Many people simply do not know how much of difference Chiropractic adjustments can make to an infant or child’s health because infants and toddlers are usually unable say that their necks or low backs are hurting. When a child is old enough to tell an adult about his or her neck or back pain, it can easily be dismissed because many people find it hard to believe that a child could feel back pain like an adult does. Actually, they can and they do. The truth is that Chiropractic adjustments can easily treat the ailments of many infants and children.
Chiropractic for Babies
The birth process can be very traumatic to an infant, especially if the baby’s head and neck are pulled in any way during labour and birth. One easy method to tell if a baby’s neck is misaligned is to watch where he or she looks in a car seat. If the baby constantly looks in the same direction, the vertebrae in his or her neck are most likely fixed (the chiropractic term is subluxated). Subluxated vertebrae can often be irritated or sore and an adjustment will help those joints to move in a more normal range of motion, while reducing the discomfort that the baby experiences.
Colicky babies find great relief with Chiropractic adjustments. A Denmark study (Klougart N, Nilsson N, Jacobsen J. Infantile colic treated by chiropractors: a prospective study of 316 cases. J Manip Physiol Ther 1989; 12(4): 281-8) showed that 94% of the infants who received chiropractic care noted a significant decrease of crying time within two weeks of treatment.
As babies grow, and learn to crawl and walk, their spines are modified by their newly acquired body positions and by gravity. It is important to have a child’s spine checked at the major milestones of development, especially at the crawling and walking stages to ensure that the vertebrae are all moving in a normal pattern of motion.
Chiropractic for Toddlers
Another concern for Chiropractors with regards to children are bumps and falls. As babies learn to navigate their bodies in space, they fall frequently, and these jolts can cause misalignments in their spine. Anatomically, the spinal cord is housed by the vertebrae, and nerves exit in pairs from between each vertebra. When the vertebrae are out of alignment, they press on the nerves as they exit the spine. The result is that the nervous system is not able to function as well as it could.
Chiropractic for Children
Sports, especially contact sports can cause back or neck pain for children. Heading the ball when playing soccer, sliding into the boards head first in hockey, being hit by the ball or by other players in baseball or basketball can all cause misalignments in a child’s spine. Chiropractors can make the most difference the earlier they treat a child who has hurt his or her neck or back.
Children can suffer from migraine headaches. While Chiropractic care cannot help all types of migraines, some migraine headaches originate from fixed or subluxated vertebrae in the neck. Adjustments can help to reduce or eliminate the frequency and intensity of these types of migraine headaches.
Children can suffer from neck and low back pain if their backpacks are worn improperly or if they are carrying too much weight for their body size. For more information about backpacks and how to fit them properly to your child, please refer to our article about back packs at http://www.drmelaniebee.org/c-backpack.htm
It is very important that a child’s spine grows in proper alignment. If your baby seems uncomfortable or consistently refuses to look in one direction, please have his or her spine checked. If you child has had a fall, plays contact sports, or complains about neck or back pain, please consult with a Chiropractor. It can make a such a world of difference to your child’s health.
Dr. Melanie Beingessner is a chiropractor, a breastfeeding counsellor, a certified infant massage instructor and the mother of three fabulous kids. She is the author of The Calm Baby Cookbook, written to help breastfeeding moms calm their fussy babies by changing their diets.
Dr. Melanie’s website provides information about pregnancy, breastfeeding, ADD/ADHD, chiropractic, health and wellness at drmelaniebee.org