Chiropractic and Kids: Your Top Questions Answered
We have composed our top questions with responses below, regarding Children and Chiropractic. We hope this may help you and your family. Please comment at the end if you find this article helpful.
Can Chiropractic help my Child's Growing Pains?
It simply shouldn’t hurt to grow. Our hair and nails grow and it doesn’t hurt. It shouldn’t hurt the rest of our body to grow either. Over the years we have helped hundreds of children with chiropractic care and growing pains. Spinal alignments are simple and effective and can change the trajectory of a child’s life and family dynamics. (We have seen so many exhausted parents over the years with their child’s growing pains).
If a child’s spine is out of alignment and they are growing, especially growing rapidly, it certainly can hurt to grow. Imagine if you have a twist in your back and suddenly you began growing, it will hurt you too. Plus, where the spine is out of alignment it will irritate the nerves which can cause pain and give incorrect feedback to the brain.
If your child has growing pains, have their spine assessed by a chiropractor who is great with kids. If you get stuck let us know and we can help find someone in your area.
At what age does a Child Need a Pillow?
I think an important question to answer first is, why do children need a pillow? When a baby is born, they should be born with a neck curve. It’s super important to protect that curve as it houses the first part of our spinal cord and brain stem.
Unfortunately, from birth babies' necks can become misaligned which can interfere with this neck curve and cause a number of issues; sleeping difficulties, flat spots on the skull limited neck movement, fussiness, difficulty feeding on both sides plus more.
We love helping correct our babies’ necks with gentle chiropractic care. We see wonderful changes with the babies we work with. As a child sits up and then walks, they develop their other spinal curves too.
So, from the side we should have three spinal curves and from the front the spine should be straight.
A pillow will assist a number of functions;
· Keeping your child’s spine straight – in neutral, so they don’t keep rolling onto their stomach and twisting their entire spine causing a multitude of problems.
· Protecting their spinal curves. If your child lays on their stomach, there is no protection for the low back curve.
· Helping with breathing. If they easily roll onto their stomach, then they compress their chest cavity making breathing harder.
Obviously very young children don’t tend to stay put in the same place when they sleep. They move all over their cot or bed, so a pillow isn’t much help. They also don’t have the capacity to lay on their sides for very long or broad enough shoulders to wrap around a pillow.
We recommend, depending on the height and size of your child, to look at introducing a pillow around 24 months old. The pillow should be soft and cradle their neck at the same time. If you are unsure, please ask for our assistance to help fit your child to the correct pillow for their size and shape. There is no one size fits all.
How can I tell if my child really has a back problem or is making it up?
I often hear parents say their child has bad posture. Well, if they have bad posture, more than likely they have a bad spine, especially if it hurts your child to stand up or sit correctly.
Posture is the window to your spine and nervous system. If your posture is off, your spine, your back, is off. Have a look at your child standing from the front. Do they have any tips, side shifts or rotations?
Or from the side is their head forward from their shoulder, shoulder forward from their hip or hip forward from the ankle. If it’s yes to any of these, they probably have a spinal problem.
Pay particular attention if spinal pain is waking up your child. This needs to be addressed straight away.
If your child is complaining regularly about the same thing, pay attention. Usually by the time pain arrives the problem has been there for a while.
If you notice your child self-cracking their spine for relief, they need to be assessed by a chiropractor.
Unfortunately, spinal misalignments don’t show up on blood tests, CT or MRI scans. Sometimes children are told by other well-meaning health professionals that their pains are all in their head because nothing has shown up on these tests. We love solving these kind of health problems and watching our kids grow up medication free. Chiropractic care for kids is simple and effective.
Would my child need X-rays?
Typically, no. We don't usually x-ray a child’s spine unless we are concerned about conditions like scoliosis (an S-shaped spine) or a congenital (from birth) condition that would prevent them from receiving care or modifying care significantly or they have had a severe trauma. We do perform a digital posture assessment which provides us essential information about their spine and the best way to proceed.
How many visits will my child need?
Based on the results of their examination, each child's programme of care will be different. A care plan will be customised based on your child’s findings to produce the best results. The good news is that Chiropractic care typically yields faster changes in children that adults.
Why do people bring their child to see a chiropractor if they aren’t in pain?
The reasons are many and varied, however, here are a few:
· Toe walking
· Feet turning inwards.
· Poor balance
· Sleeping problems
· Walking into things
· Poor coordination
· Poor posture
· Headaches or migraines
· Upper back discomfort
· Back or Neck grinding or clicking.
· Self-cracking their spine
· Developing a hunch
· Tilted shoulders
· Different length hems in pants
· Uneven hips
· Uneven shoe wear
· Sporting injuries
· Farming injuries
· Frequent falls
The optimum time to have your child's spine examined is now, before they grow even more, or small problems have a chance to become big ones. Please call us if you have any questions, or click here to book in.