Many might wonder why an infant or small child might be taken to a chiropractor or even be concerned about the safety of chiropractic care for small children. This is in part a result of recent media coverage that portrays chiropractic adjustment for small children as not only unnecessary, but potentially unsafe.
So why might a small child be taken to a chiropractor? Everyone knows how strenuous the birth process is for a mother, but it’s easy to forget how strenuous it can be for baby as well. During the birthing process, the baby is under a great deal of pressure, and minor birth injuries are fairly common. The spine consists of 26 segments, any of which can become misaligned during birth. Spinal misalignments can cause pinched nerves or other injuries that can result in fussiness, colic, breastfeeding problems, or other issues.
Birth isn’t the only time an infant can suffer spinal problems. Falls, sudden stops when riding in a vehicle, or any unsupported head movement can result in misalignments. As the child grows and reaches various milestones, such as sitting, crawling, and walking, falls become even more common, as do bumps to the head. These injuries may be relatively minor, but can still lead to spinal misalignments that can lead to other problems.
Spinal misalignments in children don’t always result in pain or obvious issues, making it difficult to tell when a visit to the chiropractor might be beneficial. Increasingly, parents are seeing chiropractors for well child checkups just like most parents take children to a pediatrician for regular well child visits.
There are some clues you might look for that can indicate your child might need to be adjusted. If you notice any changes in posture or balance, limping, difficulty breastfeeding, sleep disturbances, fussiness, or restricted motion of the head or neck, you might want to consider making an appointment. In addition, some common childhood issues are sometimes caused by underlying spinal problems. Earaches, chronic ear infections, sore throat, colic, bedwetting, headaches, and growing pains are just some of the problems that have been eased with the help of chiropractic care.
The pediatrician should identify and manage these problems. This is a common reaction, but the fact is, pediatricians are not spine specialists, and are not trained to recognize subtle spine issues that can contribute a number of issues.
When you first take your child to a chiropractor, whether you are visiting for a well-child exam or to see if chiropractic care can help with some issue, the chiropractor will do a comprehensive and gentle exam of the child’s spine.
If you’ve had a chiropractic adjustment, you know that sometimes a fair amount of pressure is used to adjust the joints. However, when the patient is an infant or small child, the adjustments use very gentle fingertip adjustments involving no more than two pounds of pressure. While adjustment typically results in a popping sound in the joints, it may not be heard with children. The adjustment is painless, although some infants may startle and fuss the first time it is done. The number of adjustments your child may need will vary, but children’s spines are generally more mobile and easier to restore to normal.
Pediatric chiropractic is extremely gentle and quite safe, but there is a slight risk of injury, though the occurrence of permanent injury is exceedingly rare, despite fear mongering in the mainstream media.
If you would like to know more about how chiropractic care might help your child, call Eastland Chiropractic now on 03 9095 7990 to arrange an appointment to visit with a chiropractor experienced in treating infants and small children.
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