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Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Kids

by Tiffany Barry, studioD

Many parents are beginning to introduce chiropractic care into their children's lives from birth to young adulthood. Highly trained chiropractors specializing in pediatric care offer a drug-free complement to traditional pediatric care. Chiropractic care is based on the relationship between the spine and the nervous system, and pediatric chiropractors believe that by keeping the spine in alignment as a child grows, a high level of preventative care and wellness is achieved. Chiropractic care during childhood maintains a child's structural health, which, in combination with regular pediatric care by the child's pediatrician, promotes better overall health and wellness.

The Chiropractic Visit

A chiropractic visit begins by the chiropractor getting the child's medical history and learning about any ongoing problems or complaints. The chiropractor will then gently assess the child during a physical exam. Pediatric chiropractors are specially trained to use a variety of gentle and specialized methods to perform a thorough examination. Your child's exam will be specifically tailored to your child's cranium and spine. As the chiropractor begins making adjustments, he may only need to use pressure equivalent to a finger touch. Other chiropractors may choose to use small, hand-held tools to make adjustments, but these are just as safe and gentle. During the adjustment, a slight popping sound is common, but routine adjustments are generally painless. Adjustments made to correct a physical complaint can be slightly painful until the area begins to heal and becomes less sensitive. High-velocity adjustments should always be avoided in children, as these can cause damage to the spine and surrounding cartilage.

Developmental Care

Developing children experience physical stresses on their spine beginning during fetal development and continuing into adulthood. Chiropractic care is a safe method of maintaining spinal health, and many parents begin chiropractic care in infancy. In utero, the spine adapts to the confines of the mother's uterus and then undergoes further stress during delivery. Early disruptions in spinal development and alignment interfere with developmental milestones like holding up the head, sitting up, crawling and walking. These early milestones depend on the health and balance between the spine, cranium and nervous system. Other issues in both infants and children that are preventable with pediatric chiropractic care are disrupted sleeping patterns, breastfeeding difficulty in infants, restricted neck movement and misalignment of the shoulders. By using chiropractic care in addition to regular pediatric care, you can improve the health of your developing child.

Treatable Chronic Conditions

There are many health issues linked with spinal dysfunction. Because the chiropractic science is based on the link between the spine's alignment and the nervous system, a misalignment can put pressure on the spinal cord and interfere with the nervous system in a myriad of ways. Newborn conditions such as colic, reflux, sleep issues, allergic reactions and chronic infections can be affected by external forces but can be attributed in some cases to spinal dysfunction. Other ailments in children of all ages, such as chronic ear infections, chronic sore throats and colds, asthma, scoliosis, headaches, bed-wetting, constipation, growing pains and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are sometimes caused by spinal dysfunction. Chiropractors maintain the health of your child's spine to relieve any pressure or dysfunction that may be causing these problems. When chiropractic care is used in addition to pediatric care, many common childhood problems can be diagnosed, treated or prevented completely.

Chiropractors and Pediatricians Working Together

Studies are underway as to the effectiveness of chiropractic care in children and the benefits of such care, so a coordination of your child's chiropractor and pediatrician is recommended. The American Chiropractic Association claims the skills of both trained chiropractors and board certified pediatricians working in unison results in a complementary wellness routine, and studies conducted by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association link the resolution of health and developmental issues with pediatric chiropractic care. However, because there have been questions as to the risks of spinal manipulation in growing children, chiropractic care in your child should be overseen by your child's pediatrician.

About the Author

Tiffany Barry is a freelance writer with a background in early childhood education. She has been in the childcare field for more than 10 years. Barry writes about education, parenting and motherhood.

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