiropractic care offers your family a strong foundation for health and wellness. Throughout pregnancy, birth, and childhood, the chiropractic lifestyle offers natural, safe and effective options to restore and maintain your family’s health and wellness.
Parents whose children are under Chiropractic care report three unexpected changes relating to their child’s care:
- Improved sleeping habits
- Improved behavior, focus, and attitude
- Improved immune system function (both shorter duration and less colds, flu, and other infections)
Just as children are taken to the dentist for routine check-ups, evaluation, and treatment; a child should be examined by a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic.
The first question relates to the need for children to have regular spinal checks. Frequently parents may ask, “Why in the world would my child need to see a Chiropractor?”
The answer to that question is the activities of your child’s daily routine and the accumulation of micro-trauma. There are ideally 33 vertebrae in humans, including five that fuse make the sacrum and the four coccygeal bones that make up tailbone, all of which can be jammed or misaligned causing spinal problems called spinal subluxations, as well as muscle spasms, scoliosis, and other dysfunctions.
How Can a Young Infant’s Spine Be Injured?
A young spine, with few exceptions, usually develops perfectly by the end of pregnancy. Both micro (little) or macro (big) trauma can occur around childbirth and through the following months after during various stages of development. It is possible for spinal vertebrae to be “jammed” or pushed out of proper positioning while in the womb or from trauma due to the birth experience. Research has indicted that many problems of early childhood can be linked to birth trauma. Check out Kinematic Imbalance due to Sub-occipital Strain Syndrome (K.I.S.S Syndrome.)
Spinal problems can also occur as a result of the frequent falls suffered by young infants in the first months of life. A fall from a sofa, a sudden stop in an automobile, or any significant unsupported movement of the head and neck in an infant can induce excessive movement in the spine causing vertebral subluxations, such as sustained poor head and neck posture in car seats (Rule of thumb: if it looks uncomfortable and bad for your own neck, then it’s likely to cause damage in your child’s neck).
Also, the act of learning to walk, and the number of repetitive and seemingly innocent falls can induce micro-trauma and dysfunction to the lower spinal segments and to the larger sacroiliac joints of the pelvis. Don’t forget about the numerous times young children learning to walk, fall and hit their heads. The incidents seem harmless for lack of blood and broken bone, yet these frequently occurring events can also create spinal subluxations and other dysfunctions.
How do I know when my child needs a spinal check-up?
As a parent, it can be difficult to recognize when your child may need Chiropractic care. Doctors of Chiropractic are highly trained to evaluate the spine, joints, muscles and ligaments, and the nervous system in order to determine if care is needed and what type of treatment should be provided. A skilled and highly trained Chiropractor should be utilized for evaluating the health and condition of your child’s spine, just as a dentist is used to determine if your child has any cavities, etc. These types of thorough evaluations are performed by specialists.
Here are some signs or indicators that parents should look for that may indicate a spinal problem:
- Child’s head is consistently tilted or turned to one side
- Restricted head or neck motion to one side
- Disturbed sleeping patterns
- Feeding difficulties for an infant
- Breastfeeding difficulty with child to a particular side or position
- Sore throat
- Bed-wetting (nocturnal enuresis)
- Growing pains
- Aches and Pains
Why can’t my child’s pediatrician find and help these problems?
Doctors of Chiropractic are spinal and neuromusculoskeletal specialists. Your child’s pediatrician is a different kind of specialist that does not possess the professional training to treat, reduce, and/or correct these subtle, yet detrimental spinal problems. Other medical professionals that specialize in spinal problems, like orthopedic specialists focus on more surgical aspect of degenerative, traumatic or emergency type situations.
How are children’s spinal and joint problems corrected?
A Doctor of Chiropractic will conduct a careful and thorough evaluation of your child’s spine. Chiropractors are trained to evaluate pediatric spinal problems and will use gentle, specific skills to identify, evaluate, and treat any problem areas.
What will the Chiropractic care-treatment involve?
Spinal adjustments for infants and young kids are adapted to the specific size, joint, and problem with that individual. The adjustments are extremely low-force, meaning they rarely require more than a couple pounds of pressure to restore the mobility and normal function of the nervous system. Chiropractic adjustments are usually performed by hand or instrument.
Adults usually require greater complexity and/or force because of complicating factors, joint mechanics, etc. Adjustments may produce a “popping” sound called cavitation when the spinal joints are specifically moved (due to pressure change), but precise movement usually occurs without the sound.
Will it hurt?
Chiropractic adjustments usually do not produce pain. Although, the internal movement may momentarily startle some younger kids, but once they become accustomed to the feeling; they have a positive reaction due to neurophysiological improvement.
How often does my child need to be adjusted?
Due to the spinal development of children, their spines a more mobile than adults. As a result, children often require less frequent visits than adults to promote and restore optimum function. The number of adjustments and visits will vary due to the individual needs of each child.
Is Chiropractic safe for my kids?
Both research and in-office experience has demonstrated that Chiropractic care for all ages is extremely safe. Risk for a child developing an injury from a Chiropractic adjustment is rare. Doctors of Chiropractic have been adjusting newborns to teenagers for over a century and it has an excellent safety record.
A study done by Abraham Towbin, M.D. found that “Spinal cord and brain stem injuries occur often during the process of birth but frequently escape diagnosis.” (Towbin, A., “Latent Spinal Cord and brain Stem Injury in Newborn Infants”, Develp Med. Child. Neurol, 11:54-68,1969) Such an injury during the birthing process leads to a syndrome known as Blocked Atlantal Nerve Syndrome, a primary cause of upper respiratory infections including ear infections and chronic tonsillitis. (Gutman, G., “Blocked Atlantal Nerve Syndrome In infants and Small Children”, Manuelle Medizin, 1987)
A study in which Blocked Atlantal Nerve Syndrome was corrected with chiropractic care displayed that 40 out of 43 children studied who were suffering from ear infections improved with chiropractic care alone after two weeks of care. (Froehle, R.M., J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 1996 Mar-Apr;19(3):169-77)
J.E. Upledger’s study showed a definite and significant relationship between restrictions in movement of the upper neck area (cervical spine) and children with learning disabilities. (Upledger, J.E., J Am Osteopath Assoc, 1978 Jun;77(10):760-76)