Children & Chiropractic

It’s well known when a child is born that children should have their hearts, lungs vision, and growth checked. But has anyone ever told you that your child should have his or her SPINE checked?
Chiropractors have been caring for children for more than 100 years. Many common childhood ailments will respond to this safe, natural form of healthcare.

Chiropractic is based on the important relationship between the spine and the nervous system. When there is dysfunction in the spine and its joints, this can lead to dysfunction within the nervous system. Because the nervous system controls and coordinates all of the systems of the body, spinal dysfunction can have wide ranging effects on the body’s health. Chiropractors are trained to evaluate and adjust spinal dysfunction.

Kids Need Chiropractic

A child encounters many physical stresses during their growing years. The resulting problems in children’s spines can occur at almost any point in their development and growth.

The earliest challenge a growing spine faces is the position it is forced to adopt in utero. 

Not only do the fetal positions (breech, transverse, brow, etc) cause problems with labor, but can also cause problems in the baby’s spine. These tiny spinal segments can be pushed out of place by the position of the baby in the womb. Even natural birthing methods can stress an infant’s spine and nervous system, not to mention interventions such as induction, forceps, vonteuse suction, or c-section. 
The cause of many newborn health complaints such as colic, reflux, ear infections, breastfeeding disturbances and allergic reactions can be traced to nervous system irritation caused by spinal and cranial misalignments.

Many developmental milestones such as learning to hold up the head, sitting upright, crawling, and walking are all activities affected by spinal alignment. These are important times to have your child checked by a chiropractor. Falls, sports injuries and heavy back packs are also physical stresses to a growing child’s spine and nervous system.

As a chiropractor, the first thing I do is conduct a thorough history of your child’s health and complaints. This is followed by a complete examination of your child’s spine. I use gentle and specific skills to find and adjust any involved spinal areas. The amount of “force” is often not more than a finger touch. This is typically sufficient to restore mobility to spinal joints which have become locked and are causing interference to the normal nervous system functions.

How Long Will It Take?

A child’s spine generally responds much faster to chiropractic adjustments than an adult’s spine and will often require fewer adjustments to restore normal function. The actual number of adjustments will depend on many factors, such as the length of time the problem has been present and the severity of the problem.

How Can I Tell If My Child Has Problems?

Unless a child has an obvious problem it can be difficult for parents to recognize when a child’s spine is not functioning correctly. There are some signs that can indicate spinal problems. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Disturbed sleeping patterns
  • Breastfeeding difficulties in the very young
  • Restricted head or neck movement to one side
  • One shoulder higher than the other

Common childhood disorders can also be linked with spinal dysfunction and these can include:

  • Recurrent ear infections
  • Persistent colds and sore throats
  • Colic/reflux
  • Asthma
  • Scoliosis
  • Headaches
  • Bedwetting and/or constipation
  • ADHD

One of the most common reasons for parents to seek Chiropractic care for their child is physical trauma from an injury. The spinal misalignments that may occur at the time of injury will not necessarily result in immediate pain or symptoms. In addition to physical stress, parents should be aware that emotional and chemical stresses affect the child’s nervous system and may warrant a spinal check- up.

Regular chiropractic checkups can identify potential spinal dysfunction resulting from these stresses and the adjustments may help to enhance future function and well- being.

Children who receive chiropractic care tend to not suffer the “normal” childhood ailments, are stronger, healthier, happier children who rarely need pharmaceuticals.

For more articles and research on children and chiropractic care, visit the
International Chiropractic Pediatric Association

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