From the time our children enter this world, they experience stress on their nervous system. The birth process itself, while a beautiful thing, can be a traumatic event for the baby. Often times the birthing process is where the first subluxation (vertebral misalignment) occurs. Misalignments in the spine (at any age) can lead to a disruption of basic functions. In a newborn specifically this can lead to trouble breastfeeding, colic, digestive problems, difficulty pooping, and potentially ear infections. Newborns, unlike older children and adults, can’t articulate that there is a problem, so they cry when they are trying to get our attention. A baby that is difficult to calm down may have an upper cervical misalignment putting stress on their nerves making it hard for them to feed properly (this causes two issues: discomfort for the baby and trouble breastfeeding and getting nourishment).
During developmental phases, children will experience the most growth. Chiropractic care is not just for times of discomfort or pain, it is a proactive approach to wellness. Chiropractic treatment at a young age can potentially reduce the likelihood of a scoliosis. Typically, scoliosis screenings are not done until elementary school. Chiropractors are trained to diagnose and correct the subluxations that contribute to a scoliosis. As Dr. Sid Williams, founder of Life University once said, “As a twig is bent, so grows the tree”. Unlike our teeth, where we are fortunate to have baby teeth and then another set of adult teeth, we only get one spine. We have to take care of the one we have.
Proper spinal hygiene will allow children to grow up healthier and with a strengthened immune system. Additionally, as children engage in sports and activities, proper spinal alignment allows for improved range of motion, more mobility, and reduces the risk for injury. There is a saying: “structure determines function”. If we have a strong foundation, we have optimum function. Each level of the spine and the nerves that exit the segment(s) have a unique function in the body. For example, C3, C4, and C5 spinal nerve roots supply the diaphragm. A properly functioning diaphragm helps with more efficient inhalation and exhalation (i.e. improved breathing). Breathing techniques help improve with stress reduction, better sleep, and increased athletic performance.
In addition to the “hot topics” listed above, chiropractic care can also help with the following:
- Enuresis (bedwetting — a problem after age 4): associated with sacral misalignments and upper lumbar
- Torticollis (contracted neck muscles causing the head to tilt in a fixed position to one side): associated with an upper cervical misalignment
- Diarrhea: associated with upper lumbar and sacral misalignments
- Asthma: cervical and thoracic misalignments
- Brachial Plexus Entrapment: lower cervical misalignments
- Pigeon Toe Gait (feet turning inward): pelvic misalignment
These are just a few of the many benefits of chiropractic care for kids. The biggest benefit of all is the ability for our children to have a properly functioning nervous system. The nervous system controls every process in the body. It tells our hearts to beat, our lungs to breathe, and our muscles to move—it’s a pretty vital system right? Yes!
Do you have questions regarding chiropractic for your kids? Feel free to give our office a call. Dr. Michelle will happily answer any questions you may have.