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Children Need Chiropractic Too

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By: Dr. Stephen O’Neil

Why should I bring my child to a chiropractor? His back doesn't hurt. Parents bring their children to regular check ups for their teeth, hearing and eyesight, but don't consider a spinal checkup important. A spinal checkup could be the most important checkup your child will ever have.

As we know, chiropractic care is not about fixing aches and pains. It is about restoring and maintaining proper motion and alignment of the spinal column. This promotes optimal function of the spinal cord and nervous system. This is of particular importance because the billions of nerve cells in the spinal cord is a direct extension of the brain that carries messages and energy to and from the brain to every part of the body. Blockage or irritation to nerves along this path can have far reaching impacts on health in any part of the body, with aches and pains being the least of these problems.

What causes these misalignments and restrictions? Many things can influence a child's spinal health. Few problems with the spine are actually from the developing fetus. Many problems begin at the time of birth. When you think about it, what event will your child experience in the first few years of life that is more traumatic than birth. Being pulled by the head and twisted and yanked, often using forceps or suction, sometimes for hours on end can be extremely stressful to the spine. This is often the first assault on the still developing spinal cord. Spinal problems can also occur as a result of falls suffered by young infants in the first months of life. A sudden stop in an automobile or any unsupported movement of the head and neck can cause spinal subluxation (misalignment or restriction). The act of learning to sit, crawl, walk and the hundreds of falls and tumbles associated with this can also cause subluxations. Combine these things with the running, jumping, sports and hours of posturally unfriendly video games and there is a pretty good chance for subluxation and nervous system irritation.

Can babies go to a chiropractor? Of course they can. Spinal corrections are made through the chiropractic adjustment. The amount of force needed and techniques are modified according to the size and age of a child. The adjustment is safe and painless and many children actually look forward to their chiropractic checkups. With babies, very little force is actually needed and most corrections can be made by just applying minimal pressure to different areas along the spine. The whole process takes very little time and many babies even sleep through their adjustments.

Many parents seek out chiropractic care for the treatment or resolution of a certain symptom or condition such as colic, ear infections, asthma, allergies and headaches. It is important to understand that while these conditions often respond beautifully to chiropractic care, it is not the symptom or condition that is being treated. The doctor of chiropractic assesses and corrects the spine for spinal subluxation, which in turn allows for greater nervous system function. This has a profound effect on one's health and well being, especially to a child whose spine is going through such rapid growth and change. Minor misalignments and subluxations in the spine can lead to much more significant musculo-skeletal problems and worse. A spinal check up and proper spinal hygiene can help minimize the risk of more serious problems and maximize health. Chiropractic can release the full potential of a child's nervous system and help them achieve their full potential mentally and physically as an adult.