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Posted on 10-22-2013

Taking care of kids is one of the best parts about being a doctor. To watch a parent go from hope-less to hope-ful after helping their child overcome illnesses is one of the greatest feelings there is.  With so much information out there about how to keep your child healthy, how does chiropractic fit into it all?

As the research continues to mount, more parents are starting to utilize chiropractic care for their children to keep them healthy.  Starting right at birth, our children go through a very stressful experience. Even "natural" or "holistic" births are very stressful on our child's spine, brain and nervous system. If you look at how we are giving birth in hospital's, you'll realize how much more stressful it is. First, in more than 90% of births, they use a drug called Pitocin.  Pitocin is a drug that induces labor and causes contraction. It can often be very painful and very commonly will lead to an epidural. What this means is that you don't have control of how hard you're contracting because you can't feel it. Well, your child will feel it.

They are being pushed with great force by these contractions as they are working their way out. To add insult to injury, sometimes forceps, vacuums or other birth assisting devices are used to pull the baby out. The way in which a baby is pulled out can also cause trauma to the baby's spine. With the use of pitocin, the incidence of c-section has been found to be almost 200% higher than in regular births in this Canadian study.1 With an uncomplicated, normal pregnancy be wary of the side effects of pitocin.

So, what does this all mean for your children? Well, right from birth, they can suffer injury to the spine. This is why many parents have them checked right after they are born. Well, why is the spine so important? Health comes from how well our bodies are functioning. If their spine suffers trauma right from birth, then they are starting out life with less than 100% function. What does this mean for their health and well being? Symptoms and disease arise because our bodies are functioning at less than 100%. As a parent, it's important to know that symptoms like colic, sleep problems, bed wetting, asthma, allergies, headaches, torticollis, ADD/ADHD all have a cause. All of these conditions can likely be traced back to nervous system stress and dysfunction.

Not only is birth a major factor, but our children also start falling down, riding their bike, playing rough, etc. are all activities that can misalign the spine and cause the nervous system stress we talked about before. Many parents seek chiropractic care for their children after a trauma of some sort.  Regular chiropractic care for children will help to discover problems early and get them corrected before they turn into serious problems later on as teenagers and adults.

There are another large set of parents who hear that chiropractic is good for a specific symptom or condition. As mentioned before, a lot of parents take children to see chiropractors due to things like asthma, allergies, chronic infections, and colic. 

The coolest apart about chiropractic is that it doesn't seek to treat symptoms or disease of any kid. Chiropractic is all about removing stress from the nervous system so that the body can self regulate and heal. The spinal cord runs through the spine and if any of the vertebrae are out of alignment, it decreases the function to that specific set of muscles and organs that the nerve traveling out of the vertebrae go through. When the vertebrae is realigned and the stress is removed from the nerve, then the symptom or disease typically goes away because the nervous system can function normally again.

There are many different styles and techniques in chiropractic. The same goes for children. Chiropractic is not a one-size fits all technique. The chiropractic adjustment is tailored for children so that it is gentle and specific. In fact, most of the children that I adjust in the office are excited to get adjusted. They hop up on the tables and can't wait to be adjusted.

For all of the parents out there that are wondering if chiropractic is right for their child, I've included a top 10 list of all the reasons why you should take your child to the chiropractor. Enjoy, share and leave comments. 

1.) To maximize and increase your child's brain and nervous system's development. - By restoring misaligned vertebra, the brain can effectively communicate with the body again.

2.) To enhance your child's overall well being. - A proper functioning nervous system means they will develop and grow happily and healthily.

3.) To strengthen immunity and reduce incidence of colds, earaches and general illnesses. - Sicknesses and illnesses happen when we aren't functioning at 100%. By making sure the nervous system is functioning by keeping the spine in alignment, most kids benefit from stronger immune systems and a decreased incidence of antibiotics.

4.) To help with colic and irritable baby syndrome. - Most babies with colic are in pain. Pain can often occur because they're having difficulty with turning their heads during feeding or sleeping. Restoring the alignment often helps with this.

5.) To help with asthma, breathing difficulties and allergies. - Many allergies and breathing difficulties can occur when there is improper posture in the neck and upper back due to the pressure on the lungs and nerves. Improving this posture and reducing the nerve interference helps to restore function back to the lungs and kids often notice improved breathing within 2 or 3 visits.

6.) To improve spinal posture. - As the tree is bent, so it grows. The same goes for children. If they are misaligned from birth, then this is how they will grow up. Chiropractic care helps to restore posture so that they grow up with a healthy spine.

7.) To improve your child's abilities to concentrate. - Nervous system stress and interference can create difficulties in concentration and focus. Getting the stress off of the nervous system will help to calm and relax your child and reduce or eliminate harmful medications.

8.) To assist with behavioral disorders and offer greater emotional well being. - As mentioned in number 7, removing stress off of the nervous system is especially helpful with helping to relax and calm children.

9.) To help alleviate bed wetting and digestive problems. - Misaligned vertebrae in the thoracic spine (mid back) and lumbar spine (low back) can create interference to the nerves going to the bladder, large and small intestines. Chiropractic care helps to restore function to those areas of the spine that are not in the proper position and take pressure off of those nerves.

10.) To assist with sleep issues. - Toddlers and infants that have trouble sleeping can be traced back to pain. When they are younger, they don't have the communication skills to let us know that they are in pain. All they can do is scream and cry. Getting their checked right at birth and periodically throughout their lives will help to reduce the pain and let them sleep easier.

Hopefully you've found this helpful and we look forward to seeing your families in the office for chiropractic care. 

To make an appointment for you or your child to see if chiropractic care is right for you, click here for online appointments or call us at 616-458-8063.  

Article written by: Dr. Jacob Canfield


1.) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-0528.2002.01004.x/full

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