Can Children Benefit from Chiropractic Care?
It is unlikely that you will ever see a young child bend over to pick up a toy and freeze in pain saying, “Oh no, my back just went out again.” Generally, conditions that will cause such a pain do not appear in children, but it may have started there.
Chiropractic care can play an important role in the healthy development of a growing child. From infancy to adulthood, thousands of children are adjusted by chiropractors daily. The chiropractic profession practices a drug-free, hands-on approach to health and wellness that includes treating general health through nervous system function by correcting vertebral subluxation.5 Vertebral subluxation complex (VSC) or subluxation, is a tiny, often painless physical misalignment of a spinal bone that can interfere with physical and emotional health.4 Subluxation is primarily caused by stress, whether physical, emotional or chemical.
Stressors in an infant’s and/or child’s spine can start in pregnancy, if the delicate spine is harmed by a condition known as in-utero constraint. Including breech position, in-utero constraint can create abnormal stressors to the fetus by one or more degrees. This stress to the baby can result in spinal asymmetry and/or vertebral subluxation with long standing consequences.1
The use of drugs, vaccines, or epidurals, as well as extraction methods such as forceps and C-section deliveries, can also affect a child’s spine and overall health. Injury to the spine has been associated with common newborn health issues such as colic, poor appetite, earaches or ear infections, colds and more.2
In their early years, children grow from helpless infants to fearless explorers, incurring bumps and falls as they learn the world around them. Consistent and repeated jars to the spine can accumulate as repetitive stress injuries to the nervous system and cause lasting effects that may be detrimental to normal bone growth and cause various body systems to malfunction.
The purpose of the spine is to house and protect a child’s nervous system, which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and associated nerves.2 Like a computer, the brain sends signals through nerves down the spinal cord to the muscles, organs and glands. Vertebral subluxation may occur when what seem like normal, minor falls cause small vertebrae of the spine or pelvis to move out of alignment. This in turn may interfere with the nerve impulses getting to a child’s muscles, organs and glands. With gentle adjustments, a family chiropractor may safely move the vertebra back into place, restoring normal joint and nervous system function, and allowing the body to work properly for a child’s well-being.
Eric Davenport is a Doctor of Chiropractic at Gonstead Chiropractic and can be reached at 760.863.0435
References: 1) Anrig, C., D.C., Plaugher, G., D.C., Pediatric Chiropractic, pp. 97-98; 2) Anrig, C., Why Does Your Child Need Chiropractic Care. Generations 2010; 3) Cunningham, G., Leveno, K., et al. Williams Obstetrics, 23 Ed. Pp. 464-489.; 4) Lantz CA. The vertebral subluxation complex. Int’l. Rev. of Chiropractic. Sep/Oct 1989;37-61. 5) www.acatoday.org