Children Need Chiropractic Care
Many people often overlook the many benefits chiropractic care can bring children. These benefits include fewer missed days of school due to sickness, better coordination and performance on school sports teams, the ability to concentrate better and pay more attention in class, better digestion and absorption of nutrients in the food they eat, and less stiffness and pain.
As you read all these great benefits, you are probably wondering how chiropractic will be able to help your child with all of this. Let's start by making you aware of the fundamental foundations of chiropractic care, and you will readily be able to see why chiropractic care is good for children.
While many people associate chiropractic care with providing relief from pain, that is just a small part of what chiropractic care can do. Only 10% of the nerves in your body can feel pain, the rest of the nervous system handles other important tasks such as your immune system, the function of your internal organs, the movement and reactions of your body, the beating of your heart, your respiratory system, the coordination of your muscles and eyesight, supplying information to your brain about everything your senses are aware of … and much more. Your nervous system is a 2-way communication system connecting your brain and the rest of your body.
As chiropractors, one of our main tasks is to keep your nervous system functioning optimally, and a big part of that is keeping your spine correctly aligned so there is no pressure on the nerves. When part of the spine is misaligned (called a subluxation) it puts pressure on the nerve restricting the flow of communication with the brain. When a nerve is pinched or irritated you may also feel pain and discomfort. The nerves come down from the brain through the spinal canal, exiting at various vertebrae and spreading through the body. Without proper communication with the brain, your body will not fully function as it should. Let's look at a few examples.
Stronger Immune System
Your immune system provides many important functions in the body. It fights off infections, cancer, and other diseases. It also deals with allergens and other foreign substances in the body. How your immune system responds to any type of attack (or perceived attack) on the body is controlled by the brain, which in turn relies on the information supplied through your nervous system. A breakdown in communication can cause your immune system to not respond, respond weakly, or even attack something that is not even a problem. Subluxations will weaken your immune system.
Better Strength and Coordination
If your child plays sports, a properly aligned spine will provide a competitive advantage. Almost all professional teams now use chiropractic care for their athletes on a regular basis. Subluxations (misalignments) to the spine can occur from something as simple as sleeping in the wrong position — everyone can relate to waking up with a stiff neck or back. With athletes, the hits, falls, slips, and other injuries can easily cause a subluxation. Removing the subluxations restores proper communication between your muscles and brain, enhances hand/eye coordination, and also allows the body to recover from injuries and hard workouts faster.
Better Focus and Attention in Class
While it is true that often children fidget in class because of boredom and lack of recess/play time, there are other causes. As chiropractors, we often find children that have been labeled with ADHD have subluxations in the upper vertebrae in the neck (cervical spine). Subluxations in the cervical spine can cause decreased nerve impulses (nerve afferentation) from the spinal column to the brain. The decrease in nerve impulses can change the child's brainwave function from normal to an unfocused brainwave, similar to brainwaves in ADHD. Correcting any subluxations in the neck will help restore proper brainwave function, allowing your child to focus better in class. It is recommended to have a chiropractor check a child dealing with ADHD problems.
A Healthier Growing Child
Nutrition, and the proper absorption of nutrients, is vital to every child's growth and development. The nerves exiting the lower vertebrae of the spine, in addition to various other tasks, deal with how well your digestive system works. Not only is your digestive system responsible for extracting the nutrients your body needs from the food you eat, but 80% of your immune system function is in your gut. The vagus nerve connects to every major digestive organ. Any subluxation that pinches it, irritates it, or puts pressure on it can cause dysfunction in your digestive system. Symptoms can range from bloating, constipation, and nausea, to a weakened immune system.
Common Causes of Subluxations (spinal misalignments) in Children
- Childbirth and related injuries
- Slips & falls
- Sports injuries
- Poor nutrients in food
- Eating too much processed foods or fast foods
- Too many sugary drinks or sodas
- Stress due to school or relationships at home or with friends
- Poor posture sitting at a desk
- Poor posture using iPads or iPods/hand-held gaming units or texting
Poor Posture, School Bags, & Texting
Proper posture is a key element in maintaining a healthy spine. Poor posture is going to affect your spine, muscles, and even your digestive system. Poor posture is also one of the primary reasons for subluxations in a child's spine. Children can be found sprawled out in all kinds of positions, but these days are commonly found with their heads looking down at their cell phones texting and using other tech devices. This causes a condition known as text neck or tech neck. The average head weighs about 10 pounds, but looking down at a cell phone can create a pull on the cervical spine, neck muscles and ligaments equivalent to upwards of 40 pounds. The properly aligned neck forms a shallow "C" open to the back, so spending hours with their heads in a downward position pulls against the natural curve of the neck, causing misalignments in the cervical spine (neck) and upper thoracic spine. Damage can also occur to the muscles and ligaments.
Sitting at a computer improperly also causes problems. Over time it leads to postural syndrome which is a repetitive strain injury. Slouching at a computer can lead to hunched shoulders, a head-forward position, and an unnatural hump in the upper back. Over time, bad posture will cause subluxations.
Another postural issue for children is making sure that they have a properly sized and fitted backpack for the books they are carrying. There are many elements at play here, such as size, weight, and how the bag is worn. With a young growing child, it is important for the development of the musculoskeletal system that the bag is fitted correctly.
Common Symptoms Caused by Spinal Subluxations in Children
Here is a partial list you should talk to your chiropractor about.
- Anxiety or depression
- Constantly getting sick
- Ear infections
- Eczema and Psoriasis
- Enuresis (bed wetting)
- Headaches and migraines
- Focus & attention problems
- Neck & back pain
- Problems with digestion
- Sinus congestion
- Sore throats
- Weak Immune System
Children Under Chiropractic Care
As you can see, if your child is receiving regular chiropractic checkups they are going to have a healthier lifestyle. Chiropractic care is designed to keep you well by finding and correcting any problems or subluxations. Chiropractic is all natural and does not involve medicating your children.
Contact Tuckahoe Family Chiropractic and arrange for a chiropractic checkup for your child. We want to see your children grow up healthy and reach their full potential. Call our office at 804-740-3434 for a consultation. If any family or friends you think could benefit from this information, please recommend this article to them.
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The contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Lombardozzi. The information on this site is not intended as medical advice. The information contained on this website is a sharing of knowledge based on the experience and research of Dr. Lombardozzi and his staff. Dr. Lombardozzi recommends that patients make their health care decisions after doing their research and consulting with a qualified health care professional.