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Why Chiropractic Care for Infants and Kids?
It is very common for adults to seek chiropractic care for a variety of physical issues such as back pain, neck pain, headaches, chronic postural stress, sports injuries, arthritis and others. Parents may wonder why they should check their child’s spine. Just like adults, children can also have mechanical imbalances or spinal misalignment that can result in suboptimal function and irritation to the nervous system. The nervous system is very important because it controls and coordinates every system and function in the body. Spinal dysfunction or misalignment can stress the developing nervous system. Optimal spinal alignment, however, enables optimal communication, optimal function, and optimal healing potential. Spinal deformities can occur at any point during the development of activities of daily life and stresses. Regardless of pain or symptoms, a spinal health check is a great way to determine if the body is functioning at its best. A nervous system without stress allows optimal expression of life.
Where do mistakes come from?
These can occur for a variety of reasons such as birth trauma, bumps and falls while progressing through developmental milestones, postural stress and others. Emotional stress can manifest as tension in muscles that affects underlying alignment. Physical, chemical and emotional factors can all contribute to mismatch.
What can you expect from a pediatric chiropractic visit?
The first step is a detailed health history from birth to present. This is used to identify stresses to the body and discuss heath concerns. Next, a physical exam is performed to assess spinal health, function, and alignment. If any misalignments or imbalances are detected, the chiropractor will recommend a course of chiropractic care. How does a chiropractor treat both a baby or a child? Primarily this done through specific adjustments aimed at restoring optimal spinal mechanics and alignment – which is a manual procedure. Adjustments for the little ones are very different from adults. Pediatric adjustments are very gentle, safe and effective and take into account the unique biomechanical properties of the pediatric spine. For a baby, that means just the light touch of 4-6 ounces. Children enjoy their visits to the chiropractor.
Reasons to check your child’s spine:
1) Birth trauma
Birth itself is a traumatic experience not only for the mother but also for the baby, where the baby has to twist and turn in a confined space and there is potential for injury especially to the head and neck. Difficult or painful birth/delivery requiring multiple interventions (such as episiotomy, forceps, vacuum extractor..) can affect the baby. Congenital torticollis is a condition that can be caused by birth trauma and it responds well to chiropractic and other gentle, manual treatments. Other telltale signs that your child should have a spinal health check are a noticeable head tilt, a misshapen skull that doesn’t balance within a few weeks after birth, difficulty with breastfeeding or latching on to one side compared to the other (may indicate a problem). in the neck) and colicky behavior (creates stress on nervous system).
2) Developmental milestones
During development, different milestones are met (such as sitting upright, crawling, standing, walking, etc.) and during this time the body must adapt to different stresses placed on it due to gravity. There is also a huge amount of growth and changes to the body such as development of normal spinal curves. During this time there is also potential for falls and falls that can affect underlying spinal alignment.
3) Falls and injuries
Children fall a lot as they grow! They can fall off changing tables, sofas, fall while learning to walk and fall from sports. These falls can be minor traumas or be painful injuries depending on how bad the fall is, how they land. Regardless of severity, a spinal health assessment is necessary.
Backpacks are used in school children – even from a very young age. An overloaded backpack can affect posture and place abnormal stresses on the muscles and joints of the spine. Carrying a backpack improperly will cause asymmetric loading and create imbalances in the developing spine.
5) Postural stress from sitting at a desk or using electronic devices
There is a tendency in most to slump forward, slouch or sit awkwardly. Chronic postural stress will affect the developing spine.
6) Emotional stress
Emotional stress can manifest as muscle tension and misalignment. Chiropractic care helps balance the body and the nervous system. People often report improved mood, energy and sleep when under chiropractic care.
Children should be screened for scoliosis because this condition usually develops as the spine grows and there is a risk for progression. Scoliosis is an abnormal lateral deviation of the spine that should be monitored over time. Some cases of scoliosis benefit from manual therapies and rehabilitation exercises.
8) Other children’s matters
Parents often bring their children for chiropractic visits for all kinds of problems such as ear pain/pressure, fluid in the ear, ear infections, allergies, asthma, colic, digestive disorders and others. Just to clarify, chiropractors do not diagnose or claim to cure organ problems. It is still important to see the pediatrician for a diagnosis of this type of condition. However, children with these problems often benefit from chiropractic care. A body in balance will function better overall and a nervous system free of interference will allow for better communication and healing. The spine protects the nervous system. Better spinal alignment means less interference in the nervous system.
Regardless of pain or symptoms, a spinal health check is a great way to determine if the body is functioning at its best. Find a pediatric chiropractor in your area.
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