Recently, more parents have started integrating the use of alternative and complementary therapies in the treatment and care of their children. While a large part of them resort to chiropractic care mainly for the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, a growing percent of parents are discovering the important role chiropractic care plays as adjunctive or preventative therapy in their child’s overall health.
The first question that often arises when it comes to chiropractic care for children is, “How can my child’s body lose its natural alignment and develop subluxations for him to need regular chiropractic care?”
Children, unfortunately, undergo trauma and stress from a very early age, sometimes even from the moment they’re born. Several studies have shown that, in a large percent of cases, trauma (often unrecognized) following the birthing procedure can cause subluxation of the infant’s spine, often due to a constricted uterus, a difficult delivery, C-section, birth intervention (use of vacuum extraction or excessive force), and malpositioning (breech). As a result, the baby’s spine is almost always traumatized, and that’s the cause of many childhood and even adulthood spinal and structural problems.
Spinal problems can also occur as the consequence of the frequent falls suffered by infants in their first few months of life. A fall from the bed, a sudden turn, or any significant unsupported movement of the underdeveloped head and neck of an infant can induce excessive movement in the spine, causing vertebral subluxations. The chiropractic community encourages parents to bring their child in for a checkup at least six times in their first year of life, following important life events such as:
- The birth process
- When the baby starts holding the head up
- When the baby starts sitting up
- When the baby starts crawling
- When the baby starts standing
- When the baby starts walking
By doing so, parents will not only prevent nerve-damaging subluxations from having serious long-term consequences, but also ensure their children will live a happier, healthier life, free from chronic pain and structural imbalances. Here’s how.
Chiropractic care can help strengthen your child’s immune system.
The nervous system directly affects the immune system and plays and essential role in the immune response. Misalignment of the bones, accompanied by tightened muscles and irritation, can lead to the irritation of nerves and alter their ability to supply the organs and tissue with vital communication from the brain. Regular chiropractic care can detect and correct misalignments by properly adjusting the spine. As a result of restoring the nerve supply, the immune system can function at optimal capacity, and the body can naturally defend against disease better.
Chiropractic care supports your child’s digestive strength.
The digestive system is another system that’s entirely linked and coordinated by the nervous system, which has complete control over several aspects of the digestive function. If any of the numerous nerves in the spine controlling the pace and modality in which the body digests the food is not working properly, digestion problems will soon arise. Through safe and gentle manipulations, chiropractors can correct subluxations in the spine and relieve digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea, food allergies, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and others in both adults and infants or toddlers.
Chiropractic care can increase your child’s ability to learn and concentrate.
Research shows that the proper development and function of the brain relies on proper movement and structure of the spine from an early age. The presence of spinal misalignments can cause neurological dysfunctions that can lead to learning disabilities and also interfere with life skills, sports activities, and social interactions. Children undergoing regular chiropractic care have shown an improved ability to concentrate, perform better in school, maintain focus and attention, and control impulsive behaviors at home and school.
Chiropractic care can make your child happier and more optimistic.
Aside from the fact that optimal neurological activity relies on normal structural integrity and joint movement, research has also shown that “the complex neurochemical communication and pathways involved in helping people to “feel good” are tied into spinal biomechanics and their related neurological pathways. Children who undergo regular chiropractic care and their parents have observed dramatic improvements in the neurological and emotional responses. Elimination of spinal subluxations can reduce symptoms of anxiety disorders and depression, enabling children to become confident, optimistic, and happy adults.
By far, the best reason to offer your child regular chiropractic care is for general wellness and prevention. It is far easier to grow healthy children and nip problems in the bud than to repair damaged adults. By seeing a licensed and experienced chiropractor routinely, your child will be more likely to get sick less frequently and less severely, have fewer ear infections, and take less drugs or antibiotics to treat seasonal or chronic conditions.
About the Author
Dr. Marc Browner is the Founder of iChiropractic and Wellness in Naples, Florida. A graduate of the University of Florida in 1991, he earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic in 1995. In private practice since 1998, Dr. Browner is a member of the Florida Chiropractic Society, the Florida Chiropractic Association, and he attends continuing education seminars, classes, and workshops to remain abreast of the most current treatment methods and technological advances in the field.