WHAT IS PEDIATRIC CHIROPRACTIC?
According to Jandial, Myers, Wise, and Foster in 2009, 21% of all medical practitioners, including pediatricians, had no confidence in treating musculoskeletal issues and only 53% had “some” confidence in treating musculoskeletal issues in children. That’s alarming! Children and babies encounter many physical stresses during the labor process and into their growing years. The resulting problems in children’s spines can occur at almost any point in their development and growth. In short, pediatric chiropractic is a great alternative and holistic option for parents!
WHY SEEK A CHIROPRACTOR FOR BABIES & CHILDREN?
The earliest challenge a growing spine faces is the position it is forced to adopt in utero. Many women will have heard of fetal positions that can cause problems with labor (e.g. brow, breech, transverse, posterior, ascynclitic, etc). What is less well known is that these fetal positions can also cause problems in the baby’s spine as well. Spinal segments can be pushed out of place or jammed by the position of the baby in the womb. If this position is less than optimal, it can result in a longer and more difficult trip through the birth canal, which can compound the spinal problems. In this way, even natural birthing methods can stress an infant’s spine and nervous system—not to mention interventions such as induction, forceps, vonteuse suction, or caesarean section. The latter (which account for an alarmingly large percentage of births in America), while appear to offer a less traumatic birth for the child, can actually create additional traumas and compromises to the infant’s future health and well-being.
The cause of many newborn health complaints such as colic, reflux, breastfeeding difficulties, sleep disturbances, allergic reactions, and chronic infections can often be traced to nervous system irritation caused by spinal and cranial misalignments.
Since significant spinal trauma can occur at, or prior to birth, many parents elect to have their newborn’s spine checked right after birth. Many developmental milestones such as learning to hold up the head, sitting upright, crawling, and walking are all activities that are affected by spinal alignment and are important times to have a child checked by a chiropractor. Additionally, falls, sports injuries, playground bumps, heavy school bags and sitting all day in the classroom are all physical stresses to the growing child’s spine and nervous system.
Children respond very well to chiropractic, because their joints are still growing. Sprain & strains are common as kids become more active and can disrupt a growing spine. A Chiropractic adjustment can alleviate the joint pressure and restore proper function to the area so painful trigger point and muscle aches can’t develop. Another common condition among growing teens is scoliosis. This is where the spine starts to irregularly curve laterally. There is growing research on the position effects of Chiropractic care and the treatment / prevention of scoliosis. Click the following link to find out more!
RESEARCH & ARTICLES
The International Chiropractic Association (ICPA) has initiated a ground-breaking study on the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic care for children. The preliminary results are outstanding and show that chiropractic care is safe for children. Even more significant is that parents reported three unexpected improvements with their child’s care:
- Improved sleeping
- Improved behavior and attitude
- Improved immune system function
Click the following links to find out more!
- Treatment-Related Aggravations, Complications and Improvements Attributed to Chiropractic Spinal Manipulative Therapy of Pediatric Patients: A Practice-Based Survey of Practitioners
- Treatment-Related Aggravations, Complications and Improvements Attributed to Chiropractic Spinal Manipulative Therapy of Pediatric Patients: A Survey of Parents
- Why Should Children Have Chiropractic Care?
- What Can Chiropractic Do For Your Child?
- The Webster Technique: A Technique for Pregnant Women
- Chiropractic Care for Easier, Safer Births
- Questions Parents Ask
- The Safety of Chiropractic for Children: A Researcher’s Perspective
- Chiropractic for Life
COMMONLY TREATED CONDITIONS
EAR INFECTIONS: The infection is most commonly acquired in children aged up to 6 years, and peaks around 2 years of age. Unless it’s treated, however, the condition can persist well into early and middle adulthood. Typically, the primary symptoms are soreness, pain and discomfort in the area surrounding the ear as well as: fever, fluid draining, trouble sleeping, loss of appetite and grumpy behavior. Chiropractic adjustment to the cervical spine can open up the stagnant drainage tube and illuminate the need for tubes being placed in the ear. Click the following link to find out more!
ADHD: Studies and case reports have demonstrated a link between improved behaviors and symptoms of children diagnosed ADHD while under chiropractic care. Gentle spinal adjustments and therapies are typically performed while under chiropractic care, and many patients and parents of patients have reported improvements in their children’s diagnosed ADHD symptoms and behaviors.
SCOLIOSIS: The joints of the spine need to be repositioned first and foremost. But for any long-term benefit to occur, there’s a whole lot more that needs to accompany this repositioning. Your muscles need to be relaxed. Your brain needs to be retrained to use the muscles and spinal joints differently than it’s become accustomed to. In order for scoliosis to be effectively treated, all of these things need to be happening together. In practice, this usually means scoliosis massages, stretches and exercises along with scoliosis-specific adjustments.
UPPER CROSS SYNDROME: UCS, also referred to a “text neck,” is a growing condition in kids’ due to the constant anterior or forward head position associated with being on electronics for extended periods of time. This eventually leads to pain and headaches, but also the repositioning and straightening of the cervical spine. It’s very important to have kids adjusted regularly to prevent this condition and instill posture discipline as it will prevent future degenerative changes.
NURSEMAID’S ELBOW: Pulled-elbow, or nursemaid’s elbow is a common musculoskeletal injury in young children. The problem usually occurs when an obstinate child is forcibly pulled along or lifted by the forearm by a parent or older sibling. When a sufficient tractioning with forceful pronation is exerted on the young child’s arm, the annular ligament may be torn or stretched causing widening of the lateral joint space and entrapment of ligament fibers between the head of the radius and the joint surface. This produces a condition in which any movement of the elbow joint will be painful for the child. A gentle adjustment to the head of the radius can easily remedy this condition.
IMMUNITY: Author Katie Gilbert authored a great article, Immune Boost: This is a Spinal Zap covering how immune function is greatly improved with regular chiropractic care. it was published in Psychology Today. “Chiropractic care was first linked to improved immunity during the deadly flu epidemic of 1917 and 1918. The funny thing was: Chiropractic patients fared better than the general population. This observation spurred a study of the field. The data reported that flu victims under chiropractic care had an estimated .25 percent death rate, a lot less than the normal rate of 5 percent among flu victims who did not receive chiropractic care.” Read the entire article