Monday, August 29, 2011

Chiropractic Care for Children

Chiropractic care can have an immense impact on the wellness of a child. However, many parents may be unaware of the benefits it can have on their children’s health. This unawareness can provoke apprehension, resulting in theories against the matter, such as:

  • Children are fragile; chiropractic treatment is not the same for a child as it would be for an adult.

  • Availability of medications that relieve pain and cover a vast array of diseases.

  • Children are simply too young for treatment.

  • Unawareness of chiropractic methodologies and practices. If parents are unsure about the benefits of chiropractic care themselves, why would they send their kids there?

    • Encouragement is key for parents that are apprehensive. They should be fully informed of the benefits, the safety factors, and the positive outcomes that come from chiropractic care. It is important to explain how children can be highly vulnerable to long-term injuries from daily activity. As children are constantly growing and adapting to the natural transformations, they become prone to long-term injuries, or developing musculoskeletal disorders that can last for many years.

      According to Dynamic Chiropractic, “children's bones and muscles are more elastic and heal faster. At the peak of adolescent linear growth, the musculoskeletal system is most vulnerable because of imbalances in strength and flexibility and changes in the biomechanical properties of bone.”[1]

      Chiropractic care can help prevent children from developing:

    • Long-term musculoskeletal dysfunctions

    • Imbalances in the body

    • Dependencies on medications

    • In a To Your Health article, “The same treatments we administer to adults are just as safe for children. Ailments that adults commonly come into our offices with happen to children as well. Chiropractic techniques performed on children are modified so the procedures are gentler for the child's particular body type.”[2]

      Another way a chiropractor can help prevent children from the development of postural and musculoskeletal disorders is by ordering them Stabilizing Orthotics. Many children suffer from pronation and the low arches in their feet can disrupt normal gait patterns and create postural imbalances later in life.

      In an article concerning children’s foot health, Dr. Brian Jensen states, “Foot problems from childhood can interfere with adolescent (or adult) spinal function, which can result in poor biomechanics and accelerated degenerative changes in the knees, hips, and spine.”[3]

      Children that are monitored and treated by a chiropractor can reduce the risk of developing postural disorders and other ailments that typically go unseen. Parents should be encouraged to have their children routinely examined. A few steps towards prevention can make a great difference in long-term postural stability in a child.

      [1] Pate, Deborah. (October 21, 2010). Musculoskeletal Development and Sports Injuries in Pediatric Patients.
      [2] Wong, Kevin M. (August, 2007). Chiropractic for Growing Bodies.
      [3] Jensen, Brian. (Nov/Dec 2006). Can Orthotics Help Kids? Transitions, NYCC

      Adapted from Foot Levelers' Notes.

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