Chiropractic care is a crucial part of ensuring your child's overall health and well-being. In fact, according to the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE), in the United States, over 17% of chiropractic patients are younger than 18 years old. Of that percentage, more than 8% of them are five years old or younger. Although it may seem like kids don't need chiropractic care at a young age, starting them with preventive care early on in their lives can set them for a lifetime of health and well-being.
To ensure you provide the best natural care for your children, here's everything you need to know about pediatric chiropractic care — including its benefits, ideal age to take them to a chiropractor, and addressing if babies should see these professionals as well.
What is Chiropractic Care for Kids?
Generally, anyone's 'childhood' phase can be a traumatic period. That's because a baby learns to crawl, walk, and run in a short time, making them in a constant state of 'play and discovery.' Children engage themselves in different physical activities like playing hide and seek indoors and running around the backyard. While small stumbles may not cause significant discomfort for your child, these can cause shifts in their musculoskeletal system. This situation often leads to spinal misalignment or subluxation, interfering in your kid's nervous system's efficient functioning.
Moreover, subluxations can potentially harm your child's body to function optimally, leading to several health issues, including headaches, asthma, and ear infections. The best way to address these naturally is by having your child undergo chiropractic care, which can help correct these misalignments and improve their wellness and prevent future health problems.
Why Children Should See A Pediatric Chiropractor
If your child often participates in physical activities, this may strain their spine and nervous system, leading to several health issues. That's why parents need to take good care of these things, especially in their kid's developmental years, for optimal health, wellness, and a smooth transition into adulthood.
Besides that, here are more reasons why you should let your kid visit a chiropractor.
Having enough sleep is crucial for any child, as it helps them function during the day and helps with their overall development and growth physically, emotionally, and mentally. Some tensions can cause sleeping issues for kids like insomnia or sleep apnea. Chiropractic care works efficiently in releasing stress in a person's body, improving your child's circadian rhythm or sleeping pattern. Additionally, experienced chiropractors can also help your child with their bedwetting issues.
Healthier Immune System
Chiropractic care can enhance bodily functions in infants and older children, leading to a direct and indirect boost in their immune systems. The nervous system spread across the body is the central relay system, and when a child faces any problems in the spine, nerves, and muscles, it can lead to several health conditions, like an ear infection. If you have your child 'adjusted' early on, they will be better protected against diseases.
Treating and Preventing Ear Infection
Another common 'childhood' issue that infants go through is an ear infection. This situation happens when excess fluid builds up in the ears' eustachian tubes. When this part fails to drain, it can lead to excessive pressure in a baby's ears, causing infection and pain. Chiropractic care can help by preventing minor injuries on the infant's nerves during birth or allergies. This prevention mitigates their chances of developing painful ear infections. Chiropractors can achieve this by draining the eustachian tube by dilating the muscles around it, relieving pressure, and unblocking it.
Improved Attitude and Behavior
Besides helping children physically, chiropractic care can also do wonders mentally and emotionally. Chiropractic care for children can help reduce stress and anxiety, which, in turn, improves your kid's behavior. The practice is also beneficial in improving their moods and attitude by releasing tension throughout their body. Plus, when you ensure their bodies are developing the right way, they should feel happier and active, leading to a more positive mindset.
Assist In Optimal Brain Development
Chiropractic care is very beneficial when it comes to a child's overall brain development. The holistic approach helps a child's brain develop a stronger connection with the rest of their body, promoting better concentration and memory retention. Plus, it can reduce hyperactivity, mitigating mental conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
What Age Should a Child See a Chiropractor?
Anyone can see a chiropractor and receive the treatment they need virtually at any age. However, most professional chiropractors will see children under 18 years old, and some even accept patients as young as one year old. Chiropractors generally perform safe, non-invasive, and medication-free treatment, making it perfectly safe for kids. Adverse events linked with chiropractic care is rare, and there are no reported deaths associated with chiropractic treatment for children. In fact, experts dub it one of the safest forms of treatment available for a broad range of conditions and pain management.
Chiropractors typically undergo training revolving around treating children as part of their education, but some offer specialization in the field. However, every chiropractor uses gentle but effective techniques.
Is Chiropractic Care Safe for Babies?
In most cases, spinal manipulation and other pediatric chiropractic treatments only involve gentle massages that often go unnoticed by babies. The adjustment and manipulation tend to be gentle, and any pressure applied is done with a chiropractor's delicate and soft hand. All in all, with the help of a reliable and experienced pediatric chiropractor, the procedure should be relatively safe for an infant. However, remember that the risk of injuries and complications are still possible, so make sure to find a reputable chiropractor.
Should Infants Go To A Chiropractor?
Many chiropractors advise that birth is a traumatic event for the baby's spine and can be the primary cause of illness in children, and, therefore, suggest chiropractic treatment for infants. Pediatric chiropractors are licensed practitioners exclusively trained to perform gentle but effective manipulations and adjustments on a child's body to restore their normal bodily functions. These professionals aim to heal and improve a baby's overall health and wellness as they age.
Chiropractors play a massive role in infant care and treatment. These professionals have successfully treated several problems such as infants having trouble latching or breastfeeding, treating underdeveloped digestive systems, acid refluxes, misaligned spines, and ear infection. When they address these issues early on, you can ensure your baby is thriving.
Here are other reasons why should let your baby visit a chiropractor:
- Adjust Misaligned Vertebrae - Birth can be a complex and challenging process for both the mother and the baby. Before birth, the baby is used to a small confined space in the womb, where it gets increasingly cramped as the pregnancy progresses. That's why some infants are brown with minor spinal misalignments, and chiropractic care can restore its ideal position for proper growth.
- Help In Post-birth Recovery - When the baby gets born naturally, the pressure can hurt the baby's spine. According to some studies, babies can experience having as much as 70 pounds of pressure being placed on their head and neck during birth. This situation leads to injured nerves and joints of the baby's body, and though most infants heal on their own, some need chiropractic help for healing and faster recovery. Chiropractors can perform simple adjustments in the baby's spine, alleviating the pressure on their stomachs and spine, allowing their nervous system and digestive system to function correctly.
- Ease Colic Symptoms - There are several reasons babies develop colic symptoms, but the main reason is an underdeveloped gastrointestinal system. This condition is average for babies to have, but it can cause a lot of pain and unease to babies, leading them to become fussy and cry a lot. This issue usually arises from a misaligned spine, leading to problems in their intestinal functions. Chiropractors can help by gently manipulating the muscles around their abdomen and correcting their spines, stimulating the natural movements of their body, aiding in the movement of fluid and gas.
Wrapping Up: The Best Chiropractor for Your Kids
Chiropractic care not only mitigates pain but also improves overall bodily function in both adults and children, making it a crucial practice to involve your child early on — ensuring optimal health and well-being. There's no minimum age or 'limit' when it comes to chiropractic care, and the decision will ultimately depend on what you want for your child. Whether you're searching for a reliable chiropractor to relieve your child's pain or ask them about what's the best measure for your child, Dr. Paul Grindstaff can help.
Dr. Paul Grindstaff is a neurology specialist with more than 21 years of experience in the field, treating several medical conditions from minor headaches to severe neurodegenerative illnesses like epilepsy. Dr. Grindstaff can help relieve your child's pain associated with their central nervous system naturally with the help of efficient chiropractic practices, advanced chiropractic equipment, and other pediatric chiropractic approaches.
He can diagnose and treat disorders of the brain, spine, peripheral nerves, and muscles, ranging from sleep disorders and other neuromuscular diseases, while improving your child's physical and mental health. Book an appointment with Dr. Grindstaff to ensure your kid's health and happiness long-term.