Chiropractic for Children
Why Chiropractic for Children?
As caring parents we are often confronted with decisions regarding the health and well being of our children. Decisions such as: Should my child play body contact sport? Or does my child need to take vitamin pills? Does my child need special dietary modification? And indeed … does my child need to see a chiropractor?
For over 100 years Chiropractors have maintained that your health and the health of your children depends to a large degree on the health of the nervous system. That is why your child’s spine is so important and why chiropractors emphasize the importance of looking after your spine.
How do spinal problems in children develop?
It is a fact of life that our childhood years are crucial to our overall development, and the earlier childhood problems are resolved the less likely there will be permanent problems in later years. It is important for you as a parent to realize that it is not normal for children to have headaches or tummy aches or growing pains, nor are they likely, as you may often hear, to ‘grow out of them’. Indeed a particular symptom may pass but the underlying problem remains only to resurface at a later date.
As children grow they will experience the falls and bumps, which are an inevitable part of childhood. Many people view these falls as a natural part of growing up. But just as they bruise a muscle, scrape a knee, or twist an ankle so too can they jar their spine. However unlike the cuts and scrapes that will heal naturally with time, spinal problems, however minor, may not spontaneously fix themselves. If left undetected and untreated these conditions may progressively worsen with time until they become irreversible spinal problems.
How can you be sure these small childhood accidents are not causing damage to your young child’s spine? The answer is: “You can’t.”
What does a Chiropractor do?
So what can you expect when you take your child to see a Doctor of Chiropractic? Your Chiropractor is interested in your child’s total health and well being and therefore they may ask you specific detailed questions about your child’s health history. This may include questions about previous illnesses, accidents or even questions about your child’s birth. The answer to these questions can give your chiropractor vital clues to the source of your child’s problems.
Your Doctor of Chiropractic will then perform a physical examination. This will include a detailed spinal examination. Your chiropractor may also perform a postural examination, which can also give vital clues as to underlying problems. Postural clues such as head tilt, shoulder tilt, pelvic imbalance, a turned in or turned out foot, sideways deviation of the spine or scoliosis or perhaps an increased curve in the lower back The presence of one or more of these postural deviations may indicate underlying spinal problems. Relevant orthopaedic and neurological tests may also be necessary depending upon thechild.
Once all the information from these examinations has been correlated your Doctor of Chiropractic will go through with you what is the best management program for your child. This may involve postural advice, perhaps dietary changes, or specific exercises. The management program may include any or all of these but it will nearly always involve the chiropractor performing what is known as a chiropractic adjustment. Chiropractic adjustments for children are extremely gentle and, often, just involves holding the spine in optimal position whilst the child breathes deeply. Children are not just small adults and treatment is modified to reflect their stage of development and maturity. All treatment is fully discussed with parents before being undertaken and parents always have the final say in how their child is treated.