In part one of this two-part blog series, we talked about how children can accrue injuries to their spines from birth to the present. In part two, we will discuss some differences in the types of care one can receive (responsive vs. preventative), some common childhood conditions that Chiropractic can be helpful for, and the safety of Chiropractic care for children.
Many of our adult patients see us for responsive care, meaning they have some sort of symptomatology, usually in the form of pain and/or stiffness, that they want addressed and mitigated because it is disrupting their day-to-day life. With this type of care, dysfunctions in the spine, extremities, and nervous system have festered over a long enough period of time to where the body produces pain signals, or there has been an acute injury. Chiropractic is a great tool for responding to symptomatology and many acute injuries, and these patients see great results. We take great pride and have much joy in helping suffering people get out of pain.
Remember, the goal of chiropractic care is essentially to find and fix subluxations to improve the overall motion, and therefore function, of the neuro-musculo-skeletal system, especially as it relates to the spine. A subluxation is a joint with a lack of motion that may or may not be accompanied by pain. Pain is often the result of persistent subluxations. Subluxations also disrupt the nervous system. In a nutshell, our job as Chiropractors is to find joints that don’t move well and adjust them to make them move well. This results in improved biomechanics throughout the spine and extremities, but also improved nervous system function. Children, from birth through 18, accrue injury to their neuro-musculo-skeletal system that result in subluxations, and therefore dysfunctions, just like adults.
Therefore, Chiropractic isn’t really aimed at mitigating pain symptoms only. Chiropractic’s true goal is to find dysfunctions (subluxations) in their early phases and correct them before they begin to snowball into more intense dysfunctions that create pain signals in the body. This is a more preventative approach. It is this approach that most children require. So, simply put, Chiropractic is designed to fix dysfunctions that exist within the neuro-musculo-skeletal system, whether pain is present or not. If pain or other symptoms exist, they will reduce as the dysfunction is corrected. If pain or other symptoms don’t exist, they will be avoided through consistent Chiropractic care because dysfunctions are continuously eliminated. When children are under consistent Chiropractic care, they can move well and their nervous systems stay healthy, which means they can grow and develop to their true potential.
Chiropractic Care and Common Child Conditions
Other than preventing neuro-musculo-skeletal dysfunction and allowing your child to grow and develop well, Chiropractic care can also help with the following conditions that are common in pediatric populations:
Colic in infants
Scoliosis and scoliosis prevention
Bedwetting in adolescents
In 2019, the Australian government conducted an inquiry asking parents about their experiences when taking their children 12 and under to a Chiropractor. Amazingly, approximately 22,000 parents responded, with approximately 99.7% of them stating that they had a positive experience with the Chiropractic care of their child. These parents sought Chiropractic care for their children for a variety of complaints, to include general well being, postural concerns, neck pain, back pain, headaches, breastfeeding issues, and colic. Approximately 98% of these parents stated that their child’s condition(s) improved after their child received Chiropractic care. This statistic does not surprise us at all. In our experience, children respond very well to Chiropractic care, perhaps more readily than other age groups.
Chiropractic is Safe and Effective for Children of All Ages
A Chiropractic adjustment performed on an infant versus a teenager or an adult looks very different. Adjusting an infant requires no thrust. All that is required is a small amount of pressure placed on the bone to make it move. The general rule of thumb is to use the same amount of pressure as the weight of a nickel! Older children, such as a toddler, may or may not require a very gentle thrust. Teenagers are adjusted very similarly to adults, though they tend to require less force.
The 2019 Australian inquiry mentioned above wasn’t only interested in the benefits of Chiropractic care for children, but also the safety of the care. The approximate 22,000 parents that responded reported no safety complaints, nor were there any practitioner notifications that any care had any adverse effects.
Get Your Child Evaluated by a Chiropractor
Based on the information shared above, the Ollis Chiropractic team recommends that your child undergo a thorough evaluation by a Chiropractor, whether your child suffers from one of the above mentioned conditions or not. Maintenance Chiropractic care is important for everyone’s spine, but especially growing children. This is how we care for our own children! If your child is suffering from one of the conditions above, or is in need of consistent, quality Chiropractic care, we would love to help. Email the Ollis Chiropractic team at [email protected] or give us a call at 502-412-8580 to set up a new patient visit for your child. We look forward to hearing from you!
Below are animated videos from a reputable Chiropractic research team that you may find informative:
Safety of Chiropractic care for Children and Babies
A Baby to a Chiropractor
Chiropractic and Pregnancy
Chiropractic and Breastfeeding
Chiropractic and Colic
Chiropractic and Enuresis (Bedwetting)