Kids at the Chiropractor
February 7, 2018
The nervous system controls every single process in your body. The brain is the leader of this operation, but it gets the information that guides its decision-making from the rest of the nerves in your body. These nerves travel from the brain into the spinal cord, which is housed in the spinal canal of the vertebral column (your spine), and then travels through the neural foramina (spaces in between the vertebrae) to the rest of you body. There are also nerves that perform this procedure in reverse. Every organ and muscle in this way communicates to your brain and vice versa. When there is a misalignment in the vertebrae, these nerves can be affected either causing an increase or decrease in signal transmission, muscle spasm, organ dysfunction, pain or a variety of other issues.
So many issues in childhood can be improved with specific, safe, and gentle chiropractic adjustments. For example, nocturnal enuresis (bed wetting) is a very common issue in children. The nerves that control the bladder travel through the sacrum. If there is a misalignment from the proper positioning of the sacrum in the pelvic ring, the nerves that send the signal to the brain that the bladder is full and needs to be emptied may not be able to transmit properly. Since the brain is not aware of the need to urinate, the child does not wake up to use the restroom, and instead will sleep right through. The bladder, however hard it is trying to let the brain know it is about to burst, eventually just releases its contents. There are diet and lifestyle changes that can be helpful, but chiropractic adjustments to the sacrum can be tremendously effective in reducing and even eliminating these night time accidents.
In addition to these sorts of common childhood problems, pediatric chiropractors also help with musculoskeletal issues that can plague children. Kids, being kids, will often have falls, bumps and other injuries that can cause misalignments in their spine and other joints. If these are not corrected as they continue to grow, they may develop some pain in one or more areas of the body due to the body’s natural compensatory mechanisms, and have more problems down the road.
Chiropractic adjustments for children are very safe and gentle, and they can be beneficial for a variety of different issues. In a study by Alcantra, Ohm and Kunz1 in 2009, pediatric chiropractors as well as the parents of children under chiropractic care completed surveys on their experiences. Of the 5, 438 visits where spinal manipulative therapy (“SMT” or adjustments) were given, only 3 visits caused any sort of adverse treatment-related complaints which were a mild amount of soreness after adjustment (0.06%). This exceedingly low ratio of positive outcomes to negative in the study, and a thorough reading of the literature available, supports the safety of pediatric chiropractic care. Out of the 577 pediatric patients, 46% of children involved in the study were being seen by the chiropractor for wellness care, 26% for musculoskeletal complaints, 7% for digestive issues, 6% for neurological problems, 5% for immune dysfunction and the remaining 4% for other issues.
Taking your child to see a pediatric chiropractor is great addition to the whole child wellness model, for children with a specific issue and for those who are just looking to raise healthy, happy adults. Dr. Kaylee Cooper is in the process of finishing up her Certificate in Pediatrics from the Academy Council of Chiropractic Pediatrics. She has already completed 200 hours of lecture and passed the examination, and just has some research of her own to complete. In addition, Dr. Cooper has been working with the younger population since her days in chiropractic school, and has a great passion for helping to create the best adults possible for the next generation by ensuring the children are their most optimal selves. We can all have a hand in raising kind, conscientious and engaged children, and adding chiropractic care can help them grow up to be their most optimal selves.
The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association has a lot of resources available to parents about the chiropractic care of children, infants and expecting mothers. Check out their website where you will find the aforementioned study, among many other research articles and case studies.
Alcantara, Ohm, Kunz. “The Safety and effectiveness of Pediatric Chiropractic: A Survey of Chiropractors and Parents in a Practice-Based Research Network.” Explore. September/October 2009, Vol 5, No. 5. pp 290-295.