By Dr. Emily Smith, DC, DICCP
As a specialist in Chiropractic Pediatrics and Pregnancy, I often get asked “How do I know if my baby/child needs to be adjusted?” Good question! As a parent, your ‘job’ is to feed, clothe and shelter your child/children. Knowing the health of their spine is a job best left to your favorite family chiropractor.
As a specialist in Chiropractic Pediatrics and Pregnancy, I often get asked “How do I know if my baby/child needs to be adjusted?” Good question! As a parent, your ‘job’ is to feed, clothe and shelter your child/children. Knowing the health of their spine is a job best left to your favorite family chiropractor. ding newborns with gentle chiropractic adjustments can help prevent minor spinal issues from becoming more severe spinal issues down the road. A chiropractor that has additional training to work with children can, for instance, see and address the asymmetrical movement of one hip compared to the other or eliminate altered neck range of motion before it affects breastfeeding. Symptoms such as poor sleep, frequent spitting up, prolonged crying and difficulty pooping can all be signs that a chiropractic adjustment is needed. Since babies can’t tell you where it hurts, it’s important to use these signs/symptoms to alert you when chiropractic care may be needed.
As babies grow into toddlers they progress through a wide range of developmental milestones. Anyone who has watched a baby/toddler try, try and try again knows that they are bound and determined to move, even if they need to alter how they move. Any variation in this natural gross motor skill progression, such as scooting on their bottom or skipping crawling all together, is something that should be evaluated and addressed by a chiropractor. Even though they may all end up walking eventually, there is a reason they had to alter the way they developed and this can affect them later in life if not corrected. What kept them from crawling, for example, is still present and likely in need of an adjustment. Any changes in eating, sleeping or mood may also be a sign that it’s time for a chiropractic adjustment.
Because kids love to climb and jump, they inevitably will also trip and fall. Then they get right back up and do it all over again. As parents we can see the bumps and bruises that are synonymous with the toddler/preschool years. Luckily most falls don’t require an ER visit, but these bruises are reminders that the spine may have gotten bumped and misaligned in the process and should be evaluated on a regular basis. Scheduling a monthly well visit with your chiropractor can help to fix any of these spinal issues as they occur, rather than waiting for symptoms to arise.
School-aged kids and teens tend to be active in sports and/or spend a lot of time hunched over a screen. Posture is immensely important in this age group, and habits of how they carry themselves will persist into adulthood if not addressed. Poor posture can lend itself to all sorts of health issues to include headaches, neck pain, back pain and some even developing a “hump” in the upper back that has previously been associated with the elderly. Rather than just telling kids to “sit up,” chiropractors can explain the importance of posture, how to improve it and what will happen if it’s not corrected. Though we joke about it, chiropractors often provide “attitude adjustments” for kids/teens as well and help lessen the moodiness that can run rampant at this age.
If you haven’t yet explored how your family could benefit from gentle chiropractic adjustments for specific concerns or just as a part of your family wellness, I would encourage you to do so! Chiropractic care is safe and effective for children of all ages.
Dr. Emily has been providing chiropractic care to adults and children of all ages in the Chippewa Valley for more than 20 years. She can be found at Smith & Prissel Chiropractic and Massage in Eau Claire, or her satellite office in Menomonie. To schedule, call 715-833-3505 or visit www.myECchiroandmassage.com for more information.