As a concerned parent, you want the best for your child and, no doubt, wonder if your child is as healthy as he or she could be. Several factors determine your child’s overall health. These include: diet, exercise, proper rest, emotional and spiritual support and a properly functioning nervous system. It is an old saying, “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.” We all know how important the formative years are in determining the health of our children as they grow older.
It is for this reason that a pediatric chiropractic and consultation can be vital to your child’s health. Many parents wonder at what age children should begin seeing a chiropractor. Experienced chiropractors answer that it is never too early to begin chiropractic care. Chiropractic is one of the safest forms of healthcare and is perfectly appropriate for children. Chiropractic adjustments are painless and will not hurt your child. Chiropractic care benefits children of all ages and stages of development.
How a Child’s Spine Develops
At birth, a child’s spine is a single C-shaped curve; the newborn lacks the strength to hold up his or her head. At about six months, the neck muscles develop and help the infant hold up his head. At about nine months, the lower back curves, the muscles in the lumbar area develop and the child learns to crawl and stand. The child now has three natural curves in the spine to support the body.
As they learn to walk and run, children fall and can suffer strains and sprains as a result. Detecting these problems at a young age is critical for the proper development of your child’s spine. Many postural problems and back pains we experience as adults frequently are traced back to falls as children or a traumatic childbirth. Having your child’s spine checked by a chiropractor at a young age is important for proper development of the bones of the spine.
How Can Parents Recognize Childhood Spinal Problems?
Unless a child has an obvious problem, it can be difficult for parents to recognize when a child has spinal misalignments. This is when a chiropractor can help. It is not always easy for someone other than a chiropractor, highly trained in evaluating the spine, to determine if the child has a problem, just as it is difficult for someone other than a dentist to determine if a child has any cavities. Both cases take the skills of a trained specialist to perform a thorough evaluation. There are some signs which parents may look for which can be an indicator of a child with a spinal problem. Common indicators of spinal problems may include the child’s head consistently being tilted to one side, restricted head or neck motion to one side, or disturbed sleeping patterns where the child sleeps for only an hour or two at a time.
Children Get Special Treatment
The first thing your chiropractor will do is to conduct a careful and thorough evaluation of your child’s spine. Most chiropractors are trained to evaluate pediatric spinal problems and will use gentle, specific skills to identify, evaluate and treat any involved areas.
Treatment for children is appropriate to their size and needs. Spinal adjustments for children are different from adjustments for adults. Your chiropractor places very gentle pressure on the spine of the child to help correct problems and help allow the spine to develop properly. As with adults, your child should feel little or no discomfort. Children usually respond quickly to light adjustments and other chiropractic treatments.
Children’s spines are a lot more mobile and resilient than those of adults and as a result, usually require fewer adjustments to restore normal function. The actual number of adjustments, however, may vary depending on the length of time that the condition has been present. Today, many progressive parents are choosing conservative chiropractic care to help maximize their child’s own musculoskeletal development. The chiropractic approach to health is safe and natural, therefore, your chiropractor may be the best doctor to help your child. Parents should feel encouraged to have a Doctor of Chiropractic as part of their health professionals network.
School, Sports & Employment Physical Examinations:
Frequently, licensees are asked to conduct school, sports or employment physicals for high school, college or various employment situations. As a licensee, we are fully authorized to conduct such examinations; however, it is exclusively up to the school or institution whether or not a chiropractor’s signature will be accepted. There is a state statute that restricts high school sports physicals solely and exclusively to medical doctors. For other schools or organizations, it varies from county to county and from school board to school board. Check with the institution before commencing the examination.