Chiropractic on infants and children has come under criticism in the past despite its impeccable safety record. Chiropractic for children, often known as paediatric chiropractic is vastly different from the mainstream chiropractic practiced on most adults, so much so that most chiropractors that see children in their clinics undergo some form of post graduate training in this area to better understand the vastly different anatomy of a developing spine and body.
Does it hurt?
The short answer is no. In fact, the majority of specialised techniques used on infants require a pressure applied to the body that is the equivalent of testing to see if a tomato is ripened. If an area on a child’s spine is tender to touch there may be some mild discomfort while performing an examination to assess for spinal movement, this discomfort is rarely more than a slight tenderness while your chiropractor determines the area that isn’t moving correctly.
Why bring your child to a chiropractor?
As the old Korean proverb goes ‘as the twig is bent, so grows the tree’. Most people see the importance of regular dental check ups to improve the health of your teeth and reduce the likelihood of future problems. Just like this, a developing spine in a child is prone to injury and repetitive stresses that can lead to problems such a chronic back pain and poor posture later on in life. Just think about the stress that a child’s spine is subjected to with daily carrying of heavy school bags, prolonged sitting, and unfortunately these days the increased usage of screen time.
We very often find the stress on a new born baby even in the most ‘natural’ of births can create dysfunction of the spine and improper movement can therefore occur. Often the baby will be unsettled and cry excessively, a condition that is sometimes diagnosed as colic. If there is improper neck movement, a baby may even have difficulty attaching and feeding. A simple but thorough chiropractic examination can determine if there is a problem in an infant’s spine, and correcting this with a gentle, specialised technique can not only improve the child’s spinal health, but can improve the symptoms associated with colic.
1. Doyle, M.F. ,Clinical Chiropractic 2011 (Sep); 14(3):97-105
2. Chapman-Smith D., The Chiropractic Profession, 2000, USA, NCMIC Group Inc.
by Dr Emma Wilkinson
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