Chiropractic is beneficial to people of all ages. Yet, many people don’t think of taking a child for a chiropractic visit. While they may not have the same musculoskeletal issues as their elders, such as overuse injuries, the wearing down of cartilage and degeneration joint disease, a child’s age brings its own challenges. For example, if you’ve been around any youngsters, you have probably seen them fall – sometimes hard. This can impact their spine’s alignment, placing pressure on their spinal nerves and as a result decrease their bodies’ ability to function normally. Even without major trauma, the mere process of growing can contribute to minor imbalances in the spine. Left uncorrected, those misalignments can progress into more severe problems in the future.
Parents who are unfamiliar with chiropractic care, and specifically with pediatric chiropractic care, may have concerns that there could be negative side effects. To determine if this was a valid concern, researchers polled chiropractors in 20 European countries. These doctors of chiropractic were all members of their national associations (which conjointly make up the European Chiropractic Union) as well as members of the Danish Chiropractic Association. Doctors were asked to provide specific data about pediatric patients seen in their practice: age of pediatric patients, any negative side effects, number of treatments, and conditions treated.
Over 900 chiropractors responded, collectively reporting 19,821 pediatric patients per month in the previous year. These patients made up approximately 8% of the total patient load. The number of treatments varied by age and condition, as it does for adults. There were NO severe negative effects and the rate of mild to moderate negative effects (such as soreness, etc.) was estimated to be far less than 1% – ONLY 0.23%!
The 8,309 answers regarding pediatric conditions treated were grouped by the researchers into four categories:
- 57% Skeletal
- 23.7% Neurologic
- 12.4% Gastrointestinal
- 6.9% Other
Chiropractors are trained in special adjustment techniques to care for children, and there are many who pursue post-graduate study to specialize in pediatric chiropractic. These treatments consider the age, size and health factors of each child to gently care for growing bones, muscles and joints while correcting misalignments. According to Pathways Magazine which is published by The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, adjustments for infants and young children involve very light fingertip pressure to correct spinal misalignments. Other techniques involve the use of hand-held instruments.
Just as it is for the adult population, chiropractic care is safe and effective for our little loved ones. A spine in proper alignment helps allow the child to grow up with proper posture, a strong spine and the best opportunity for good health.
Make chiropractic a part of your child’s health care. Help them develop habits that will assist them to maintain good health, without the risks associated with many pharmaceutical treatments. Call and schedule an appointment today. It’s never to early for a spinal checkup!
Marchand, AM. “Chiropractic Care of Children from Birth to Adolescence and Classification of Reported Conditions: An Internet Cross-Sectional Survey of 956 European Chiropractors”. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. June 2012, Volume 35, Issue 5, Pages 372–380. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmpt.2012.04.008
Ohm, Jeanne, DC “Why Should Children Have Chiropractic Care?” Pathways to Wellness Issue #5 March 2005