Children and babies
Sometimes people are surprised when they see a baby or young child in our centre for chiropractic care. To us it’s natural but for some it may need an explanation.
Now clearly kids don’t hurt their backs lifting bags of peat out of the car or playing rugby (though you’d be surprised how young they can start!). But so often peoples problems actually start with an untreated injury in childhood. It can be a bad fall, a sibling jumping on them (it happens) or as a passenger in a car accident. It can start as early as birth. A traumatic birth can have far reaching consequences for the babies spine and their well-being.
With the increasing Caesarian section rates there is the increased incidence of strain on the babies delicate spine during the birth process. Whilst the use of ventouse extraction and forceps may be necessary due to failed labour, their effect on a babies spine should not be overlooked. Very significant stresses are placed on the cervical spine and these can have major repercussions. We’ve taken care of babies from as young as a day or two old and helped to remedy these strains that have occurred. The common signs of the stress and spinal dysfunction include trapped wind (both ends!), excessive crying, constipation, reflux, regurgitation/vomiting as well as failure to latch on or feed well. It’s important to monitor babies and toddlers during the developmental stages as issues can arise. It’s important that babies develop normally. Problems can arise from asymmetrical movement patterns like odd bottom-shuffling or using one leg preferentially to get around.
Growing up is a very traumatic business. Some sources quote that as many as 47% of children are dropped on their head in their first year of life! Add to that the huge number of bumps and bangs that we experience learning to walk or falling over in our early years and the inevitable knocks, bangs, bumps etc as we fall off skateboards, bikes, roller skates and so on and you can see how young spines can be strained or become misaligned. Young children can easily suffer the same sorts of stresses that we as adults experience and, as I’ve often said, just because they cry a bit then dust themselves off and do it all over again does NOT mean it didn’t damage them.
Even into their teens there are significant issues. Long term use of laptops (esp balanced on the arm of the sofa!) as well as computer gaming, and the poor posture that can go with it, can be detrimental. Not to mention the weight of school books and back-packs nowadays. These all put a strain on a developing spine.
The methods used to adjust a baby or small child are clearly going to be different to those used on a fully grown adult. We’re proficient in using the right gentle technique that’s appropriate for them at their stage of development. Babies often sleep right through their adjustments for example. With babies and children, as with adults, we aim to correct the cause of their problem as quickly, and in as few a number of visits, as possible. Whilst they heal generally much quicker than adults do, a short course of care is usually necessary.
Pediatric chiropractic care is worldwide and there is much more information here. (LINK TO THE IPCA via icpa4kids.org). The United Chiropractic Assocaition states that “Chiropractic care for children is appropriate for restoration of normal function in regards to many musculoskeletal as well as non-musculoskeletal conditions of childhood.” It goes on to say that “…Chiropractic can play an important role in children’s health and wellness promotion as well as illness prevention”