What age should a child see a chiropractor?
Chiropractic works best when the first check-up is immediately after birth! All of my 4 boys were born at home and the first thing I did following their births within minutes was check their neuro-spinal system for alignment and optimal function. Especially if the mother is not under regular care to keep her spine and pelvis in balance, the baby inside the mother can be in some difficult, twisted positions.
And when you add the fact that the birth process can be very traumatic on the mother and the child, it just makes sense to make sure they come out in perfect balance. Furthermore, vacuum or forceps extractions, and/or severe pulling on the child’s head and neck often occur in a hospital setting.
C-sections are even worse! The doctors put a tremendous amount of force on the child’s delicate head and neck in most cases. Just Google C-section videos and you’ll see what I mean. And this is their introduction into this world!
A study was done by Doctors of Osteopathy in 2015 that found 99 out of 100 infants born in a hospital setting were subluxated from birth! And that did NOT include the ones with respiratory or other health challenges, who certainly would have had even more disfunction.
Chiropractic care for infants is safe, gentle, and effective. We are well-trained in school, and many such as myself do extensive post-graduate training in caring for infants and children. We do many different alignment and motion checks, neurological checks, and infant reflex checks to establish the function of the child’s neuro-spinal system. We can tell with great precision how the bones of the spine are lined up and how they are moving.
It is so critical that their vertebra are lined up correctly and move and glide easily! Their brain and nervous system’s function depend directly on healthy alignment and movement of the vertebra, particularly the first two neck vertebra. When we find subluxations, we only use about 4 ounces of pressure (about the pressure you would use to check if a tomato is ripe) to adjust the child. Most of the time I give an adjustment the parents don’t even know it was done and if the child is sleeping at the beginning, they’re almost always sleeping at the end!
Can a chiropractor help with behavior?
Chiropractic can be a tremendous help for kids’ behavior. When the child’s nervous system is under stress from spinal misalignment/ vertebral subluxation, it puts the whole body in a “fight or flight” state. Parents with their kids chronically in this state tell us their kids seem like they can “never put on the brakes.” This is exactly the state that the brain is in when the spine is subluxated. A fight or flight, “gas always on” state. These kids are often in physical pain, but it goes much deeper.
Their nervous systems literally cannot shut down and relax because they’re always in an adrenal-cortisol stress state. Chiropractic has been proven clinically in many studies to reduce the “fight or flight” also known as sympathetic tone by releasing pressure on the nervous system and restoring brain-body communication. More powerful than studies, though, for me, is sitting with a mother who’s crying tears of joy because their lives are literally transformed because their child can finally be the person she knows they can be! THAT is why I do what I do!
What is considered maintenance chiropractic care?
A lot of people use the term “maintenance care” in chiropractic. I sort of like that term but I also don’t. A person should be growing and improving in health week after week, year after year! We don’t want to just maintain, we want to be continually improving! I definitely believe in regular chiropractic care, but I believe a person under regular care should continue to improve throughout a lifetime.
To continue to grow and improve, some people do great with being checked for subluxation once a week, others once a month, and others in between. Everyone is unique with unique needs!
Why should kids get adjusted?
Kids should get adjusted because it helps them express optimal function physically, mentally, and spiritually! Kids who get adjusted have been shown scientifically to miss less school, to have less pain, and to grow up much, much healthier than those who don’t. It is much easier to grow healthy kids than it is to patch up sick adults, because as the saying goes, “as the twig bends, so grows the tree.” Once parents see a safe, gentle, effective adjustment on their kids, they no longer worry about safety or “does it work.” They KNOW it!
What do pediatric chiropractors do?
Pediatric chiropractors use safe, scientific methods to ensure children grow as healthy as possible. We analyze posture, alignment, reflexes, neurological development, and often use X-rays to get a very accurate picture of the function of their neuro-spinal systems. We then develop a plan to restore optimal function and continue to improve their health.
This is about kids and chiropractic, primarily geared toward mothers. We see a ton of children in my practice; that is my passion because we want kids to be and grow up as absolutely healthy as they can possibly be and people wonder, "Gosh, how early should I start chiropractic care for my children? Is it too early right when they're born?" And I usually kind of quip and joke and say, "We usually wait till they're breathing." It is true that a chiropractic evaluation, examination, and potentially adjustment from when children are first born can be absolutely critical for their health.
People say, "Are you gonna crack my baby's neck?" We never, ever crack anybody's neck but particularly not babies. They're tiny spines, this is an infant spine, a plastic version. Their tiny spines when they're inside the womb, are very curled up in a tiny ball. If the mother's spine is misaligned, which is one of the biggest reasons that we take care of a lot of pregnant women, too, but if her spine is misaligned, it can twist and distort her pelvis, which will twist and distort her uterus so the baby's spine can be twisted inside the womb. And as the baby's being born, it's a very, very difficult process on mother and on baby. And then when the baby's head crowns, the doctors often pull or twist and jar on the neck.
Gosh, that can be a lot of pressure on that child. What a chiropractor, a chiropractor geared toward children, seeing children, what we do is we do very delicate palpation or feeling of the spine. We do neurological tests to see how the spine and the nervous system are working and we perform very, very gentle adjustments, if needed. They're not always needed. When they are needed, the pressure used to make an adjustment is about the pressure you'd use to check if a tomato is ripe. It's the tiniest, most delicate pressure. Very specific at the right place at the right time. Very gentle to just restore normal motion and alignment to those spines.
Reminds me of a tiny child that I saw who was nine-months-old and still weighed under 10 pounds years ago and we made just the gentlest adjustment to his upper neck, absolutely restored life to him. His color returned to his body, young James, and he went from gray to an incredible, alive healthy body and that brings a joy that I can't describe. Or to think of I have patients who've been coming to me for over 20 years. I think of Paul and Jill are their names, and they've been coming to me since before they were married. Now they have six kids. I've been taking care of all their children since they were born. We're just maintaining them so they grow up as healthy as they could possibly be. It's nothing that they're dependent on or anything like that. If they never got adjusted again, they'd be super fantastically healthy, but they wanna be at the peak of their performance.
When we train the spine in the way it should go and the way it should grow, when it's older, it won't depart from it. In other words, if we can make sure the spine grows level and healthy and the hips grow level and healthy, and with regular adjustments for these children, they grow up as absolutely healthy and strong as they can be. We also give advice on nutrition and on sleep habits and on other things to help people just be as fit and healthy as they can be. We love taking care of kids.