Chiropractors have been caring for children’s spines for more than 100 years. Many common childhood ailments may respond to this safe, natural form of health care. More and more parents – especially those who are already chiropractic patients themselves – are seeking chiropractic care for their children.
A child has many physical stresses to deal with during their growing years, and problems in children’s spines can occur at almost any point in their development and growth. The cause of many newborn health complaints such as colic, reflux, breastfeeding difficulties, sleep disturbances, allergic reactions and chronic infections may often be traced to irritation to the nervous system caused by spinal and cranial misalignments/subluxations.
What does treatment involve?
The first thing a chiropractor will do is to conduct a thorough history of your child’s health and any complaints, which is followed by a complete physical examination of the child’s spine. Chiropractors are trained to evaluate paediatric spinal problems, and will use gentle, specific skills to find and treat any involved spinal areas.
Spinal adjustments for infants and young children involve very light fingertip pressure to correct spinal misalignments/subluxations. This amount of force is usually sufficient to restore mobility to spinal joints which have become locked and are causing interference to the normal function of the nervous system.
A child’s spine will generally respond much faster than an adult to chiropractic care, and will often require only a few adjustments to restore normal function. The actual number of adjustments, however, will vary depending on many factors such as the length of time the problem has been present.
How can I tell if my child has spinal problems?
Unless a child has an obvious problem it can be difficult for a parent to recognise when a child’s spine is not working correctly. There are some signs, however, which can indicate spinal problems.
- 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 may also be linked with misalignments/subluxations,
- Recurrent ear infections
- Persistent sore throats and colds
- Bedwetting and/or constipation
- Growing pains
Regular chiropractic check-ups can identify potential spinal dysfunction resulting from these traumas, and help to avoid many of the back problems and health complaints seen later as adults.