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Why do children need chiropractic care?
Many spinal problems can begin as early as birth. Even with natural birthing methods and infant’s spine and developing nervous system can be affected. The result of an irritated nervous system can be misalignments in the infants’ spine and cranium. These misalignments can be the cause for many newborn health complaints, including:
- Breathing problems
- Nursing difficulties
- Sleep disturbances
- Allergic reactions
- Chronic infections
Kids have stressful environments too. They are constantly exposed to physical, chemical and mental/emotional stressors that can cause spinal and cranial misalignments. As the child grows rapidly, small yet significant subluxations may occur. If untreated, these small injuries during this period can compound to more serious problems later in life. Some examples of stressors include, but are not limited to:
- Physical: sports, heavy backpacks, everyday falls and tumbles
- Chemical: stress of vaccines, drugs, and other outside factors in everyday diet and nutrition
- Mental/Emotional: school interactions, family stress, busy schedules, and everyday growing technology
Some conditions that are treatable with pediatric chiropractic include:
- Bed Wetting
- Ear Infections
- Improved sleeping
- Improved behavior and attitude
- Improved immune system function
- Upper Respiratory Ailments
Regular chiropractic checkups can identify potential spinal injuries and help to make the corrections earlier in life. This can lead to many of the adult complaints being avoided. Proper spinal maintenance starting at an early age is an important key to better lifelong health.
Frequently Asked Questions (Found on the Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics Website)
Is chiropractic appropriate for children?
Yes. Chiropractic’s drugless and preventive approach to good health makes it perfectly appropriate for infants, children, and teenagers. Chiropractic is licensed in all 50 states of the U.S. for the care of children of all ages.
How safe is chiropractic for a child?
Chiropractic is one of the safest forms of children’s health care. A chiropractor does not adjust a baby or a child the same way as he or she adjusts an adult. A baby’s spine is very supple during the first few months of life, so the doctor of chiropractic applies only a slight pressure to make an adjustment. For older children whose spine is still made of mainly cartilage, slight pressure followed by a gentle push is all that is required to put the vertebra back in place.
When should I take my child to a chiropractor?
When you want to give your child a head start in good health and all the benefits of a conservative, drugless approach to health care, you should take your child to a chiropractor. It is important to have a chiropractic exam during the first year of a child’s life as spinal trauma can occur during birth, as well as from tumbles while learning to sit up or walk. Improper lifting and carrying can also contribute to spinal stress.
Your child’s spine grows almost 50% in length during the first year. This is equivalent to a six-footer growing to nine feet in just 12 months! It’s this kind of tremendous growth and developmental changes which make a complete chiropractic examination so important in the early stages of a child’s life. If there is a problem, the earlier it is corrected the less likelihood there is of it becoming a chronic or more serious problem later in life.
Doctors of chiropractic believe it’s much more important to prevent diseases than wait till some disease occurs.
How effective is chiropractic care for children?
Chiropractors have been providing safe and effective care for children for more than 103 years. Without efficacy, parents would have long ceased to seek out a doctor of chiropractic for their children. A 1992 survey showed that the most common conditions for which children visit a chiropractor are: earaches, neck pain, check-up, headache, upper respiratory, low back pain, allergies, asthma, enuresis, and thoracic pain. Other reasons are ADD and ADHD, colic, torticollis, insomnia, growing pains, and persistent crying in infants.
How can chiropractic care help an older child who is not ‘sick’?
Chiropractors do not treat diseases, they help to correct spinal misalignments that can cause health problems. Through regular adjustments, counseling on proper nutrition, exercise, and posture, the chiropractor can help you raise a child who is structurally and functionally sound.
The number one “illness” in children is accidents. You may not realize it, but youngsters take numerous tumbles -- learning to ride a bike, or even just jumping and running around. If your child takes part in athletic activities, the “sack” of a quarterback could twist a young spine, pitching a ball can throw a vertebra out of alignment. These underlying injuries, if left uncorrected, can cause serious problems as the child grows into adulthood.
Doctors of chiropractic can do more than correct these problems. They can also help improve performance on and off the field by helping the body to function at its optimum level, naturally, and without drugs.
What if my child has a health problem that does not respond to chiropractic care?
Doctors of chiropractic are trained to recognize complex health problems. Their primary obligation is the welfare of the child. It is the position of the ICA Council of Pediatrics and its parent organization, the International Chiropractors Association, that when the doctor of chiropractic or any doctor reaches the limits of their skill and authority that they are “ethically and morally bound to make patient referrals to practitioners in other fields of healing when such referrals are necessary to provide the highest quality of patient care.”
There are so many different health specialists today, who is responsible for the health of my child?
You are. As a parent or guardian you must take responsibility for your child’s health and use your best judgment as to what is most appropriate for your child. Fortunately, there are some outstanding primary health care providers to help you make your decision, including your doctor of chiropractic, pediatrician, and dentist. These professionals should make up your child’s personal health care team.
Children's bodies are malleable. They can correct easily and quickly because they have spent less time organizing themselves around their physical and emotional restrictions. But left untreated, these restrictions can take more time and effort to correct in adulthood, causing pain and dysfunction in the interim.
A subtle, but effective hands-on treatment, CranialSacral Therapy can help improve and maintain healthy immune systems in children. Used as an early intervention for newborns, it can potentially reduce a wide spectrum of health challenges, some of which may not manifest until the child is in school.
Craniosacral Therapy Can Help:
- Fussy, hard to soothe babies
- Early stages of Plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome)
- Babies who seem uncomfortable in their bodies
- Babies who have digestive or elimination difficulties
- Spitting up
- Breastfeeding problems
- Difficult latching
- Latch problems that contribute to sore nipples for moms
- Babies who favor turning their heads to one side
- Babies who favor one breast or position for nursing
- Babies who seem overly sensitive
- Babies who hate tummy time
- Teething babies
- Non-sleeping babies