When Do Kids Need Chiropractic Care?

Little baby receiving chiropractic treatment of her back

Children are exposed to physical stress during most of their growing years. It may seem unlikely, but even children experience problems with their spines – complications can occur during any point during a child’s growth and development period.

Problems may arise even prior to birth

Problems in a baby’s spine can develop even during the earliest stages, when he or she is still in the womb. Being in a fetal position can cause spinal segments to shift out of place or locked into a wrong position. If the baby is positioned awkwardly, this can cause a longer and more difficult trip once it passes through the birth canal, potentially compounding any spinal problems.

Typical health problems with newborns such as colic, reflux, allergies, difficulty with sleeping, infections, breastfeeding difficulties and more can be attributed to spinal and cranial misalignments affecting a child’s nervous system.

Because spinal complications or trauma can occur before or during birth, many parents opt to have their child’s spine assessed right after they’re born. Spinal alignment is directly affected by certain developmental milestones such as holding the head up, crawling, sitting, and walking, which is why having a child checked by a chiropractor is important during the early stages of their growth.

In addition, even activities such as accidental falls, sports or playground injuries, carrying heavy school bags, or sitting in classrooms for long hours can cause an amount of physical stress to a child’s developing spine and nervous system.

Chiropractic care and treatment for children

Chiropractors will initially conduct a thorough investigation of a child’s health history, and find out if there are any issues or complaints. Next, a thorough physical examination of the child’s spine is conducted. Almost all chiropractors have received training in assessing pediatric spinal complications, and many of them are trained to use gentle techniques to locate and adjust any areas affected by spinal problems.

It’s important to note that chiropractic treatments are designed specifically for an individual and their spine, and this applies to children as well. Experienced chiropractors will only use precise, gentle adjustments that are appropriate for a child’s spine.

In most cases, spinal adjustments involve light, delicate fingertip pressure to restore misalignment. Any force used is very, very minimal, similar to a gentle touch of the finger. For children, just a slight amount of pressure is often enough to correct spinal joints, restoring their mobility in case they’re locked or interfering with functions of the nervous system. There are also certain methods that may involve handheld instruments which enable the chiropractor to perform gentle correction.

Can chiropractic treatment hurt a child?

Generally, chiropractic treatment for children is painless. However, some degree of pain is often unavoidable in cases which involve physical trauma or injury. In these cases, children may be sensitive to touch, but once an adjustment is successfully performed, the affected area can then heal more properly, effectively alleviating the sensitivity.

Almost all parents whose children have undergone a spinal adjustment have reported significant benefits of chiropractic treatment to their child’s overall well-being.