What About Me? Do Children Need Chiropractic too?
What about me? Do Children need chiropractic care too?
If your child was born with a spinal column then the answer is YES! If you’re asking “What could my children have wrong with their spine that they would need to see a chiropractor?” The answer to that question is a child’s daily life. From the time they are are born their spinal health is at risk. Studies show that a normal vaginal delivery of your child can exert 40 to 80 lbs of pressure on their cervical spine just from the birthing process. More often than not babies are literally pulled out of the birth canal by their heads and then the neck is twisted to deliver the shoulders. This has the potential to cause great spinal trauma. Even in cesarean births the obstetrician tries to make as small of an incision as possible, thereby having to pull the baby out much like in a vaginal birth. We suggest having your baby checked by a chiropractor soon after birth to be sure their spines are in correct alignment. Infant Torticollis (twisted neck) is a condition that can happen due to positioning in the womb or after a difficult birth. The baby holds it’s head to one side or has difficulty moving their neck from side to side. There is usually an uneven hair pattern on the back of the baby’s head due to this. Chiropractic can correct torticollis.
Once the baby is born there are several things that compromise their spinal health. When changing your baby’s diaper it is a normal practice to lift the child by their ankles in such a way that only their upper back and shoulders are on the changing table. This is hard on their low back and tail bones. The better way would be to roll the baby towards you while you clean their bottoms. If this practice is done it would become routine and you and the baby would get used to it. No spinal trauma is caused by this method and it gets the job done. Be sure to instruct other caregivers of your baby to do it this way also.
When your baby starts to toddle and learn to walk there are many falls. Any fall has the potential to cause spinal trauma. As they grow think of how many times, they fall off their bikes, the swing-set or any playground equipment for that matter. A fall from a bed, a sudden stop in a car or any significant unsupported movement of the head and neck in an infant can induce excessive movement in the spine causing a vertebral subluxation (misalignment). Children love to climb and just being a normal active child can cause spinal trauma. Maybe not the debilitating kind but surely the kind that if left uncorrected could lead to problems as they grow. Just as many concerned parents take their children to the dentist for regular check-ups, so it is that many parents who are already chiropractic patients themselves are bringing their children to chiropractors to have their spinal development checked. (Click here to read more)
Unless a child has an obvious problem, it can be difficult for parents to recognize when a child has spinal subluxations. It is not always easy for someone other than a chiropractor, highly trained in evaluating the spine, to determine if the child has a problem, just as it is difficult for someone other than a dentist to determine if a child has cavities. Both cases take the skill of a trained specialist to perform a thorough evaluation.
There are some signs however which parents may look for which can be an indicator of a child with a spinal problem. Common indicators of spinal problems may include the child’s head consistently being tilted to one side; restricted head or neck motion to one side; disturbed sleeping patterns where the child sleeps for only an hour or two at a time; feeding difficulties in the very young infant; the infant may have difficulty nursing at the breast on one particular side.
Common childhood disorders can also sometimes indicate a spinal problem. Persistent sore throats, colic, headaches, growing pains, constipation, frequent earaches, ear and/or sinus infections, allergies, asthma, tonsillitis, croup and bed wetting are all conditions that can successfully be treated with chiropractic.
How Are Children’s Spinal Problems Treated?
The first thing your chiropractor will do is to conduct a careful and thorough evaluation of your child’s spine. Most chiropractors are trained to evaluate pediatric spinal problems and will use gentle, specific skills to identify, evaluate, and treat any involved spinal areas.
What Does the Treatment Involve?
Spinal adjustments for infants and young children involve very light finger-tip adjustments to correct malfunctioning spinal structures. A light spinal adjustment, using no more than two pounds of pressure, is usually sufficient to restore mobility to spinal joints which have become locked and are causing interference with the normal function of the nervous system. Most adjustments make a “popping” sound when the spinal joints are moved, however this sound is not always heard when children’s spines are adjusted.
Does It Hurt?
Generally, no. However, very young infants sometimes have momentary fright at the sudden movement, and may cry for a few seconds.
How Many Treatments Are Required?
Children’s spines are a lot more mobile than those of adults and as a result, usually require only a few adjustments to restore normal function. The actual number of adjustments, however, may vary depending on the length of time that the condition has been present.
What Risks Are Involved in Having My Child’s Spine Adjusted?
The risk of a child suffering a permanent injury from a spinal manipulation is extremely rare. Chiropractors have been adjusting children’s spines for most of the 100 years since chiropractic was first established, and has an excellent safety record.
So should your child see a chiropractor? The answer again is an emphatic yes! If your child is experiencing any of the conditions mentioned in this article Chiropractic can help! Please call us for an appointment today.