When one thinks about the word Chiropractic, they usually envision a person getting “cracked” or twisted by a chiropractor, with some degree of force. Therefore, it makes sense when someone hears “pediatric chiropractic”, they envision a baby or a child being adjusted in the same way as an adult. This can be concerning and even scary for parents to think about. The truth is, chiropractic adjustments to infants and children are extremely gentle. Many times babies even sleep right through an adjustment or they coo or laugh with enjoyment. A chiropractic adjustment to a newborn or infant uses as much pressure as you would put on the the ball of your eye, with your eyelid closed, to feel your eyeball. That’s it? Yes, that’s it! A chiropractic adjustment to a child over the age of 4 can look similar to an adult getting adjusted, but with much less force. The reason that infants and children need much less force than an adult is due to their spine being much more soft and newly developed, without the development patterns that many adults have accumulated over time.
Chiropractic does not “treat” anything, it helps by finding the areas of the spine that are subluxated, or restricted, and helps realign those parts to restore proper nerve flow to the nervous system. The nervous system controls EVERY single function in your body, subsequently minimizing and even eliminating many of the symptoms that people experience.
These are the top 10 ways that chiropractic care can help infants and children:
- Trauma from the birthing process. Your child’s nervous system is one of the first things that is developed in utero. The birth process, whether natural and healthy, or more complicated, like cesarean sections, this can cause a great deal of tension within your child’s newly developed spine.
- Rapid spinal growth: A baby’s spine is elongated by 50% in its first year, which is the fastest time it grows in its life. So it is important to make sure your baby is in proper alignment, ensuring proper spinal symmetry.
- When an infant begins to go through milestones, such as lifting their head up by themselves or learning to crawl or walk, there can be problems which present themselves in ways such as a child having an inward potted foot or walking on their toes. These issues can cause other spinal problems later on down the road.
- Ear infections: Ear infections are one of the most common childhood illnesses, and conventional treatments commonly include taking antibiotics, which can do damage to a child’s gut microbiome. By adjusting the areas of your child’s neck that have restrictions, the muscles in the area will become relaxed and the nerve function restored. Oftentimes this causes the ears to drain by themselves, without the need of medications, antibiotics, or tubes to be surgically put in.
- Behavioral/Attention problems: Many times, behavioral and attention problems can result from an overactive or underactive nervous system. The messages from your brain to the body, and/or visa versa, are not being properly transmitted, which can cause learning difficulty, frustration, confusion, and problems with maintaining attention.
- Increasing immune system: When an infant or child receives a chiropractic adjustment, this immediately stimulates the immune organs such as the thymus and spleen, increasing their productivity and efficiency, thus increasing the child’s immune system. Children who are on the verge of getting sick or are sick, can greatly benefit from getting an adjustment.
- Colic, fussiness, and acid reflux: when a baby has nerve interference in the low back or neck, this can oftentimes cause: fussiness, inability to get a good night’s rest, constipation, diarrhea, and general digestive issues. A chiropractor will look to restore function to these areas, which helps comfort the infant and relieve these systems of unease.
- Breastfeeding problems: Many times, if there is a subluxation or restriction in a baby’s neck, they will not be able to comfortably turn to a certain side, affecting their feeding on that side. A chiropractic adjustment restores problem function, allowing the baby to be able to breastfeed comfortably.
- Bed wetting: If a child is past the bed wetting age, but is still having issues with this, this can be a sign that they have some nerve interference to the area of the spine that deals with bladder control, which is usually in the lumbar spine. Chiropractors are trained to assess the spine and look for these areas of restrictions, and restore the proper nerve flow.
- Children are constantly falling and bumping into things, which is a natural part of childhood. But sometimes these minor falls/accidents can cause problems in the spine, which can lead to other issues later on. By getting your child’s spine checked regularly by a chiropractor, you can ensure that their spine is growing symmetrically and with optimal function.