Chiropractic Care And Young Children
Chiropractic therapy is most commonly thought of as a treatment for adults. More specifically, adults who have suffered a mechanical injury of the spine or musculoskeletal system through an accident or some kind of trauma. There are cases however, wherein very young children are born with an abnormality related to the musculoskeletal system, and receive chiropractic care with extraordinary results. The following details one such case.
A 23 month old boy had shown symptoms of congenital torticollis, which is also sometimes called wry neck or loxia, an abnormal, asymmetrical positioning of the head due to a twisting of the neck. Little is known of the causes of this disability but it is suspected to result from birth trauma or intrauterine malposition, causing disruption to the development of the sternocleidomastoid muscle of the neck. The torticollis in this particular case also caused the boy’s right eye to have an abnormal fixation.
The boy’s head tilt was first noticed at seven months old, with the skewed right eye manifesting later at 18 months. When the child began taking his first steps at 15 months, his head tilt changed dramatically for the worse. By the age of 23 months, the boy was brought to a regional university children’s hospital for examination where the possibility of a tumor was explored but discovered to be negative. The orthopedist conducting the examination recommended the child’s mother to chiropractic care.
A chiropractic examination of the child uncovered a decreased range of motion for both active and passive movements in the area of the cervical spine, and corroborated the orthopedist’s assertion that no tumor was present. Treatment began with spinal manipulative therapy to the region of the cervical spine. Additionally, massaging and stretching of the neck muscles was induced. Over a period of four weeks, in which three chiropractic treatments occurred, that twist in the boy’s neck had almost completely disappeared and the abnormal fixation of the right eye was gone. A follow up twenty six months later showed no signs of relapse.
The complete recovery and positive response to chiropractic care indicates that the underlying problem was in a mechanical positioning of the spine, and not muscular development. It is interesting to consider the wide ranging secondary effects a dislocation of the spine can have on the rest of the body, as in this case with the abnormal positioning of the right eye. More importantly, this case illustrates that very young children are receptive to chiropractic care, a less invasive therapy than others.