Every parent wants the absolute best when it comes to their kids’ health and wellness. Most people don’t associate that with chiropractic care for kids. In fact, most people associate chiropractic care with something adults do to alleviate sciatica or some part of a workers’ compensation claim. However, prenatal and pediatric chiropractic care are game changer for many kids and parents seeking holistic solutions.
Understanding the Child’s Brain-Body Connection
There are so many things that children do instinctively from the moment they leave the womb. The suckling reflex is an innate survival skill that doesn’t need to be taught under normal circumstances. Learning to rollover or reach for something is natural as is learning babbling that becomes the start of word development. All of these things happen naturally because neural paths are sending signals to the body to do it.
For infants and children, the result of blocked paths is problems with breastfeeding, sleeping, concentration and learning. This is where chiropractic care comes in. A chiropractic treatment plan uses hands-on manipulations, physical therapy, and massage to realign the child’s spine clearing up the road by which brain messages travel. Once the route is clear, the body can begin to heal itself and patients begin to see an increase in health and well-being.
How Pediatric Chiropractic Care Works
Children are not immune to blockages in the system that can lead to health and behavioral issues By re-aligning the neural paths, many children are able to avoid the increasing use of medications for conditions such as ADHD. Pediatric chiropractic treatment for ADHD removes pressure from muscular imbalances regaining normal neural activity.
How does subluxation occur in children?
How Pediatric Chiropractic Needs Occur
At first thought, it can seem crazy to consider chiropractic care for infants and children. They are flexible, almost pliable, falling asleep in the craziest of positions and performing acrobatics when you least expect it. But, there are some developmental issues that creep in leading many parents to consider chiropractic care for their little ones.
Subluxation In Infants
Before our children are even born, they are confined to a cramped, not always ergonomic position. Though this may be considered natural, it is not always healthy for development. Think about the last flight you took. You crammed yourself into your coveted window seat, sleeping with your head tilted at an angle you would never otherwise find if you had enough space.
That is life in the womb during pregnancy. Slowly outgrowing a space too small for them, babies have their heads crammed at unnatural angles against the walls of mommy’s belly. Needless to say, their journey out isn’t any less difficult.
Misalignments occurring during pregnancy and childbirth lead to nursing issues as infants are not getting the necessary signal to the brain triggering the suckling reflex. Problems with nursing can lead to premature use of formula, meaning infants are not getting many benefits of the antibodies passed down from mom to baby.
Subluxation In Children
Normal daily activities and sports can lead to physical problems for kids. They are not immune to injury and parents need to be concerned with growth plates properly growing and healing from injury.
Children participate in sports and play with all their body and soul without fear or regard for any potential sports injury. The problem is that their joints are not fully developed. This is one reason they can get into insane positions that make adults cringe but it is also a potential cause for subluxation. Chiropractors use spinal adjustment to correct imbalances that can lead to chronic pain or long-term joint development problems in children.
Children find sleep in positions that defy normal physical function often leading to misalignment or subluxation. Watch a child fall asleep in his car seat during a road trip to Monmouth, his head drooped down and bobbing as you drive. Car seats don’t always keep kids’ heads in the proper position, especially as they get bigger and older. This can lead to body alignment issues that most kids don’t even realize are there.
Chiropractic Pediatric Solutions
Most medical and behavioral problems can be treated with a variety of medications. But medications usually come with a variety of side effects creating a whole host of other problems that need more pills. More parents are moving towards a wellness approach with alternatives to medication as the primary or exclusive treatment option.
Here are ways that pediatric chiropractic care can help your child:
The sucking reflex in infants is a result of a road from the brain to the mouth. When the road becomes blocked during pregnancy or delivery, infants struggle with using the sucking reflex properly. Pediatricians offer many options such as having tongue and lip ties cut, nursing aids, or simply struggling through the frustration. Chiropractic treatment is a natural, holistic option and may be one of the covered services in many health insurance plans. Properly re-aligning the spine lets the infant’s brain send communications between the mouth and tongue to properly latch.
ADHD / ADD
ADHD is a condition often diagnosed in early childhood and is characterized by an inability to focus, a lack of impulse control, and a tendency towards hyperactivity. ADHD is thought to arise from a deficit of neurotransmitters required to assist transmit brain messages. In children, the brain is still developing and could correct the problem itself naturally over time. Behavioral health specialists and some research speak about how muscle tone imbalances can lead to erratic brain activity resulting in an increase in symptoms.
By adjusting the spine to address the muscle tone imbalance, chiropractic therapy reduces ADHD / ADD symptoms. The result is that the brain activity is normalized and the child’s behavior improves without prescription medication.
Some children are more prone to ear infections than others. An ear infection is fluid trapped in the ear canal which allows bacteria to grow and viruses to develop. While medication helps, it doesn’t solve the problem of the neural roadblock. Ear infections then become chronic conditions with more children requiring medical tubes inserted to help drain fluid.
Chiropractic therapy address this blockage without invasive procedures by allowing the brain to signal relaxation in the muscles rather than spasms. This allows the fluid to properly flow and drain naturally. By preventing fluid congestion, bacteria isn’t given the opportunity to grow, reducing the likelihood of chronic ear infections.
Kids Symptoms and Signs of Medical Issues
Children aren’t likely to say, “I’m experiencing subluxation of my spine and need an alignment.” But, they can tell us they are in pain in a variety of ways. They tug at their ears because something is bothering them. The may complain about headaches or muscle pain. Kids may constantly fidget and have trouble concentrating at school. Some kids just can’t gain weight or have no appetite.
These are signs that there may be a chronic issue. Chiropractic treatment is a natural option for many of these childhood illnesses and behavioral issues. With many health insurances covering costs in many cases, there is little reason to not try chiropractic care for chronic pain or conditions before prescriptions.
An International Chiropractic Pediatric Association study has shown that chiropractic services can safely help improve the following areas:
- Behavioral Health and Attitude
- Sensory Processing Disorder
- Bed Wetting
- Immune System Function
- Chronic Ear Infections
- Constipation/Digestive Issues
- Allergies/Sinus Issues/Asthma
Pediatric chiropractors will work with your child’s primary care physician to ensure that everyone is on the same page for the wellness program.
Choose a Board Certified Pediatric Chiropractor
You’ve decided to try out pediatric chiropractic care. Insurance coverage for chiropractic treatment varies among chiropractors and insurance carriers. If the insurance does cover it but the provider doesn’t directly bill the company, you will need to pay the bill and submit the paperwork to your insurance company to get reimbursed for covered services.
Talk to your primary care physician to get a referral if needed. Pediatric chiropractic doctors are your best bet for a safe and productive experience. Chiropractic pediatric services are a much gentler approach. The American Chiropractic Association points out that though children have the same joints as adults they are not fully formed yet.
You will want a chiropractic doctor that understands children require less forceful adjustments designed to promote healthy joint growth. Always use a board certified chiropractic doctor who went to chiropractic school after completing their master’s degree.
Chiropractic Care: The Holistic Health and Wellness Approach
When you make the choice about your child’s medical doctor, you are placing your trust in them. Having confidence in their ability to make the right medical decisions that align with your personal views and philosophies is essential. For parents that are sick of prescription after prescription without long-term results, a chiropractic treatment plan could be the solution.
Schedule an Appointment with Whitmire Chiropractic
Dr. John-Paul Whitmire has been a board certified chiropractor doctor for 25 years, opening Whitmire Chiropractic 11 years ago. His clinic serves Salem, Oregon and the surrounding communities of West Salem, South Salem, Dallas, Monmouth, and Aumsville.
Dr. Whitmire and the team at the Whitmire Chiropractic and Wellness Clinic focus on the health and wellness of Salem, Oregon families. Their private practice focus includes chiropractic pediatric services. Dr. Whitmire’s clinic understands the differences in technique, contact, and depth required to safely and effectively treat vulnerable pediatric clients.