Importance of Chiropractic for Pediatrics
Importance of Chiropractic for Pediatrics
When most people think of chiropractic care, they assume it’s just for middle-aged adults with low back pain. Granted, the majority of patients in chiropractic practices consist of adults, there is however a great need for pediatric chiropractic care. I would even say children and infant chiropractic care is more important. By getting corrective chiropractic care at a young age we can help prevent those degenerative disorders we see all to commonly in our office here at Living Health Integrative Medicine.
If your first trip to the chiropractor is when your 40 years old and your low back just “went out,” what were you doing for those 40 years prior to protect your spine?
We all, hopefully, take preventative measures:
- Protecting our heart
- Protecting our lungs
- Protecting our digestive systems through proper diet
- Not smoking
But what are we doing to protect our spines?
You’re only born with one spine and, as of now, I have never heard of a spinal transplant. You better take care of the one you got because it’s yours for life.
I get asked this question a lot by patients; at what age can someone start getting chiropractic care?
My response is always the same, as soon as they are born.
It is essential that newborn babies have their spinal alignment checked within 24-48 hours after birth. Childbirth is a traumatic experience not only for the mother but for the infant as well. Regardless of the type of delivery, natural or cesarean, the doctor’s job is to get that baby out by any means necessary. They grab and pull them usually by the head and their little necks are not designed to be able to handle that force. That force and trauma can cause spinal misalignments, especially in the upper cervical spine that can lead to many complications and conditions.
A properly trained chiropractor will be able to diagnose any spinal misalignments and properly realign the vertebrae to allow the newborn baby’s nervous system to work properly.
Some of the researched benefits of infant chiropractic care have been:
- Easier nursing
- Easier sleeping patterns
- Reducing colic
- Preventing ear infections
- Improved digestion.
As children begin to get older and go through their growth spurts it is essential that their spine be in proper alignment and be able to grow as it is designed. One of the largest and most common spinal conditions that children and adolescents develop is scoliosis. This is a condition that for most children has no known cause. The spine starts develop a lateral curvature. Instead of being vertically straight as it should, it starts to curve to the left, right, or sometimes in complex cases, will have two lateral curvatures and look like an “S”.
If left untreated these adolescents develop:
- severe and crippling back pain
- digestive disorders
- postural deformities that are can alter their self-esteem
Once a child has developed scoliosis there are few options:
- Most orthopedics will monitor the curve for year or two, if it gets bad enough they will put the child in a brace they have to wear sometimes 23 hours a day.
- If that doesn’t stop the progression, surgery will be performed. The surgery is to insert Harrington Rods (literally long metal rods) the entire length of the spine. It is a very painful surgery and recovery.
Starting chiropractic care at an early age can help prevent scoliosis from developing. If a child does start to develop scoliosis and is already under care with a chiropractor, odds are the condition will be diagnosed early enough that it can be corrected. Preventing the child from having to go through the pain and hopefully surgery. Once scoliosis has developed it can still be corrected through corrective chiropractic care, but it is a long and difficult process because the spine is so massively misaligned. The best treatment for scoliosis is preventative care through regular chiropractic evaluations and treatment.
To close, if you have children and want to know if their spine is developing properly, please give our office a call. Our doctors are trained in corrective chiropractic care and can help ensure that your developing infant, child, adolescent, or teenager’s spine is properly aligned.