This Is Why Kids Need Chiropractic Care
By Dr. Molly Casey
Have you ever walked into the chiropractic office and seen a teenager getting adjusted? Or perhaps a couple of middle school-aged kids? Some elementary school kids? Or maybe even a baby? It is often asked, ‘Do kids need chiropractic care? And if so why does or would a kid need to be adjusted by a chiropractor?’
The Spine and a Nervous System
Newborns, kids and teenagers alike -- just like adults -- have spines. Those spines protect the nervous system. The nervous system is the body’s communication system. The brain speaks to the body through the spinal cord and miles of nerves. The body sends messages back through those miles of nerves into the spinal cord and back to the brain.
Newborns, kids, teenagers, and adults all live their entire lives through this communication system. We eat, breathe, digest food, move, and engage with life through, and because of, this system. The better this system functions, the better opportunity we have for an optimally healthy and full life. When the spine is restricted in range of motion or not moving properly, it can interfere with this nervous system function.
Eighty percent of the nervous system doesn’t transmit pain, which means that 80 percent of the time, one can have dysfunction at some level and not have painful symptoms. Getting one’s spine checked by a chiropractor and adjusted has to do with the proper health and movement of the spine, not the age of the human or the symptoms they may (or may not) be experiencing.
Trauma occurs in many forms. The moment we start living is the moment we start experiencing traumas of all fashion. The birth process, in and of itself, is a traumatic event. It’s a literal wakeup call as the baby exits one environment and enters another in which it is operating on its own. It’s common that babies have cervical (neck) spine restrictions (subluxations) after the birth process due to the torque and process of physically leaving the birth canal because it is smaller than the baby itself. Because of this, gentle chiropractic adjustments can help correct any spinal restrictions that result.
In the youngest years, there are so many physical transitions that it’s hard to keep track: rolling over, learning fine motor skills, the ups and downs while learning to walk, etc. Most human beings fall more in the first few years of life than they will the rest of their life combined. These falls have an impact on the health and motion of the spine, but people tend to not think it through. These are traumas. Chiropractic adjustments can help correct these minor traumas so the effects don’t accumulate over the years and create a massive problem of restriction, immobility, or improper motion in the spine.
In adolescent and teen years, the kiddos grow at rapid rates and often engage in far more activities. Sports, while extremely healthy for kids, also takes a toll on the body. Falls, hits, long practices, and new training routines push the child’s abilities and body’s limits. It is important to get the child’s spine regularly checked by a chiropractor to assure optimal motion in the spine and optimal nervous system function so that they have their best chance at optimal performance.
More than ever, our world today is full of toxins -- in food, in water supply, in soil, in medications, in the environment. Toxins are all over the place.
External toxins that we come into contact with through touching, breathing, or ingesting, can negatively affect the nervous system and stress it. With added stress comes a more difficult time adapting; subsequently, it creates a less than optimally functioning nervous system. When the nervous system itself is stressed in this manner, any minimal spinal restriction will have a greater negative effect. Although certain external toxins may not be able to be eliminated, getting a child’s spine regularly checked and adjusted by a chiropractor can facilitate less stress and more adaptability.
Kids need chiropractic care just like adults. If they have a spine and nervous system -- and they do -- they can benefit from regular spinal checks and chiropractic adjustments. It will look different based on age and individual and that is perfectly OK. You don’t adjust a baby the same way you adjust a toddler or a teen or an adult. The bottom line is that the healthier the spine in the newborn through adult years, the better the chance for an optimally healthy body. Bring your kids to the chiropractor with you on your next visit and get everyone checked!
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