Chiropractic for Kids?
Most individuals are familiar with chiropractic and frequently utilize my services when they encounter pain from an injury or feel the strain from their day to day tasks. This is certainly my bread and butter but it may surprise some that a big part of my practice is also treating children. I am often asked why a child would need an adjustment and am thankful for the opportunity to educate.
A newborn baby whose birth process was difficult and who continues to cry despite having all its needs met, is often crying because he or she is experiencing discomfort – often from a spinal misalignment. Chiropractic can help. When treating infants, I delicately palpate the joints of their spine, feeling for a segment that is fixated and whose muscles are tense. The infant will also show signs that this area is tender by fussing until the joint is placed back in its proper position. For those who are cringing at the idea of adjusting a baby, rest assured that it is extremely gentle and performed using a light, fingertip touch and held pressure until the segment settles into its proper position.
There are also times where the baby isn’t crying or showing discomfort, but there is a behavior noticed by Mom or Dad which hints that there may be a dysfunction in the spine. Examples of such behavior are a baby who prefers to turn its head to one side while sleeping or nursing, develops a flat spot on one side of its head, or is having signs of constipation. These are all indications that there may be dysfunction in their spine that can be corrected with a chiropractic adjustment.
Children, toddlers, even newborn babies can benefit from chiropractic care as they, too experience pain from misalignments and dysfunctions in their joints.
As children grow and become more active, they can benefit from a simple spinal check after a growth spurt or after they have decided that climbing the furniture is their new past time. Children are resilient and will recover from the bumps and bruises of toddlerhood, but having your little one’s spine checked a few times per year is a good way to prevent problems from creeping up.
Once I’ve educated parents as to how their child could benefit from an adjustment, I often follow up with a demonstration on how that adjustment is performed on an infant, a toddler, and a school-aged child. I always reassure them that adjusting children is extremely gentle and may not look anything like the adjustment you’d see performed on an adult. The techniques and force used are modified to accommodate the child’s body size and strength. For an infant whose bones and joints are largely cartilaginous, minimal force is required to make an adjustment. The infant is held in a position of comfort and while holding light pressure to the affected joint, it resets on its own.
For more information on chiropractic treatment for children, I’ve linked to an article by the ICPA, a leader in chiropractic pediatrics.
And as always, if you have any questions for me, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at 705-267-5856.
To happy and healthy children,
Dr. Erin Auclair