As a young boy, I was quite the daredevil. The number of times I fell on the ground, hit my head, landed on my back, bumped my elbow, skinned my knee, stubbed a toe, smashed a finger, or rolled my ankle are too high to count. Now as a parent and a chiropractor, I get to see firsthand all of the bumps and spills my son has taken since his birth. My one goal- as both a Dad and Chiropractor- is to make sure that his bumps and bruises do not affect the growth of his bones, joints, ligaments, soft tissue and nervous system.
The one thing I wish my parents had known when I was a child, was that chiropractors are a kids best friend. I suffered through a lot of mid-back and foot pain when I was a teenager and even into my early twenties. The result of years of bad posture, sports injuries, and just being very rough on my body. All of those aches and pains could have easily been taken care of, if I had seen a chiropractor.
Kids and Chiropractic go together like Peanut butter and Jelly
Think about all of the times your child has taken a tumble, been injured, or had a little bit too much fun roughhousing with friends. All of those small injuries add up, and can have some negative repercussions on your child’s development.
It is not always a trip, fall or sports injury that leads to musculoskeletal problems. Something as simple as an overloaded backpack worn every day throughout the school year is enough to cause neck and back discomfort. Sitting for extended periods of time with poor posture can also lead to extra stress and strain on the body. All of these little and big things add up. The great news is that chiropractic care can address the many musculoskeletal injuries kids suffer that can lead to future, long term issues.
How does your child treat their body?
The body is like a finely tuned machine, which requires certain conditions, fuel and maintenance to continue to function properly. Let’s do a little bit of a comparison. Imagine what would happen to a standard truck if it never received a tune up, never changed the oil or used the wrong fuel. All this will being driven like it was racing through the desert in the Baja 1000. Sounds pretty similar to the typical kid, right? And probably like many adults, too.
That truck will not last very long and will probably need some major repairs, all of which could get pretty costly. If the proper maintenance and care for that truck were provided- even if we drove it 1000 miles through the desert- would it last longer and run better? Certainly! Children’s spines need a checkup from time to time, too. Just to make sure everything is in alignment, and working properly. A quick tune-up adjustment and they are good to keep running until the next realignment.
Who’s looking after your child?
Most children have a pediatrician as their primary care giver, and they do a fantastic job of caring for kids. Part of their pediatric care is routine “well child” visits. These suggested visits are utilized to monitor a child’s growth and development. While this is important for monitoring weight, height, and developmental milestones, this check-ups do not address musculoskeletal related issues.
Chiropractors have extensive training in identifying and treating musculoskelatal impairments. Maintaining the health of the spine is important to a well-functioning nervous system. All of which improves your child’s chance at staying healthy as can be.
A suggested chiropractic well child schedule for children starts with a visit during the first month of life, followed by once every three months for the first year, and continued once every six to twelve months for every following year. More frequent visits during time of illness or injury are recommended, of course.
Not just for bumps and bruises!
Chiropractors are known for taking care of back and neck pain, but they are skilled in addressing many more conditions. Children have a few special conditions which can be addressed by a chiropractor. Common ailments such as:
- Acid reflux
- Ear infections
- Growing pains
- Plagiocephaly(flat head syndrome)
- Enuresis(bed wetting)
- Breastfeeding difficulties
- Birth trauma
- Some cases of ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders
- and more…
The connection between chiropractic care and correcting some of these conditions is clear and proven.
How does it work?
The goal of a chiropractor is to help the body function by eliminating pressure on nerves, improving joint mobility, reducing inflammation to soft tissues, and finding the underlying cause to any problem. The human body is an amazing creation. It has the ability to heal and regenerate, but from time to time the body needs a little assistance to help the process along. The common childhood conditions listed above can all be caused by miscommunication in signals sent from organs and muscles via the nervous system to the brain. The nervous system runs along the spine, hence the importance to proper alignment.
Chiropractors have the greatest effect on conditions where the problem is a loss of nerve communication between the body and the brain. We work with the body to remove the elements that cause the blockage of communication. In most cases, it is through the process of adjusting the bones in the body to allow for greater mobility,taking pressure off a pinched nerve. Sometimes the process involves strengthening and stretching of muscles to change posture and to support the body properly. Proper nutrition also plays and important role in the healing process and from time to time supplements and changes in diet are required because the body needs the proper fuel to heal and maintain a healthy system.
What can you do as a parent?
The best thing you can do as a parent is to pay attention to your child’s health issues and to get them to the right place for treatment. Our office is always a great place to start when looking for an answer to your child’s health issues. We are always open to answering questions and pointing you in the right direction. Whether that be a trip to your pediatrician or an evaluation by one of our doctors.
For more information about Senara’s Chiropractic Services for Kids, click here.
Dr Adam Gingras, DC