Chiropractic “Through the Ages”
Part Two: Children (infants through teens)
Last time we looked at the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy. Today we’ll discuss chiropractic care for children. By definition, chiropractic means: a system of integrative practices based on the diagnosis and treatment of misalignments of the joints, especially those of the spinal column, which are held to cause other disorders by affecting the nerves, muscles, and organs. Such a misalignment or dislocation is referred to as a “subluxation.” One doesn’t have to be a particular age to suffer from a subluxation so it goes without saying that people of all ages can benefit from chiropractic care.
It’s understandable if someone might hesitate to bring a newborn to a chiropractor if he/she is not familiar with how babies get adjusted. In reality, chiropractors adjust babies even more gently than they do their older patients. So gently, in fact, that at times the baby won’t even notice the adjustment. The amount of pressure applied when adjusting a baby has often been compared to the pressure you use when checking a tomato for ripeness. It’s imperative to an infant’s health to be properly aligned because when a baby has a misaligned spine, the nerves that flow out to the rest of his/her organs become compromised. So, the goal is to take pressure and nerve stress off the spine so your baby’s body can properly express itself. According to experts at the National Center for Biotechnology Information, regular Chiropractic care can help relieve the following in babies:
- Ear infections and earaches
- Colic and acid reflux
- Feeding and breastfeeding/latching issues
It’s important to remember that infants are little humans, not just some tiny, uber-fragile beings sent from above. They have a nervous system and immune system like the rest of us and those systems need proper support such as the support gained from proper chiropractic care.
So, now your baby isn’t a baby anymore. He is a walking, talking little guy that constantly keeps you on your toes. His body and bodily systems are in their developmental years. This is a crucial time to pay attention to the state of his health, particularly his nervous system. From his spinal cord are nerves that go to every organ, gland, tissue, muscle, and cell of the body. If any part of this system is compromised, he could react with constipation, colic, bed wetting, ear infections, torticollis, fussiness, trouble sleeping, reflux and so on. It is the spine’s responsibility to protect the nervous system and our responsibility to ensure that it is moving properly and in good alignment. You may be asking yourself, “he’s really young and hasn’t ever really hurt himself so why would his spine be out of alignment?” Children endure a host of trauma that may go unnoticed. This trauma may even date back to when he was in the womb, as we discussed last time, and could include in utero constraints, birth trauma, malpositioning (breech), c-section, birth intervention (forceps/vacuum suction), etc. And now that he is getting around, he’s bound to have accidents from time to time. Even small falls are enough force to shift the spine out of alignment.
In addition, we are seeing children of all ages battling emotional stress. Both chemical stress (from vaccines, antibiotics, medication, diet) and emotional stress will often result in a fight/flight response and tension in a child’s musculature that supports his spine. Tense muscles can misalign the spine and cause subluxation. We tend to see more trauma from emotional and chemical stress as the child gets older. This can be due to several reasons… adopting unhealthy coping and/or dietary habits, injuries from playing sports, challenges with growth spurts in and around puberty, etc. Chiropractic care can help teens in so many ways. When children and young teens grow, not everything grows at the same rate, meaning some parts of the body grow more slowly or much more quickly than other parts. This can cause both growing pains as well as imbalance and awkwardness. Regular adjustments during this period of a teen’s life can help ensure efficient functioning of the spine and nervous system. Consequently, pain can start to diminish, and overall balance of the body can improve.
Teens are also prone to injury. This could be due to playing sports or just because their ability to practice good judgment hasn’t fully developed yet. As we have learned by now, regular chiropractic care keeps the nervous system in proper working condition and strengthens the immune system. Nothing is better for speeding up the body’s natural healing process more than a healthy nervous system partnered with a strong immune system. Something else to consider is that children of all ages usually learn habits from their parents, whether healthy or not. By taking them for chiropractic care, you’re teaching them that “prevention matters.” What a great way to set them up for success as they head into adulthood?!?