Why does my kid need to be checked by a chiropractor, they don’t have any pain?
That is probably one of the most common questions I get asked as a pediatric chiropractor and I love answering it!
The reason EVERY kid should be checked by a chiropractor, regardless of pain, is because chiropractic adjustments have nothing to do with pain! Adjustments have everything to do with function– specifically the function of the nervous system or what the medical textbooks call the MASTER controlling system in your body! That means that your nervous system is in charge of every other system in your body including your respiratory system, circulatory system, and your digestive system – among many others! To ensure that each system can function at the most optimal level, you must ensure that your nervous system is functioning at the highest level FIRST. That is where a Doctor of Chiropractic steps in. One of the most common areas that can interfere with the communication of system throughout the body is the spine. When a spinal segment is not moving properly in relation to the other segments around it, it will disrupt the flow of nerve signals from the brain to the body and vice versa. A chiropractor is the only trained individual who can locate these areas of abnormal spinal movement and correct them specifically using the chiropractic adjustment. This will restore normal function of the segment and proper nerve flow so your body can heal and function the way it was designed to!
Now you’re probably thinking, “Well that’s great and all, but how can a kid end up with abnormal spinal movement?” The answer is simply this: KIDS ARE ACTIVE! And maintaining an active lifestyle is very important for fueling the brain, but it can also lead to instances that can alter the position of vertebral (i.e. boney) segments in the spine. Have you ever seen a kid fall off of a slide? Or run into a wall? Have you ever seen kids play contact sports, or any sport in for that matter? How about when they fall on their bottom as they are learning to walk? What about looking down at a cell phone or iPAD device? Or wrestle with their siblings? Then there’s sitting with poor posture, what kind of damage does that cause after decades? All of these instances, plus many more, can result in spinal misalignments which are slowly destroying their nerves. They may not feel pain yet, but that’s only because a small percentage of nerve fibers in the body (only 10%) are allocated toward pain. What about the other 90%?
Two main reasons that every kid should be checked and adjusted by a chiropractor are:
1) The birthing process
2) The fact that gravity is constantly compressing their spine on a daily basis
The gravity concept is easy to understand, but you’re probably sitting there asking yourself how can birth cause a spinal misalignment, especially when they are so little? The answer is actually backed by research that comes from the 1992 Manual Medicine Journal. It states that “during a c-section, the infant’s head and neck are immediately targeted and dug out through the incision in order to pull the largest part of the baby out first. This puts extreme pressure on the delicate upper neck and skull of the newborn.” This pressure can cause symptoms which can include but are not limited to: colic, irritability, sleep disorders, problems latching, SIDS, ADHD, ADD, constipation, asthma, ear infections, torticollis, and many others! This can also occur during a natural birth (i.e. vaginal delivery), especially one where forceps are used to pull the baby out by the neck. One study in particular examined more than 1000 infants and concluded that approximately 80% of all newborns had some form of nerve dysfunction (most commonly in the upper part of the neck).
Of course by now you are wondering, “is chiropractic safe for kids, especially infants?” The answer is unequivocally, YES! The key is making sure you are going to a chiropractor who has had extensive training in pediatric chiropractic. Chiropractic care, especially for babies, is as gentle as checking the ripeness of a tomato at the grocery store. And the best part? Kids love it and the parents love the health benefits which include: improved focus, better sleep, better digestion, better immunity, plus many more. Research also suggests that spinal misalignments overlooked in kids can lead to moderate and/or severe forms of scoliosis.
At the end of the day, a child is just a miniature adult. All human beings walking planet Earth deserve a sound, fully functional nerve system! Without it, we can never hope to achieve an optimal state of health and well-being.