Why do children need chiropractic? Let’s start at the beginning. The first visible structure in a growing embryo is the notochord, which becomes the brain and spinal cord. Next, the beginning of the spine grows around this structure to protect it. All the bodies’ organs grow off of extensions from these first structures. Certainly there is significance in the order in which the body develops. The central nerve system develops to be the primary controlling organ for all bodily functions, including healing.
As the twig is bent, so grows the tree. Kids have many physical stressors that occur throughout childhood. Infants: difficult labors, forceps and vacuum extraction births, c-section births, and even a normal, uncomplicated birth. All of which impacts the newborn, especially in the upper neck and cranium. Close to 50% of infants experience a significant fall in the first year of life from a bed, crib or infant dressing table. Toddlers and older: all the falls that occur while they are learning to walk, playground bumps and falls, sports injuries, large book bags etc.
All of the above can cause a subluxation. This is a dysfunction between the spine and the nerve system, which creates interference in the normal nerve transmission (communication) between the brain and body. Not only is there a subluxation at the point of injury, but elsewhere in the spine as the rest of our body compensates for that asymmetry. This sets up an abnormal pattern that the body will continue to grow into. When we get new tires on our car we align them so that they wear evenly over time. Our bodies also need alignment and the earlier in life, the better.
Structure equals Function. A basic law of engineering states that with any change in structure, there is a change in function. As the spinal structures change in response to stress and trauma, the functioning of those tissues is affected. It takes 10 mm Hg of pressure on a nerve to change the frequency of signal transmission through that nerve. In other words, it takes about the weight of a dime to significantly change the functioning of a nerve and, therefore, the functioning of whatever that nerve controls; whether it is a muscle, an organ, or the immune system.
But children don’t have back pain. The human body is an amazing thing. It allows us to function for 10, 20, or even 30 years before we exhibit pain related to spinal subluxation, but does that mean we are not affected? By keeping a child’s spine free of subluxations a child’s body will function at a higher level.
Chiropractic is not meant to be a treatment for any specific health condition, but by reducing spinal stress and allowing the body to communicate to the best of its ability, children with many different conditions have been helped. Research has shown that children with many conditions including colic, ear infections, asthma and learning disabilities have improved with chiropractic care.
When should I have my child's spine checked? Increasingly, parents are seeking out alternatives to drugs for their children’s ailments as well as for wellness care. Chiropractic is a safe and effective alternative when your child has ear, respiratory or digestive health issues. In addition, a child’s spine should be checked if they have ever had a fall or other physical injury.
The nerve system is the most important system of the body. It controls and coordinates every other system (heart, lungs, digestion, etc). Our children get their hearts, lungs, eyes and teeth checked but who is checking to make sure their spine and nerve system is functioning to the best of its ability? Chiropractors are specialists in the spine and nerve system and in detecting subluxations in the spine which interfere with the communication of that system. The health of the central nerve system and the spine are critically important to your child’s overall health and well-being. So, in answer to the question, when should I have my child’s spine checked? The answer is as soon after birth as possible!