Whether your child is just learning to walk, a college athlete or anything in between, this guide will help you understand the essential role chiropractic plays in your child's health and inform you on what you need to know before taking your child to a chiropractor.
Parents and pediatric physicians alike, look to chiropractors to help establish a safe, natural, and drug-free foundation that can have immediate and long-term benefits to their child’s health.
Many of you may be asking “But, why?”. To help answer that, let’s start with a simple anatomy refresher.
Like adults, children’s spinal columns are made up of 24 independent vertebrae that enable them to twist, bend and move throughout the day. It also protects the delicate central nervous system that controls the body’s ability to grow, repair and function at its best by communicating with every cell, tissue and organ of the body.
Subluxations of the spine, commonly known as joint dysfunctions, occur when two or more vertebrae become restricted and impede the body’s ability to communicate with itself. Joint dysfunctions in a child can be caused by everyday activities throughout their development cycle.
Falls while learning to walk, championship wrestling with dad, lugging an oversized backpack around and staring down at their phones are all great examples of activities that put the body in situations that can negatively affect the spine and proper nerve communication throughout the body.
Chiropractors are trained to locate and correct joint dysfunctions by applying a gentle, targeted movement to the body’s spinal column and extremities, where and when needed. This non-invasive technique is commonly known as a chiropractic adjustment, which according to the Mayo Clinic, is safe and complications are rare.
One of the most common and widespread misconceptions about chiropractic care is that you only need to see a chiropractor when your back hurts. Wrong! Chiropractic care is for so much more than just a solution for back pain, it’s essential to helping ensure your child has a life-time of good health and wellbeing.
In addition to helping your child find relief from back and neck pain, chiropractic care can also help many common ailments or conditions experienced by children young and old throughout their daily lives. Below are just a few;
To see if chiropractic care is right for your child, the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic will perform a consultation, examination and if necessary, refer you for diagnostic imaging such as x-ray or MRI. Based on the findings of our chiropractic exam and consultation, your doctor of chiropractic may elect to co-treat your child with other healthcare professionals such as your pediatric physician.
To find a local chiropractor and to learn more about how chiropractic care can help children, contact or visit one of our chiropractic offices today, to speak with a licensed doctor of chiropractic.
For more on what to expect when visiting The Joint Chiropractic, check this out.
Don’t worry, we’re parents too and we get it. You may have a lot of questions, especially when researching solutions related to your child's health and well being. To help answer your questions, we’ve compiled seven of the most common questions we’ve received from parents just like you.
Q: What age can my child safely receive a chiropractic adjustment?
A: No patient is too young or old to receive chiropractic care. There are numerous techniques options available to adjust your spine, some of which do not require any manual force whatsoever. Regardless of your age, a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic is trained to recognize when certain techniques are more applicable to a patient based on age, physical condition, exam findings and the patient's history.
Q: Will chiropractic hurt my child?
A: Chiropractic adjustment is a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes discomfort because minimal force and gentle pressure are used. In fact, most patients feel relief immediately following treatment.
Q: How often will my child have to go to a chiropractor?
A: The frequency in which your child receives chiropractic care is strictly up to the professional opinion of a Doctor of Chiropractic and will vary from individual to individual.
Q: How do I explain the “popping” noise of an adjustment to my child?
A: The popping sounds they will hear are their joints releasing tiny pockets of gases. A chiropractic adjustment does not affect the bones of either side of the joint, but rather the connective tissue that holds the joint together.
Q: Will my child be sore following a chiropractic adjustment?
A: Any reported soreness after an initial adjustment has been described as similar to that associated with starting a new exercise program. Drinking plenty of water, using an ice pack, and engaging in light stretching after their first visit can help ease any discomfort and promote healing.
Q: What is an activator or the Activator Method?
A: The Activator Method is one of the most widely researched gentle instrument chiropractic adjusting techniques used on children and seniors today. Rather than using the hands to restore joint motion, a small hand-held device is used.
A visual guide to a few simple lifestyle changes that can help to improve you and your child's health and well-being. Tap the image to view larger or download.
Time spent in the car seat is inevitable, but it should be limited as much as possible -- especially for little babies, who spend a lot of time either on their backs or being carried around in different contraptions. In fact, did you know that most car seat manufacturers state that your little one should not be in a car seat for longer than 2 hours in a 24 hour window?
Car seats are for a baby’s safety, but for extended periods of time they’re not ideal for their little spines. Lumbar spinal imbalances can result from the restricted postures the seat allows, and that can impact the development of your child’s spine. The tight fitting straps, while necessary, also add to the problem.
Another good reason to keep babies out of car seats is they also run the risk of developing a condition called “plagiocephaly.” This is when the back or side of the baby’s head is flattened – which is exactly why tummy time is recommended!
For more information on infant and toddler safety, check out this article: Baby Safety Is No Infantile Pursuit
If your child wants to have the coolest new Spider-Man backpack on the market or that sweet Hello Kitty model, it’s probably OK. There are just a few rules you need to keep in mind when shopping for a backpack. According to the American Chiropractic Association, you should remember these tips. Choose a backpack that:
For more backpack safety tips check out: Backpack Safety: Backpack Tips for Little Backs
Unless your tween has aspirations of joining an Amish community, they can’t avoid technology – more specifically looking down at hand-held devices like their smartphone.
Tech neck is the term commonly used when referring to those with a specific set of structural changes to posture due to prolonged behaviors of improper texting or using other screen devices such as tablets. If this is not corrected, it can have lasting effects on the structure and function of the spine and ultimately your health.
Think about this for a minute, how do most people, not just children usually text? Where’s the phone? Where is their head? How are their shoulders? Grab a phone, if you’re not already reading this on your phone now, and pretend you’re going to send a text.
Most often the phone is in the hands at or below mid-chest, the neck is leaning forward, the head is tilted nearly fully down, and the shoulders are rounded forward. This is tech neck, or text neck. Once or twice or occasionally spending time in this posture certainly will not cause lasting harm.
It’s important to teach your child to hold their tablet or phone at eye level, which can help to reduce the pressure placed on the neck. In an upright posture, the head normally weighs about 10 to 12 lbs. When the head is tilted forward, it can put additional strain on the neck, reaching up to 50 or even 60 lbs of pressure.
For more information on how your child can avoid pain or discomfort caused by tech neck, check out: Preventing Childhood Tech Neck
Being a teenager isn’t easy. Beyond heading to the movies to hang with their friends, many teens also participate in sports or physically demanding hobbies such as dance or martial arts. In fact, according to the National Safe Kids Campaign, more than 30 million children participate in organized sports in the US.
But let’s face it, every active kid is bound to get injured at some point.
For teens though it’s important to keep in mind that they aren’t just a miniature adult (even though they may act like it at times). They don’t have fully matured bodies. In fact, girls grow until around age 18 and boys can grow until they’re 21!
Routine chiropractic adjustments are a great way to help in both cases. Chiropractic adjustments reduce joint restrictions and inflammation caused by things like sports injuries and growth spurts, which ultimately lead to improved function of both the affected joint and nervous system. There’s a reason 90% of world class athletes rely on a chiropractor and your teen can too.
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this page are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this post is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics, including but not limited to the benefits of chiropractic care, exercise and posture. It is not intended to provide or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your chiropractor, physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this page.