Do Children Need Chiropractic Care?

A baby’s potential lies within, yet it is dependent on many nurturing factors. Babies, infants, and children go through important growth stages. Therefore, monitoring their spinal alignment will allow for optimal growth and development.  

The health benefits of chiropractic care should be considered as a conservative and natural approach within our health care system, even for young people. Doctors of chiropractic understand that prevention is more important than the reaction to a health issue or problem that has been accumulating over time. An example of this is stress. Stress, like a chronically misaligned spine, has a variety of negative impacts on the physical body. Research shows that stress can be mitigated if consistent care and attention are given to the health and well-being of an individual from an early age. For this reason, chiropractic care is vital for children.

Health problems tend to run in families and similarities in health patterns then follow children as they grow into adults. The spinal problems seen in adults can begin as early as birth. During normal childbirth, the obstetrician may pull on a baby’s head and neck when it is extended and rotated, which can lead to structural and soft-tissue misalignments of the baby’s spine. Babies born via caesarean section must be pulled out very fast, with a firm grip sometimes requiring suction, because they are very slippery.  As a result, traction forces can cause adverse reactions and asymmetrical soft-tissue tension to the developing neck. If an emergency caesarean section is necessary, the baby’s neck will have experienced both the compression from the contractions during labour and the traction forces from the extraction procedure. 

Growing babies need plenty of food and sleep. Observe your baby while he/she is eating for signs and symptoms of potential health issues. When breastfeeding, notice if the latch is easy and symmetrical. Difficulties nursing on one side could indicate that your baby has a neck misalignment due to lack of rotation in the neck. Another side-effect of spinal misalignments is spitting up food while feeding. Along the spine where the diaphragm connects, the esophagus allows food to move into the stomach without restriction. Difficulty sleeping and/or excessive crying is your baby’s way of communicating their discomfort and could be the result of spinal stress on their delicate nervous system and/or spinal cord. 

Adjusting the spine of babies, infants, and children takes experience and is performed differently than it would be for an adult. In a baby’s spine, only a slight amount of pressure is needed to correct spinal misalignments of the spinal bones. With older children, a small amount of pressure with a gentle push is all that is needed to restore normal spinal and nervous system function. 

It is important to remember that chiropractors do not treat diseases. The focus is on correcting spinal misalignments in order to prevent and treat health problems. Children who receive regular spinal adjustments for posture, along with proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep will be set on a path to grow up structurally and functionally sound.

Dr. Deane Studer, DC

Healthier Today Than Yesterday?

When pain strikes us with surprise, we often struggle to understand why. Keep in mind that our spinal bones are held in place by numerous muscles controlled and directed by the nervous system. Bones, muscle and nerves influence each other in a dynamic balance. When everything is properly aligned and our main weight-bearing joints are vertically stacked, the natural laws of human design are preserved.

We balance ourselves in gravity without any thought or appreciation, but with due consideration it is an incredible act. Every joint in our body sends the nervous system information constantly while standing to maintain a stable posture. Our muscles work in pairs to equalize the subtle alignment of the bones so that they fit just right to maximize strong posture. Over our lifetime we become habituated in many ways and beyond our comprehension. Repetitive habits introduce and hard-wire our bodies into tight and inflexible ways.

Posture is simple–it is how we balance ourselves in space. It is intuitive and responsive to our environment. Strong posture offers more mechanical advantages than weak posture. Have you ever seen a picture of yourself or a friend and noticed that one shoulder is higher than the other? The best way to know this is through a posture assessment and by getting a posture picture. Awareness is the first step to correcting poor posture, which could be the cause of your health issues.

Our clinic has a special interest in spinal and postural correction. With our simple posture test, we can often reveal the imbalances that are causing your pain or health concern. We look forward to helping you and your family!

Dr. Deane Studer, DC

Your Child’s Posture

Your child?s posture changes dramatically when developing from a newborn to toddler, adolescent to adult. Their body gains over one metre in height, their body weight gain is over twenty times, and the spinal column doubles in length! The infant’s head represents about 80% of its body weight while an adult’s head is about 8.6% of the total body weight.

 

It is commonly believed that the foetus in utero has only one forward flexed C-curve of the spine, because they are tucked in tightly. But, in-utero ultrasound studies show that even before it is born, the baby has 3 primary spinal curves, which will be accentuated throughout the critical development periods of their first 3 years.

 

As the infant begins lifting its head, the curve in the neck strengthens. When the baby begins crawling, its low back curve is reinforced and strengthened. Crawling is such an important stage in nerve patterning for proper brain function, but it is also critical in developing these spinal curves, which act like a network of springs. These curves offer protection to the delicate nerve tract that connects your brain and body while allowing the flexibility to move and play.

 

Regular Chiropractic postural evaluations are the best way to monitor a child’s spinal development. If a misalignment begins to form early on because of a traumatic birth, or a fall while learning to walk, the spine can misalign even more through growth spurts—reinforcing bad nerve patterning and making the problem more difficult to correct over time. This brings to mind the saying, “As a twig is bent, so grows the tree.” In other words, as gravity pulls on an imbalance in the spine, the spine can buckle and begin curving laterally, which is sometimes called scoliosis if it progresses to a certain degree.

 

Early detection is key for preventing long-term spinal problems. In our clinic, a physical exam for a child includes:

1-postural and gait assessment

2-active and passive range of motion tests of the spine and extremities

3-spinal segmental palpation

4-muscular tone and tension tests

5-neurological/orthopedic tests

6-x-rays, if indicated and depending on age of child

 

Having helped many children restore proper spinal alignment and nerve function, I have been witness to awesome stories of recovery and healing from a large variety of health concerns such as breathing problems, digestive issues, low energy, regular colds and flus, spinal pain, headaches, poor posture, sleeping problems, colic, and more.

 

Dr. Deane Studer, DC