We often associate chiropractic as treatment for back pain in adults. Sadly, this is a very limited perspective of what chiropractic offers for children. Many people are now turning to Chiropractic instead of traditional allopathic medicine for their child’s ear infections. Chiropractors attempt to find the root cause of a health problem not just treat the symptoms.
[Jacqueline’s note: All 3 of our children were delivered C-section which is as much, if not more, traumatic than a vaginal birth. ALL 3 had severe colic which lasted almost 6 months! I wish I knew about chiropractic when our babies had colic. I’ve seen now that colic can be greatly relieved in many babies. In this part 1, Nicole discusses the basics and a wide range of health benefits available with this time-tested, simple, gentle and non-invasive modality. ~Jacqueline]
The healing benefits of Chiropractic are especially true in children with some form of chronic illness or special needs.
Chiropractors primarily work with the nervous system through hands-on healing by providing proper alignment, movement and nerve innervation within the spinal column.
The nervous system superhighway at a glance
- Our nervous system is the master controller of the entire body. It’s an information superhighway of extensive electrical circuits that are interconnected to one another.
- Every cell needs that unrestricted flow of information to function properly. This continuous communication works by receiving input from our environment that gets delivered to two primary organizing centers:
- our brain and
- our gut
- In each spinal joint there is a small gap (or notch) that allows a nerve branch to travel through it from the central nervous system out to specific organs and muscles. That branch is specific and identifiable to that area.
- The spine houses the major interstate between the brain and the body. Its health and function is vital for information to be able to travel back and forth.
- Our spines can become fixated in specific spots due to trauma or stress. Traumatic injuries such as the birth process or falling down, repetitive postural imbalances such as slouching, chemical stressors and even emotional stress can cause our spines to lock up.
When the spine locks up and becomes fixated, we begin to see dysfunction begins. Chiropractors call this fixation a ‘subluxation’.
Like a traffic jam on a busy highway, the natural flow (electrical impulses) has become congested and slowed.
This causes inflammation and dysfunction that begins a cascade of problems.
Some Signs of a Spinal Dysfunction In Children
Many children have hidden imbalances or fixations that are unnoticed because they are naturally energetic and resilient.
However, we see the manifestations of spinal dysfunction through a variety of symptoms:
- ear infections – see my post Chiropractic Found Better than Drugs for Children’s Ear Infections
- regularly getting colds
- poor latch and other breastfeeding issues
- developmental delays
- bed wetting
- birth trauma
- infant torticollis
- failure to thrive
- facial tics
The body is so fundamentally intelligent it then rebalances and regulates most issues
Any of the above symptoms in a child is an indicator that that spine needs to be checked to activate the body’s healing effort.
The symptom is merely an alert that the body is out of balance and needing attention.
We use the symptom to guide us. As the child gets checked for spinal fixations, we can adjust their spine to restore overall function. The body is so fundamentally intelligent it then rebalances and regulates most issues it faces.
Quality Of Life & Chiropractic
By maintaining harmony/balance in the nerve pathways, we often see quality of life issues improve as well. Even things not be on a parent’s radar tend to show improvement with chiropractic care. Here are some examples:
- Better grades and study habits because the child is able to focus
- Improved sleeping habits
- A strengthened immune system, allowing them to avoid most illnesses
- They also exhibit better balance and body awareness, reducing the chance of injury
Nicole’s personal experience
Along these same lines, in my own life, I started seeing a chiropractor when I was 15 years old. I had grown up a rather sickly child – mostly lung related. I often felt depleted and had low energy. This caused emotional irritability because it was a struggle for me to keep up with the pace of life. Before starting chiropractic care, I was unaware I was fighting these issues. This was normal for me.
Once I started getting adjusted by the chiropractor, the results were amazing!
I noticed I did not get sick as often. The biggest impact was an increase in overall energy and a renewed sense of life. It was like somebody turned on the lights and I felt alive. With that, my moods evened out and I was a much happier and more emotionally balanced kid.
Children have rapidly growing bodies and their neurological networks are maturing exponentially each day. Ensuring that their spines are healthy and balanced and their nervous system is well coordinated is more important than most parents realize. Children under chiropractic care are able to recover from the rigors of childhood and lay the foundation for a strong healthy body that will sustain them for a lifetime.
Chiropractic care for children is safe, gentle and effective. Babies can even sleep right through a adjustment!
Dr. Nicole Dawson, D.C. is a family-based chiropractor with a sincere passion to help others. She lives along the sea coast of New Hampshire where she owns and runs Healthy Horizons Chiropractic. Her husband, Gabe Dawson is also a chiropractor. Together they have successfully worked on thousands of patients over the years with great results.
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- Compare to this recent Johns Hopkins study claims more than 250,000 people in the U.S. die every year from errors in the traditional medical system. Other reports claim the numbers to be as high as 440,000.
Ear Infections :
Chronic Recurrent Otitis Media: Case Series of Five Patients with Recommendations for Case Management Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics Vol. 1, No. 2 1996.
Chronic Ear Infections: The Side-Effects of the Chiropractic Adjustment Chiropractic Pediatrics Vol. 1 No. 4 May 1995.
“A Comparison of Active and Simulated Chiropractic Manipulation as Adjunctive Treatment for Childhood Asthma”
New England Journal of Medicine. 10/8/98
Study on Cervical Visual Disturbance and its Manipulative Treatment J Tradit Chin Med. 1984 (Sep);4 (3): 205-210
Enhanced Phagocytic Cell Respiratory Burst Induced by Spinal Manipulation: Potential Role of Substance P: Brennan PC, Kokjohn K, Kaltinger CJ, Lohr GE, Glendening C, Hondras MA, McGregor M, J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1991; 14 (7) Sep: 399-408
The Short-Term Effect of Spinal Manipulation in the Treatment of Infantile Colic: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial with a Blinded Observer
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 1999; 22(8): 517-522.
Differential Compliance Instrument in the Treatment of Infantile Colic: A Report
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2002; 25(1): 58-62.
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