Active children need regular chiropractic check-ups
One of the most important aspects of chiropractic medicine is our emphasis on preventative care. Many spinal problems begin in childhood and develop gradually as the child grows. We catch problems before they develop or become embedded when they can be corrected much more quickly. Finding nerve interference and correcting it as early as possible is critical to the growing child’s health.
Right from birth, a child’s spine is subjected to daily stresses. In fact, the birth process is one of the most traumatic experiences many of us will ever go through. The first spinal misalignment a person suffers may occur during the birth process, especially if forceps or suction were used during delivery. The adjustments on infants and children are extremely safe with no more force used then that used to test whether a tomato is ripe.
As your child grows, other problems may arise. Studies show us a much higher prevalence of back pain in children than previously thought. In a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, 30.4% of children aged 12-15 years reported a history of low back pain. This confirmed an earlier study that found that 22.8% of elementary school children and 33.3% of high school students complained of low back pain. Parents should not dismiss a child’s complaint of aches and pains as “growing pains” but should seek care in identifying the source of the underlying cause of the child’s symptoms.
Chiropractic physicians also check for specific problems as children develop. For example, scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine which if not detected early may become a seriously disfiguring problem. It is important that scoliosis be caught before a child begins his or her “growth spurt” at approximately 12-16 years of age because scoliosis can progress rapidly during these years.
Children respond much more quickly to adjustments than adults because they have generally been exposed to fewer stressors on their system and their subluxations are fairly recent, whereas many adults are dealing with problems arising from injuries that are years old. Just as you take your children into the dentist for regular checkups, your child’s spine and neuromuscular health should be equally monitored. Children need to receive regular check-ups for one of the most important structures in their bodies, especially if they are active, play hard, participate in sports, ride bikes, or enjoy the everyday rough-and-tumble world of the very young.
Signs your child may have a problem:
Here are some signs of problems you can look for. Have your child stand with his back to you with his arms down at his sides. Observe his natural posture and look for these signs:
- Is his/her head level, not tilting to one side?
- Are the shoulders the same height? His/her shoulder blades should sit flat against the back at the same level.
- Hips should also be the same height.
- The tips of the fingers of both hands should be even.
If your child fails any portion of this screener or complains of aches and pains, please call our office for an appointment. This may be the most important thing you do for your child this year!
Our doctors have a special interest in chiropractic care for children. We invite you to visit with Drs. Kabler, Armstrong and Thompson about getting your child started on the road to a lifetime of good health through chiropractic care!