What is Chiropractic for Kids?
Chiropractic for kids can be a controversial topic. Generally, adults receive chiropractic care. Often, patients range from athletes to office workers. However, according to the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, almost twenty percent of chiropractic patients are under the age of eighteen. Furthermore, about eight percent of patients are only as old as five years. Children, especially younger kids, are always growing. Resultingly, it is important to manage a child’s physical condition. Birth trauma, developmental stress, and other traumas can affect a young patient’s nervous system. Chiropractic care for kids can be beneficial, and chiropractic for children can continue to help young patients as they grow older. Parents and legal guardians should talk to a medical doctor before trying chiropractic care, and there are some patients who should not receive treatment. Chiropractic for kids is not entirely dissimilar to chiropractic for adults.1
Is Chiropractic Safe for Children?
Simply, chiropractic for kids is safe. In fact, there is evidence that chiropractic care has been used to treat kids since the early twentieth century. However, there was a time when many chiropractic doctors focused on treating adults only. The latter end of the twentieth century saw a resurgence in using chiropractic treatment on children. Overall, the treatment methods vary based on age. In fact, chiropractors adjust children more gently. Specifically, the body can often reset itself with some positive influence. Moreover, there are chiropractors who specifically train to treat children. There are official certification programs that teach chiropractic students how to perform chiropractic for kids. Additionally, chiropractors can collaborate with pediatricians and medical doctors to provide the best and safest treatment for young patients. Of course, there are many benefits to treating children with chiropractic care.2
Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Children
Chiropractic for kids yields many benefits. First, it can help improve sleep quality. Sleep is one of the most important factors in childhood development, and many children suffer from sleep disorders. For example, night terrors, sleep apnea, insomnia, and sleepwalking are just a few of the challenges that kids face at night. Spinal adjustments promote relaxation and children can sleep more easily at night. Second, chiropractic for kids can ease the symptoms of colic. Third, active children are prone to injury. Fortunately, chiropractic care can treat sports injuries and improve performance. It is important to treat injuries so that they do not worsen over time. Fourth, chiropractic care can treat headaches that are caused by muscle tension. Specifically, spinal manipulation and adjustments restore muscles in the back and neck to their proper places. Fifth, chiropractic care can also help relieve growing pains.3
Scoliosis in Children
Scoliosis is a condition that primarily affects children. It causes the spinal structure to curve sideways, and the unnatural curve spawns many side effects. Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common type, and it usually first occurs after the first decade of life. Congenital scoliosis develops before the baby is born, and neuromuscular scoliosis is caused by conditions such as muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy. Often, small scoliosis curves are unnoticed until they become painful. Other symptoms of scoliosis are uneven shoulders, rib prominence on one side, uneven waistline, and uneven hip height. Then, a doctor will perform a physical examination to diagnose scoliosis. Some cases are more severe, and the doctor may perform an X-ray to survey the condition’s severity. Fortunately, many cases of scoliosis do not require treatment. The young patient might need to wear a body brace. Rarely, they will undergo surgery.4
Traditional Treatment Options for Childhood Scoliosis
First, a doctor will have to diagnose scoliosis. Next, the treatment plan is based on the location and severity of the curve, the age of the patient, and the number of remaining growing years. Specifically, it is uncommon for the scoliosis curve to worsen after the patient is fully grown. Fortunately, a mild curve only requires observation. It may not need treatment. On the other hand, bracing prevents a curve from worsening. In fact, research has shown that bracing decreases the risk of needing surgery. Moreover, most scoliosis braces are custom underarm braces that can be worn under clothing. Of course, the doctor will determine how long the patient has to wear the brace each day. Patients do not have to wear the brace during sports activities. Spinal fusion, a surgical treatment, is only used to correct severe curves.5
Chiropractic Care for Children with Scoliosis
Chiropractic for kids is one treatment option to correct scoliosis. It is much more difficult to correct scoliosis in adults, and chiropractic care is a safe way to treat the issue while the child is still developing. Unfortunately, scoliosis can lead to disc herniation, nerve compression, spinal dysfunction, and other issues. Chiropractic for kids can treat congenital and secondary scoliosis. Mirror-image adjustments, low-velocity adjustments, traction, and other techniques are used to correct scoliosis. Additionally, the young patient will brace. Chiropractors can also use imaging technology to evaluate the efficacy of treatment. Scoliosis cannot be cured. However, chiropractic for kids can bring the spinal curve back to an acceptable degree of deviance. Chiropractors can work with the young patient’s primary healthcare provider and pediatrician to create a safe treatment plan.6
Should Babies Receive Chiropractic Care?
Chiropractic for kids can be safely used on babies. For example, chiropractic care can relieve the symptoms of colic. Usually, colic affects very young children. Furthermore, babies may show signs of unhealthy side favoritism or asymmetry in the muscles and joints. Misalignment can worsen as the child ages, and it becomes more difficult to correct issues that have had time to set in. Fortunately, chiropractic care can address the early issues and correct unhealthy postural patterns and habits. Of course, chiropractors have to be especially attentive and gentle when treating infant patients. Parents and legal guardians should always find a qualified and certified chiropractor to handle specific situations. They can also consult the child’s pediatrician to learn about trusted, local chiropractors. Foremost, the child’s safety is a top priority. Generally, chiropractic care is safer for older patients.7
Learn more about the Benefits of Chiropractic Care.