Sunday, June 7, 2009

Chiropractic for Children?

By Philip Vincent

While you may routinely seek chiropractic care for yourself, you may be wondering if it is safe for your child. Chiropractic and children work well together. Starting from birth, children subjected to chiropractic care can benefit greatly.

Newborns often experience spinal issues during the birth process. This stress can affect the developing nervous system, resulting in colic, sleep disturbances, nursing difficulties and breathing problems. A quick visit to the chiropractor can realign anything that is out of place and relieve many of these discomforts.

As babies begin to grow, they may be affected by spinal issues when they learn to hold up their head, when they learn to sit, to crawl and finally, to walk. All the falls, bumps and normal activities infants go through have the potential to affect their spinal vertebrae. While the trauma may be extremely minor, left to itself it is possible it may develop into a problem as the child grows. A simple check by a doctor of chiropractic will make sure everything is still in alignment for proper growth and development. This doesn't mean you need to rush your child to the chiropractor every time they fall down, but occasional treatments can find and correct these issues before they create problems.

As a child grows and starts activities like skating, biking or other sports, they may experience occasional traumas here and there. Small misalignments can occur during these incidents that may lead to more serious issues as they grow. A quick visit to the chiropractor now and then during these years can straighten these issues out before they become serious.

If a child is injured in a sports or car accident, this is an excellent opportunity to make sure their spine was not injured in any way. Many parents discover that occasional chiropractic adjustments will help with ear infections, asthma, allergies and even headaches. All of these issues could possibly be related to a subluxation (a spinal misalignment) or two. Parents are discovering that their children are no longer experiencing these problems after just a few visits.

It is important for parents to remember that chiropractors do not treat diseases or conditions. They merely check the spine for misalignments that affect the proper functioning of the nervous system. When the nerves are free to do their job, everything functions better.

When you take your child to a chiropractor, ask if they have treated children and babies before. You may feel more comfortable with a doctor who treats children routinely. The doctor will take your child's case history and perform an exam to see if there are any issues with the spine. All adjustments and examinations are gentle and are specifically done according to the developing status of the child's spine. Babies often sleep through the whole thing and most children enjoy their visit to the chiropractor and look forward to the next appointment. Parents note that with regular chiropractic care, their children seem to be healthier than they were without this care.

While most spinal issues are next to impossible to ascertain for parents, there are a few signs to watch for. Child holds his or her head to one side consistently Restricted range of motion of the head or neck Sleeping patterns disrupted every hour or two Feeding difficulties in infants

Persistent earaches, sore throats, colic, headaches, bedwetting and growing pains may all be signs of minor subluxations of the spine.

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