It is not uncommon that people give me a really strange and puzzled look when I tell them I am a “pediatric chiropractor”. Often I get the question, “Are there that many kids who have been in car accidents or have back pain?” Not enough to run a thriving pediatric practice; and, that isn’t the main reason we see primarily pregnant moms and children in our office. Our pregnant moms make it a priority to have their children’s nervous system checked shortly after birth. Why? Well, it’s inevitable that they want their child to continue receiving the benefits of health and wellness experienced from chiropractic care inside the womb once they are on the outside. And, our moms and dads understand the truth behind the popular saying, “It is easier to build a child than to repair an adult.”
Shortly after birth, it is routine that we have our child’s weight checked, their height measures, reflexes checked and temperature taken, just to name a few tests. However, doesn’t it make sense that we should have a doctor who is an expert in the nervous system evaluate our child’s nervous system? After all, this is the control center of their temperature, reflexes, weight and height that we make sure are checked. Doctors of chiropractic are the experts of the nervous system.
Even the gentlest of births can be quite traumatic on an infant’s spine. And, this trauma is definitely worsened if the baby’s position in utero is off at all, or if there are drugs involved to strengthen contractions, pain drugs which do not allow mom to get in comfortable positions to help her baby through the labor process, instruments like forceps/vacuums that pull hard on an infant’s neck, or cesarean sections which use enough pulling force to lift the adult mom off of the table. These are just a few of the reasons why we recommend parents bring their children in as early as possible. Proper motion in all of the body’s joints cannot be stressed enough! It is documented in the literature and research that motion feeds the brain; therefore, a joint that is not motioning properly as an infant grows can definitely affect not only spinal/structural development but also brain development. Chiropractic is about so much more than pain, especially when it comes to a child’s health and well being!
In addition to a wellness exam at the start of life, we also highly recommend that babies, toddlers and children are routinely checked by a pediatric doctor of chiropractic. If you have ever watched a child, you will know why we suggest this. Learning to roll over, hold up your head, sit up, crawl and walk are all activities that can affect a child’s spinal alignment. And of course, as the child grows they will participate in routine activities where minor injuries can affect their spinal- and thus overall- health. These include bike riding, gymnastics, football, soccer, running, and skating- to name a few.
To quote renowned pediatric chiropractor Dr. Jeanne Ohm, “It is important to understand that the Doctor of Chiropractic does not treat conditions or diseases. The expertise of the chiropractor is in checking the child’s spine for misalignments that impair nervous system function therefore affecting overall body function. The bones of the spine, the vertebrae, house and protect the spinal cord. The spinal cord is an extension of the brain and carries information from the brain to the body parts and back to the brain again. Subluxations (misalignments) interfere with the nerves’ ability to transmit this vital information.”
And, although the majority of our practice is wellness based with families coming in for routine checkups and maintenance/wellness care, we have also seen some amazing results with certain complaints and conditions that have been able to heal through restoring proper nerve function and spinal motion. When the brain is allowed to communicate clearly with the body, amazing results- optimal health- occur! Moms no longer have to suffer through long nights of gassy, colicky babies, torticollis or “wryneck” is resolved, breastfeeding is no longer miserable and uncomfortable, parents rest well because their babies now sleep soundly, babies can now crawl properly, constipation is no longer something that has to be endured, bed wetting doesn’t have to be put up with anymore, asthma resolves, eczema clears up and children perform better in school. Chiropractic is so fun, and we are blessed to see children walk out with incredible results and testimonies on a daily basis.
For more information on pediatric chiropractic and family wellness care visit ICPA4kids.org