“You Adjust Kids!?”

Why Chiropractic for Kids is so Vital to Healthy Growth

By Dr. Kimberly Nelson

“You adjust kids!? Why would a kid need to be adjusted?” These are some great questions I often hear as patients or their loved ones examine the educational décor in my adjusting room.

Infancy through puberty is the fastest growing period of a person’s life. Regular chiropractic care for a child allows their body to grow and heal so it can to function to the best of its ability. Adjusting a child is a lot different than adjusting an adult. Kids don’t have the muscle tension that adults do. There are a few adjusting techniques that can be used but the amount of pressure applied to a child is the amount of pressure you would apply to a tomato to see if it’s ripe.

Let’s review the basic principle of chiropractic: A chiropractic adjustment is when a chiropractor puts in a calculated and precise impulse into a misaligned joint. By doing so, any interference placed on the nervous system is removed and the joint is able to resume to normal function.

What’s the importance of the interference on the nervous system? Well, the brain, hub of all knowledge and control, is connected to the spinal cord which is encased and protected by the spine. The spine is made up of seven cervical (neck) vertebrae, 12 thoracic (mid-back) vertebrae, five lumbar (low back) vertebrae ending with a sacrum and coccyx. Between each vertebra exits a pair of nerves that are designed to innervate specific organs, muscles and tissues. The nerves are pathways for communication between the brain and organ, muscle or tissue. When any two adjacent vertebrae (a joint) are not properly aligned, this inhibits proper function creating localized inflammation surrounding that joint. The inflammation within the joint space puts pressure on the nerve(s) exiting from that level. Placing pressure on the nerve creates an environment for poor communication between the brain and the organ, muscle or tissue. Poor communication of the nervous system creates dysfunction within the organ, muscle or tissue. Dysfunction eventually leads to disease.

So, by applying a specific chiropractic adjustment joint function is restored, the joint space heals, nerve impingement is removed, function of the nervous system is restored and the body is allowed to function to its best ability.

At what age should a child get their first adjustment?

As soon as mom, or dad, is up for getting out of the house after delivery is ideal. No matter the birthing process, birth can be traumatic for the baby. Long labors and/or long bouts of pushing can be taxing on not only the Mama but the little one as well. Often times, there’s significant pulling on the neck or tugging on the arm during all modes of delivery. But getting checked by a chiropractor at any age is never too late.

A few common reasons parents seek out chiropractic care for their little ones include:

  • Latching issues while breastfeeding
  • Torticollis
  • Plagiocephaly (mis-shaped head)
  • Acid reflux
  • Gassiness and constipation
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Colic
  • Bed wetting
  • Ear aches
  • Growing pains

There are more great resources of information on chiropractic for kids at both are International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and Pathways to Family Wellness.

If you are interested in chiropractic care for your child, make an appointment with Dr. Nelson today.

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