People are often surprised to find out that children, toddlers, and yes, even infants can benefit from chiropractic care. Handsome baby Andrew to our left is already receiving his second adjustment at only 10 weeks, but adjustments are safe and effective for even newborns. Now why would a newborn need to be adjusted? Well, many spinal problems seen in adults begin as early as birth. Even “natural” birthing methods can be traumatic and can stress an infant’s spine and developing nerve system. The resulting nerve irritation caused by spinal and cranial misalignment can be the cause of many newborn health issues like colic, breathing issues, nursing difficulties, sleep disturbances, allergic reactions and chronic infections. These can often be traced back to stress in the nervous system and can be managed effectively with chiropractic care. Because significant spinal trauma can occur at birth, many parents choose to have their newborns checked right away. As the infant grows, learning to hold up the head, sit, crawl and walk are all activities that affect spinal alignment and are important milestones as well as ideal times to have a child checked by your chiropractic doctor.
As babies grow into toddlers and young children, they begin to participate in common childhood activities like learning to play a sport or ride a bike. During this time (or even through less intense activities like learning to walk). small yet significant spinal misalignments (subluxations) may occur through the occasional fall or tumble. If neglected, the injuries during this period of rapid growth may lead to more serious problems later in life. Subtle trauma throughout childhood will affect the future development of the spine and can lead to impaired nervous system function. Any interference to the vital nerve system will adversely affect the body’s ability to function optimally. This can manifest not only as pain, but also chronic ear infections, poor sleep, asthma, or impaired athletic performance.
One of the most common reasons parents seek care for their child is trauma from an injury of some sort. It’s important to note that these misalignments may or may not result in immediate pain or symptoms. Regular chiropractic checkups can identify potential spinal injury from these traumas, allowing the doctor to make the correction early in life and help avoid many of the chronic health complaints seen later in adults. Proper spinal hygiene is an an integral part of a healthy lifestyle, just as dental hygiene is.
Another reason parents seek chiropractic care for their children is to treat specific symptoms. They may seek care for conditions such as colic, ear infections, asthma, torticollis, allergies and headaches (to name a few) because they have heard from other parents that chiropractic care can help. While effective for alleviating these issues, it’s important to note that chiropractic physicians do not treat symptoms, but rather address the underlying causes of conditions or diseases, which as a byproduct can relieve these symptoms. By checking your child’s spine for the misalignments that impair nervous system, chiropractic adjustments affect overall body function.
To understand how this occurs, it’s important to grasp what happens when someone receives a chiropractic adjustment. The vertebrae, or the bones of the spine, house and protect the spinal cord. The spinal cord is an extension of the brain and carries information from the brain to the body parts and then back to the brain again. The nervous system controls and coordinates the function of all the systems in the body including circulatory, respiratory, digestive, hormonal and immune systems. Any aspect of health can be impaired by nerve interference. The chiropractic adjustment restores nerve system function allowing the body the ability to express a greater state of health and well-being. Subluxations interfere with the nerves’ ability to transmit this vital information and adjustments help clear these subluxations, thereby affecting the entire body.
It’s important to note that chiropractic adjustment techniques are modified to fit a child’s size, weight, and unique spinal condition. They are both gentle and specific to the child’s developing spinal structures. The pressure used on an infant is similar to what you’d use on a ripe piece of fruit without bruising it. Most parents report that their children enjoy their chiropractic adjustments and look forward to subsequent visits. They also report that their children experience a greater level of health while under regular chiropractic care. These effects can include improvement of specific symptoms or complaints but also include benefits like better sleep, better appetite, and improved disposition.
As you may or may not know, my personal experience with chiropractic began at the age of ten. I am here to tell you that pain in children shouldn’t be easily dismissed, and I’m glad that mine wasn’t. My back pain turned out to be scoliosis that had developed as the result of a small fracture from a fall I’d had when I was only three years old. While chiropractic completely reversed my scoliosis, I often wonder if it would have ever even developed had I received care at a younger age. My guess is no. So while it’s easy to say that children “bounce back” from tumbles and falls, the reality is that their bodies compensate in the same ways adults do. They just have less layers of compensation to wade through. Rather than you dismiss your child’s injuries as minor or “normal” kid wear and tear, get them checked out. What could handled easily today could become a chronic problem later in life if left untreated.
We at Absolute Wellness Center would love the privilege of helping enhance your child’s ability to function in a greater state of health. We are dedicated to serving all our patients, big and small, with the utmost of care. If you’ve found that anything helpful here, or if you know a child that could benefit from a chiropractic check up, give us a call at 843-416-8218 or shoot us an email here. Once your family has experienced the many benefits of chiropractic care—please help us tell others!