Chiropractors have been providing care for children for over a hundred years. Many common childhood ailments respond in an excellent way to this natural, safe type of pediatric health care. It is quickly becoming popular for parents to seek pediatric chiropractor care for their children, especially those who are already visiting a chiropractor themselves. Pediatric chiropractor care is based on the important relationship between the nervous system and the spine. One of the basics of chiropractic care is that dysfunction in the spine and its joints may lead to dysfunction in the nervous system, and since your nervous system is responsible for the coordination of all systems in the body, a spinal dysfunction may have varying effects on health.
Children encounter a variety of physical and emotional stressors during their childhood. The problem in a child’s spine can occur at almost any time during their growth and development. One of the first challenges of a growing spine is the position it is forced to have while in utero. Many women have heard of fetal positions that may cause problems with labor, such as a breech, posterior or transverse birth. A less-known fact is that these compromised fetal positions may also cause problems with the baby’s spine as well.
Segments of the spine may be pushed out of place or crammed by the baby’s position while in the womb. If the positioning is less than optimal, it may result in a more difficult and longer journey through the birth canal, which may increase the potential for spinal problems. Even natural birthing methods may cause stress on an infant’s spine and nervous system, and the use of forceps, induction, caesarian section or suction may increase the risk.
Common health complaints regarding newborns include colic, breastfeeding difficulties, reflux, allergies, sleep problems and chronic infections, all of which are often traced to an irritated nervous system that is caused by cranial and spinal misalignments. Since it has been shown that spinal trauma may occur at or prior to birth, many parents choose to have their infant’s spine examined immediately following birth. Several developmental milestones, such as sitting upright, holding their head up, crawling and walking are all activities that may be affected by spinal alignment and should be checked by a pediatric chiropractor. In addition, sports injuries, falls, playground injuries, sitting at a desk all day and carrying heavy school bags are all physical stresses that your child’s growing nervous system and spine may experience.
The first thing a pediatric chiropractor will do is conduct a thorough history of your child’s health, including any health complaints. After collecting your child’s history, the chiropractor will do a complete physical examination of your child’s spine. A pediatric chiropractor has been specially trained to provide a comprehensive evaluation of pediatric spinal problems and will use specific skills to gently determine and adjust any involved spinal areas. Pediatric chiropractic care is tailored to the individual child and their particular spine.
During spinal adjustments for babies and small children, the chiropractor uses their fingertips to apply light pressure for the correction of a spinal misalignment. The amount of force is typically no more than a finger touch, which is generally sufficient to restore mobility to children’s spinal joints that may have become locked and are creating interference to nervous system functioning. Occasionally, there will be a popping sound during the adjustment when the spinal joints are moved, but this isn’t always heard when children’s spines are adjusted. Other chiropractic techniques may involve the use of hand-held instruments that offer a gentle and specific correction.
In the majority of situations, chiropractic care for children is completely painless, unless a child has an actual injury. In these situations, the area of the injury may be sensitive to the touch; however, once the adjustment is done, the area will heal more effectively and the sensitivity will be alleviated. Overall, the majority of parents report that their child enjoyed the spinal adjustment and looks forward to the next appointment.
The risk of children suffering a notable injury resulting from a spinal adjustment is extremely minimal. Pediatric chiropractors have been adjusting children’s spines for over a hundred years and have an excellent record of safety. In one study that consisted of over 10,000 child visits, only a few children displayed extremely minor discomfort and fussiness and the remaining children had no adverse reactions to the adjustment. In most situations, children are relaxed during their adjustment and even more relaxed afterward.
One of the most common reasons that parents seek pediatric chiropractic care for their child is physical trauma from an injury. A spinal misalignment may occur at the time of the injury but may not necessarily result in immediate symptoms or pain. Common childhood disorders linked to spinal dysfunction may include:
Children’s spines typically respond much quicker than an adult’s spine to chiropractic adjustments, and they will often only require a few adjustments to fully restore normal functioning. The number of times your child will need adjustments will vary depending on several factors, such as the length of time the child has experienced a particular problem and the specific type of problem the child is experiencing.
To learn more information about the benefits of a pediatric chiropractor or to schedule a consultation for your child, contact Cultivate Chiropractic.
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