Headaches are a common event in childhood, but there are few approved medications for pain relief. As with adults, masking the pain may not be addressing the cause of the headache, setting the person up for another headache in the future. In an effort to find pain relief that is safe, parents are turning to less invasive and non-medication methods of treatment for their children.
A case study reported by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) followed an 8 year old girl with neck pain and cervicogenic, or back of the head, headaches. Over the course of 4 months, the girl had experienced headaches a couple times a week as well as increasing neck pain.
The patient’s mother reported the symptoms had started when the patient was at school. The girl experienced increased pain with the student positions and activities of looking up and down that occurs with normal studying. Additionally, she reported bilateral shoulder pain most mornings. As a result, both her home life and school work were being affected.
After examination, her chiropractor determined the young girl had “numerous misalignments in her middle back.” There was also a “noticeable decrease in range of motion” when the child attempted to bend to either side. Further, the exam showed leg length inequality.
The chiropractor began treatment aimed at correcting the misalignments. The patient received specific cervical adjustments and trigger point therapy, a noninvasive therapy that targets a specific pain site. She was treated 4 times over 3 weeks. After each spinal adjustment, leg length was evaluated and found to be symmetrical. At the final visit both her neck pain and headache were resolved.
Between the playground and the classroom, childhood is full of opportunities for falls, sprains and strains. While children tend to heal faster, and sometimes without any aid, there are times when their growing bodies need a little help.
Chiropractors are trained in special techniques that are gentle enough for even infants. Having a chiropractor evaluate your child periodically will help to ensure that little bumps along the way do not lead to bigger problems down the road. Especially after a significant fall or anytime they are experiencing headaches or body aches, a trip to the chiropractor can get them back to running, playing and studying again faster.
SOURCE: Simmons-Stone, Darby, & Alcantara, Joel. “Resolution of Chronic Cervicogenic Headache & Cervicalgia in a Child Following Chiropractic Care.” Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, & Family Health. 2016.1 (2016): 1-4.