We absolutely love seeing children in our practice! For this reason, Live Well Chiropractic provides complete care for children under the age of 3 at no charge as long as a parent of the child is being treated on the same day.
A child has many physical stresses to deal with during their growing years, and problems in children’s spines can occur at almost any point in their development and growth.
Probably the earliest challenge a growing spine faces is the position it is forced to adopt in utero. Many women will have heard of foetal positions which can cause problems with labour (brow, breech, transverse, posterior, etc.), but what is less well known is that these can also cause problems in the baby’s spine as well. Spinal segments can be pushed out of place or jammed by the position of the baby in the womb, and if this position is less than optimal, it can result in a longer and more difficult trip through the birth canal, which can compound these problems. In this way, even natural birthing methods can stress an infant’s spine and nervous system – not to mention interventions such as induction, forceps, suction or caesarean section. The latter (which account for an alarmingly large percentage of births in Australia), while seeming to offer a less traumatic birth for the child; can actually create a whole new set of problems.
The cause of many newborn health complaints such as colic, reflux, breastfeeding difficulties, sleep disturbances, allergic reactions and chronic infections can often be traced to irritation to the nervous system caused by these spinal and cranial misalignments.
Since significant spinal trauma can occur at, or prior to birth, many parents elect to have their newborns spine checked right away. Many developmental milestones such as learning to hold up the head, sitting upright, crawling and walking are all activities that affect spinal alignment and are important times to have a child checked by a chiropractor, not to mention the falls, sports injuries, playground bumps and heavy school bags to which they are subjected in later years.
“When I tell people that I treat a lot of children and babies at my clinic, their initial reaction is often one of horror as they assume that I use the same techniques on them as I do on adults. Chiropractic treatment has to be ‘tailored’ to the individual and their particular spine, and children are no exception”
The first thing a chiropractor will do is to conduct a thorough history of your child’s health and any complaints, which is followed by a complete physical examination of the child’s spine. Most chiropractors are trained to evaluate paediatric spinal problems, and will use gentle, specific skills to find and treat any involved spinal areas.
Spinal adjustments for infants and young children involve very light fingertip pressure to correct spinal misalignments. This amount of force is usually sufficient to restore mobility to spinal joints which have become locked and are causing interference to the normal function of the nervous system. Frequently in adults, the adjustments will make a ‘popping’ sound when the spinal joints are moved, however this is not always heard when children’s spines are adjusted. Other techniques that I use involve an instrument called an Activator that delivers a light consistent force to the spinal segment.
One of the most common reasons for parents to seek chiropractic care for their child is trauma from an injury of some sort. The spinal misalignments that may occur at the time of the injury will not necessarily result in immediate pain or symptoms.
Regular chiropractic checkups can identify potential spinal dysfunction resulting from these traumas, and help to avoid many of the back problems and health complaints seen later as adults.
Common childhood disorders that we have had great success which include;
- Recurrent ear infections
- Persistent sore throats
- Growing pains