Chiropractic For Kids!
Pediatric adjustments have a common misconception that they are of the same force and amplitude as an adult adjustment. This is NOT true. Dr. Brew has been extra training and has experience in adapting her adjusting techniques for the care of children. Most often she will use her hands to lightly contact and adjust the child's spine with very light force. There are no sudden movements and all actions will be explained and demonstrated to parent before adjusting the child.
There are several reasons why it is beneficial to check for spinal alignment in children. Kids have many stressors to their bodies. These stressors can play a role in lifelong spinal changes. We want to do everything we can to assure the spine grows and develops appropriately during their childhood.
The first potential stressor is in-utero constraint. If a child was in a less than ideal position during the pregnancy, it can affect the way his/ her spine develops in the years to come. In addition, the birth process itself can cause spinal changes even in the most natural birth settings. If the use of vacuum, forceps, cesarean, and even the doctor's strong pulling action are used it becomes very likely the baby will have alterations to their young spine just from the birth process.
Once the baby is out in the world, there are several factors that can contribute to spinal changes. Traditional diaper changing where the legs are lifted high in the air can create a buckling point in the lower part of the spine. Kids who spend much of their day in a walker, jumper or car seat tend to also have stress on their spines. The falls are numerous when they begin learning how to walk and this creates a constant stress to the spine.
As they get a little bit older, kids can be tough on their bodies. Learning to ride a bike, falling out of a tree, jumping from high places, heading the soccer ball, getting tackled in football, backflips in gymnastics, etc. all can affect their growing spines.
If a child's spine is affected by any of these means, it will affect the ability of their nerves to properly communicate between their brain and body. This can manifest as symptoms of back or neck soreness/stiffness, decreased immune capabilities, ear infections, colic, constipation, bedwetting, learning disorders, and more. However, more frequently, the child has no symptoms at all, but may rather experience illness or symptoms as an adult.
These physical stressors are always present, but if we can prevent long term alterations to the spine, the child will be healthier now and as an adult. We now know it takes up to ten years to see degenerative (arthritic) changes on an x-ray. That means the teenagers and young adults who have these changes more than likely had the initial insult to their spine as a young child. This is just one more reason to have your child checked by a chiropractor.
When a child does not have symptoms, we call it a "wellness visit". The chiropractor checks the child's spine for signs of misalignment and gives light spinal adjustments as needed. Children are very resilient and their wellness visits tend to be much less frequent than adults.