When you injure your back or wake up with a crick in your neck, your first thought might be to schedule an appointment with a chiropractor. But what about when your child is injured playing sports, or your baby has restricted head movement? Chiropractic care is not limited to adults! In fact, according to the American Chiropractic Association, about 17 percent of chiropractic patients are under 18 years old.
What is Chiropractic Care?
Chiropractors are trained in spinal manipulation, which is designed to treat musculoskeletal and nervous system dysfunctions. Because your spine is linked to the rest of your body, chiropractic care can impact surprising aspects of your health.
Is Chiropractic Care Safe for Children?
The risks of complications from professional spinal adjustments are minimal. The ACA sites a review in which 0.53 to 1 percent of pediatric chiropractor visits result in mild adverse events, including minor discomfort and fussiness. This makes chiropractic care one of the safest forms of health care available for children.
How Can Chiropractic Care Help Babies?
Infants face numerous physical stresses, even before birth. Consider that in utero, the constrained space can cause fetuses to get stuck in one spot for months. Various fetal positions can also cause spinal segments to move out of place, and the birthing process can also strain the spine. As a result, many new mothers choose to have their babies’ spines checked immediately after birth.
In a child’s first months, the adverse effect of spinal misalignment on the nervous system can cause several health complaints ranging from colic to breastfeeding difficulties to sleep irregularities. By freeing the joints and clearing out irritation from the central nervous system, chiropractic care can treat each of these issues and many others.
How Can Chiropractic Care Help Older Children?
School children face even more spinal challenges than babies. Sports injuries, trips and falls, heavy backpacks, and sitting in a classroom for long hours are all potential sources of stress on a growing child’s spine and nervous system.
Physical injury is one of the most common reasons parents take their children to the chiropractor. Even if your child doesn’t complain of back pain, this is a wise decision because spinal misalignments don’t necessarily cause immediate symptoms.
Be aware that emotional and chemical stresses can also affect a child’s nervous system, meaning occasional checkups can be beneficial even if no traumatic event has occurred. A visit to a chiropractor can also identify chronic spinal conditions, such as scoliosis, which can become irritated and worsened by childhood activities.
Signs you should take your child to the chiropractor include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Restricted head movement
- Growing pains
- One shoulder sitting higher than the other
- The appearance of a twisted spine
Clearly, chiropractic care is appropriate for even the youngest members of your family. If you suspect your child is experiencing spinal problems, don’t hesitate to contact our chiropractor today. We have locations in Crofton, Millersville and Lanham, MD to conveniently serve you.