Chiropractic care is often associated with adults seeking treatment for back pain, but did you know kids can benefit too? Spinal adjustment treats more than just pain. Your spinal cord and the nerves that branch from it through the vertebrae control digestion, breathing, hearing, and sight. Like a two-lane highway, signals travel from the brain to the body and back to the brain. Realigning the nervous system through chiropractic adjustment addresses many systemic conditions. Here are five ways kids and infants can benefit:
1. Chiropractic Care Treats Colic and Nursing Issues
Two of the most common and challenging problems that new parents and infants face are colic and trouble with nursing. Issues with latching and nursing are usually apparent right away. Sometimes they are caused by other known medical conditions such as prematurity, jaundice, or Down syndrome. Otherwise, healthy infants can struggle to latch and nurse if their spine is misaligned from the birthing process.
Chiropractors are trained in safe techniques for adjusting infants and small children, often using only one finger. A gentle adjustment of the infant’s neck and upper back can correct misalignments restricting their range of motion or causing weakness. A timely adjustment can allow a struggling infant to breastfeed.
Colic is a period of fussiness and crying in an otherwise healthy infant that typically starts around six weeks and can go on for a month or more. Colic can be heartbreaking and frustrating for parents, as it’s clear that their child is in distress, but nothing they do seems to help. The cause of colic is not fully understood and may not be the same for all infants. Researchers think that digestive distress because of a still-developing digestive system may be to blame for many cases. Another theory is that it may be due to a form of childhood migraine. Chiropractic care can alleviate both causes. Realigning the nervous system eases bloating and other digestive discomfort and reduces migraine symptoms.
Many parents find that their infant’s colic symptoms are significantly reduced after a visit to their chiropractor.
2. Spinal Adjustment Treats and Prevents Ear Infections
Frequent ear infections in babies and toddlers take a toll on the child and their parents. These infections are not an inevitable part of childhood. Ear infections in children happen more often than in adults because their small Eustachian tubes are not draining as they should. The resulting buildup of fluid attracts bacteria and leads to infection. The nerves that control the muscles near the Eustachian tubes are in the neck. By adjusting specific vertebrae, the chiropractor can cause these muscles to dilate, allowing the Eustachian tubes to drain. Some studies show that over 90% of pediatric patients experienced relief from ear pain after treatment. Repeat treatments can also prevent frequent ear infections.
3. Chiropractic Care Aids with Development
To become mobile, infants and toddlers go through a few stages. Crawling, wobbling about while holding on to things, and finally, independent walking. As they learn to walk, their bodies develop the necessary anatomy. Adult spines have an S shape when viewed from the side. These curves absorb shock and give us the stability to walk upright. Your toddler is developing these curves. Misalignments in the spine caused by the frequent tumbles young children take when learning to walk can impair development. Delays in mobility milestones or spinal curvature like a sway-back stance in otherwise healthy children can be prevented and treated with chiropractic care.
Young spines mis-align easier than adult spines, but are also easier to fix. By correcting misalignments that happen throughout the developmental process, we can prevent them from becoming entrenched and causing pain later on.
4. Spinal Adjustment Can Improve Concentration and School Performance
If your school-aged child is struggling to focus or their teacher says they are constantly fidgeting, spinal issues may be to blame. There are two ways spinal misalignments can cause issues with behavior and concentration in children. Kids can suffer from back pain just like adults, but it’s often difficult for them to communicate their discomfort. A child with back or neck pain may appear fidgety and inattentive because they are uncomfortable. Chiropractic care can address painful back and neck problems caused by bad posture or acute injury.
The other way the spine affects behavior is via the nervous system. Misaligned vertebrae impair the nervous system and can make a child more prone to anxiety and focus issues. Parents of children with ADHD or Autism often notice an improvement in their child’s symptoms following an adjustment. Spinal adjustment seems to have a calming effect on both adults and children. It’s not unusual for a child to become sleepy afterward. Keeping your child’s nervous system functioning optimally can reduce symptoms of anxiety, ADHD, and sub-clinical behavior issues.
5. Chiropractic Care Helps With Adolescent Spinal Development
As your child grows, their bones harden, and their vertebrae become more fixed. Their spines will also go through more strain from sports, heavy backpacks, and sitting in school all day. It’s essential to address misalignments and injuries throughout puberty, so they don’t lead to chronic pain in adulthood.
Sports and accidents can cause disc injuries and soft tissue damage, but sitting and looking at devices can be just as harmful. Your tween or teen is still developing their spinal curvature, and looking down at their phone can cause their neck to straighten. This leads to chronic neck and shoulder pain. It also strains the spinal cord and can cause neurological symptoms. Your child’s chiropractor can help them correct their posture, preventing overuse injuries and spinal curvature problems.
Professional sports teams keep chiropractors on contract because they know that regular chiropractic care improves flexibility, range of motion, and performance. Your active child or teen can also reap these benefits. Improved flexibility helps to prevent injury. Chiropractic care can also treat injuries like spinal subluxations (misalignments of the vertebrae), muscle sprains and strains, bulging discs, and other joint issues.
Chiropractic Care for Kids in Northern Kentucky
At All Star Chiropractic, we treat infants and children of all ages. We can ease common childhood issues and prevent future spinal problems. Our gentle and highly trained providers will ensure you and your child are comfortable throughout treatment. Schedule a consultation today to see how chiropractic care can benefit your family.