8 Reasons Parents Take Their Children to a Chiropractor
Adults can experience fantastic results from chiropractic care, but what about children?
If you’re a patient in our office, you might have seen a few more kids showing up for appointments recently. That’s because parents are taking their children (even infants) to chiropractors in record numbers.
Chiropractic offers a natural, drug-free approach to health, promoting optimal brain and body function. We’re fond of saying that if you have a brain and a nervous system, you should be getting adjusted on a regular basis. And, of course, everyone has these, including newborns and infants.
But first, we want to clear up that the way we adjust children, especially babies, is often different than how we adjust adults. They are incredibly gentle, and even soothing in many cases.
If you’re still asking yourself why a child (specifically, a healthy one) needs a chiropractor, we’ve got 8 reasons that are likely to surprise you.
1. Maximize Brain Development
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change continuously throughout an individual’s life. When we’re young, that’s when we can make the most changes in the brain. A baby is born with about 100 billion nerve cells, which is the equivalent of all the stars in the Milky Way.
Throughout childhood, these nerve cells need to be maintained and strengthened. They form connections, which allow us to move, function, speak, etc. By the age of 10, about half of these connections are gone!
Because the brain and spine are connected by the nervous system, a gentle and specific adjustment that helps the nervous system function at its best will help promote and maintain neuroplasticity. One notable study studied electroencephalograms (EEG), comparing mental activity before and after a chiropractic adjustment. The results showed improvements in brain function across the board.1
2. Strengthen Immunity
Chiropractors do not treat symptoms. Instead, they remove nerve interference to allow the body to heal. As a result, children under regular chiropractic care show a marked decrease in the instances of conditions like tonsillitis.
To get a better idea of how well chiropractic can work to strengthen a child’s immune system, one study looked at how the frequency of adjustments could also influence health outcomes. The results suggested that “intensive chiropractic care,” (i.e., more than 7 visits per year) increased resistance to common childhood illnesses.2
Because kids tend to bring home every germ on the planet, wouldn’t it be amazing if you could reduce their incidence of colds, earaches, and general illness?
3. Enhance Overall Health and Wellbeing
Hippocrates is famous for saying, “Look well to the spine for the cause of disease.” Even more than 2,000 years ago, doctors recognized the important role that the spine and nervous system play in overall health.
In his book, Psycho-Immunity and the Healing Process3, Nathaniel Altman states that “Chiropractic alignment of the body, specifically to alleviate stress and tensions placed on the medulla oblongata (lower portion of the brain stem) and the coccyx, is important in the cases of immune dysfunction. Spinal misalignments and the resulting nervous system interference are a hindrance to normal immune system function. Chiropractic adjustments restore proper functioning of the nervous and endocrine systems.”
You might be asking how can a child or baby have a chiropractic misalignment.
4. Help with Colic and Irritable Baby Syndrome
Did you know that the birth process can be traumatic? Abnormal positioning in the uterus, spinal pressure from being pulled from the birth canal (or via a c-section) results in nerve dysfunction among a whopping 80% of newborns.4
This nerve dysfunction can lead to a variety of health challenges from the newborn phase to toddlerhood, and beyond. These include:
– Breathing weakness
– Difficulty with feeding and attachment
– Sleeping problems
– Neurological defects
If undetected, these problems can develop into learning difficulties, asthma, ear infections, hyperactivity, and other health problems.
5. Improve Spinal Posture
Birth trauma, accidents, and falls can all affect spinal development, but there’s another culprit that needs to be looked at.
In today’s modern society, children spend more time than ever before in front of computers and televisions. If left unchecked, conditions like “text neck” (which results in forward head posture from looking down into phones and tablets) can result in curvatures of the spine that affect overall nerve function. In extreme cases, this becomes scoliosis.
6. Assist with Behavioral Disorders and Improve Concentration
There’s been a dramatic increase in the instances of behavioral disorders in children during the past 30 years or so. Teachers have it rougher than ever! Many desperate parents turn to drugs like Ritalin, but there’s a better way that doesn’t require behavior-changing drugs with scary side effects.
One study saw a dramatic improvement in behavior, and researchers said that they believe that chiropractic care is “an important non-drug intervention for children with hyperactivity.”5
The reason chiropractic can be so effective in this area is that by improving spine alignment, the brain function is normalized. This encourages optimal performance in all parts of the brain, including those that control impulses, reasoning, judgment, and more.
7. Alleviate Bed-wetting and Digestive Problems
Remember when we said that the nervous system affects every function of the body? Well, this includes the bladder and digestion! When the spine is not in proper alignment, it can cut off communication to organs, resulting in confusion or dysfunction.
Think of it like when you’re on the phone with someone, and you have poor reception. You might not hear everything they’re saying, or you might only pick up on every other word. Now imagine, they’re giving you directions about how to get somewhere. The chances of you ending up lost are high. The same goes for your organs. Without a clear signal, they won’t know what to do.
8. Improve Sleep
In adults, back and neck pain can prevent sleep, but that’s not the only thing keeping you awake. Even if your child isn’t experiencing any pain, misalignments can still interfere with their sleep.
There could be structural challenges that cause jaw tightening, which leads to snoring and decreased oxygen levels. Or, if your child’s nervous system is under stress, they could have elevated cortisol levels, which can prevent them from getting a restful night of sleep.
Regular adjustments can show a significant improvement in sleep quality and duration in children.
But What If My Child Has No Symptoms?
A lack of symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean that the body is 100% healthy. For example, a tooth cavity is often symptom-free. On a darker note, many people don’t realize they have cancer unless they get screened, or the symptoms are so far advanced that their illness can no longer be ignored.
A study6 examined a group of healthy children and found that:
– 15.8% had cervical subluxations (neck problems)
– 40% had pelvic subluxations
So, even if you or your child are not sick, the spine could be developing problems that, if not resolved, can place stressors on the nervous system, which controls the communication to every function in the body.
Regular chiropractic checkups can help protect your child against illness and allergies. We recommend that every child get checked for nerve interference. The exam is quick and totally painless. We’d love to see your child in our office. Click the button below to schedule an appointment.
2. Aymon M. Moss R. Rebne R. Neilsen K. The Relationship between Intensity of Chiropractic Care and the Incidence of Childhood Diseases. J Chiro Research. 1989:70-77.
3. Serinus J. Psycho-Immunity and the Healing Process. California: Celestial Arts; 1989.
4. Gutman G. Blocked Atlantal Nerve Syndrome in Babies and Infants. Manuelle Medizen. 1987;25:5-10.
5. Giesen JM. Centre DB. Leach RA. An Evaluation of Chiropractic Manipulation as a Treatment of Hyperactivity in Children. JMPT. 1989;12:353-363.
6. . Lewit K. Barth JA. Leipzig. Functional Disorders of the Spine in Children. Maneulle Therapie. 1973;2(7):50-54.