Some parents may wonder why more and more families are seeking chiropractic care for their children. I am very active in my children's school and my community, so when it comes up in conversation that I’m a chiropractic physician, many parents feel comfortable asking me the questions they might not ask another chiropractor for fear of offending them or sounding ignorant. Over the years I have found the following questions to be some of the more common ‘I don’t want to ask’ questions:
Q: My kid doesn’t have any pain: why should they see a chiropractor?
A: Bottom line is anyone with a spine should have it checked for proper alignment on a regular basis. If a vertebrae is left misaligned (we call this Subluxation) it pinches slightly on the spinal nerve exiting at that level. This is a problem because that pinch distorts and limits the information going between your brain and your body. Children are especially resilient when it comes to all sorts of medical conditions, so the effects from a subluxation may not be detectable right away, or it may play out in a way the parent might not suspect. In fact, most of the children I see are not actively suffering from anything. Many parents report increased health in general when their kids are under regular chiropractic care. Chiropractic care supports a child’s overall health and wellness by encouraging excellent nerve development, strengthening their immune system and encouraging good posture.
Q: What could my child possibly be doing to cause misaligned vertebrae?
A: Subluxation is a part of life. Just like you manage plaque on your teeth with brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist regularly---you know it’s something that’s never going to go away and it will only get worse if you ignore it. Subluxations can occur for children during normal activities: like turning to the side when they sneeze, sliding down the stairs on their butts, breathing shallow and compromising their posture during their first big exams, and more. None of these things are abnormal, you just need to take care of the consequences if you want your body to be as healthy as it can be.
Q: Are you going to ‘crack’ my kid the same way you ‘crack’ me?
A: No. Adjustments for children and babies are very gentle. Just like any other doctor, we adjust our techniques to the patient's tolerance and needs. The ‘crack’ sound (called a cavitation) adults are typically accustomed to hearing rarely occurs with a child under 5, simply due to their small, flexible joints and more flexible muscles. If it does happen it's not uncomfortable to the child, and any surprise that comes from hearing the sound is quickly dissolved with any multitude of goofy antics your doctor uses to make the visit fun. Just like dentists, we want children to grow up enjoying our care.
Q: What conditions are children and babies typically treated for?
A: The most obvious are things like headaches, scoliosis, back and neck pain. Allergies, asthma and dizziness, which are commonly improved with regular chiropractic care, as are digestive issues like acid reflux. Many parents seek chiropractic care for their children with behavioral problems, low energy, or kids that ‘seem to be sick all the time.’
With specific regard to infants, chiropractic care has been shown to improve colic, sleeping patterns, digestive problems, resolve torticollis issues, improve flat spots on their heads---and it never hurts to have another professional on your babies’ team.
Q: What about children with special needs? What can be done for them?
A: Through working with many children managing severe autism, cerebral palsy, Down’s Syndrome, and a wide variety of conditions with no cure, I have found particular success in relieving and preventing muscular contractures, improving sleep patterns, and lessening the ‘peaks and valleys’ of behaviors.