The utilization of chiropractic care for children (birth to 17 years of age) is often not considered by parents, despite the fact that the health of hundreds of thousands of infants, children, and adolescents has been improved through chiropractic care.
Because chiropractic is an alternative approach to the treatment and management of health conditions, it encompasses a wide-ranging variety of natural, safe, and non-invasive procedures. It may surprise you to know that aside from providing traditional adjustments, chiropractic can also be used to address an array of other common childhood ailments. These include, among others, middle ear infections, asthma, bedwetting, scoliosis, headaches, lower back pain, and colic. Let’s discuss three of the most common complaints that hurt children and worry parents.
Studies suggest that misalignment of the neck may affect the functions of the eustachian tube in the middle ear, causing otitis media, or middle ear infection. Middle ear infections are characterized by fever, ear and nasal discharge, poor sleep, decreased appetite, crying, and irritability. Chiropractic manipulation has, in many cases, been proven to alleviate this vertebral misalignment and therefore improve function of the eustachian tube to promote proper drainage. Research also suggests that a majority of middle ear infection cases treated with spinal adjustments appear to be resolved within 10 days.
Another example: few routine physical problems that affect their infants make parents feel as helpless, frustrated, and exhausted as does infantile colic. Symptoms of colic can manifest themselves with difficulty in nursing, a tendency for the baby to turn their head in only one direction, apparent discomfort when lying on its stomach, gastrointestinal distress, clenched fists, knees pulled up to the chest and, most distressing, uncontrollable crying for hours, seemingly without end. Some medical professionals theorize that the trauma of birth, especially a difficult one, may also negatively impact an infant’s spinal health right from the start and contribute to onset of colic.
Current non-chiropractic treatments include over-the-counter medications (quite mild, but often not effective or only temporarily so) and advice to the parents to let their child cry and simply “wait it out.” These options fall short, however, of what can be accomplished by very gentle and precise application of spinal manipulation. The adjustments work by either eliminating or significantly reducing the symptoms of colic, reducing the duration of time spent crying each day, and, most importantly, the duration of the colic itself.
A third surprisingly common ailment among children is low back pain, which is estimated to occur in about 50% of children, with nearly 15% of kids reporting frequent pain. Although much of this pain is minor, temporary, and eventually resolves itself, a large percentage of children have pain that may be the result of undetected scoliosis, sport or play-related trauma, or even birth-related trauma that remained unnoticed until the child’s spine began to grow.
Active children’s bodies endure a lot of stress from routine play and minor accidents that we might not even consider. In any given year, how often has your child jumped from a swing, hopped over a fence, fallen off a bike, been tackled to the ground, run into another child, slipped and fallen on skates or skis, wrestled and rough-housed with other kids? These are all normal childhood occurrences, but they can and do lead to cervical spine (neck) and lumbar spine (lower back) injuries that, if left untreated, allow the nervous system to deteriorate until serious intervention is required. At that point, chiropractic is one of the best treatment options available.
The time to address potentially devastating problems is now, not in 10, 20, or 30 years when childhood damage to your child’s musculoskeletal or nervous systems has deteriorated their health to the degree where repair is much more difficult, if not impossible.
Chiropractic management of pediatric conditions begins with an extensive physical examination and health history evaluation; it may then proceed to various adjustment techniques as well as other treatment modalities like electrical stimulation, hot and cold applications, massage or acupuncture. Having two precious children of his own, Dr. Alex is acutely aware of the extra-gentle care that must be applied to small, developing bodies. Please call for an appointment, and if my examination reveals that my menu of treatments cannot help your child, the first consultation will be free.