The Healing Benefits of Chiropractic Care For Children

Most of us don’t think of young children as having issues that might require chiropractic care. But did you know many painful ailments that plague adults actually stem from a misaligned spine due to an undetected childhood spinal injury?

How Do Children Injure Their Spines?

The first few years of a child’s life is all about exploring surroundings. From infants gaining mobility to the toddler years to elementary school—seemingly harmless bumps and falls happen every day; it’s only natural as a child explores the world around them. But over time, even minor injuries can cause trauma to a child’s spine. Spinal bones can shift from their normal positioning during this stage of rapid growth, resulting in permanent deformities that may show up later in life.

The Three Windows of A Child’s Spinal Development

There are specific windows of time during which a child’s spine goes through major increments of development:

  • Birth through age five. The most critical time by far, this is when a child gains mobility, balance and coordination, and his or her spine experiences the greatest amount of minor traumas and repetitive stress injuries.
  • Age five to 10 years old. As a child starts school and engages in playground activity and organized sports, repeated falls and tumbles are bound to happen, sometimes resulting in undetected spinal injuries.
  • Age 10 to 15 years old. The spine goes through its final stages of development as your child eases into adulthood. While this stage seems relatively uneventful by comparison, it’s actually when your child’s spinal growth can be affected by things like improper backpack loading and carrying, poor posture, a sedentary lifestyle, or at the other end of the spectrum, repetitive sports movements. Even if your child never seems to sustain a sports injury during this time of life, repeated impacts due to playing sports take a toll over time. The “invisible” effects of participating in high-impact sports and other activities often show up as an adult — and it can be painful. 

Injuries that show up in a more outward, dramatic fashion (like a concussion, whiplash, etc.) can benefit certainly from the gentle pressure of a chiropractic spinal adjustment. What many parents don’t realize is that any active child — especially one who plays sports —  is quite likely to experience a spine injury, regardless of whether they have painful symptoms right now. 

Your child’s trip to the chiropractor now can prevent plenty of adult onset-pain – we’ll talk more about that in a moment.

What Is Happening To Your Child’s Spine?

After the almost-constant bumps and falls that occur in the first few years of life, the vertebrae protecting the spine can lose their normal positioning, exposing the spine to trauma.

Spinal trauma can have lasting effects, including:

  • Delicate nerve tissue damage, resulting in interference with the brain’s ability to send nerve impulses to your organs, tissues, and muscles
  • Discs, blood vessels, and other soft tissues can swell and become inflamed 
  • Bone spurs and abnormal bone growth as the body compensates to protect the spine

These realities can come as a surprise to parents, as pain and other obvious symptoms aren’t always present.

The Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Kids

When young adults seek out chiropractic care, they often don’t realize their back pain is the result of a trauma they received 10-20 years ago. You can shield your child from experiencing the same discomforts by scheduling a pediatric chiropractic exam. Chiropractic care can uncover spinal problems that would normally go undetected in children. Left unchecked, spinal problems can grow into much more serious medical issues later in life.

You’re most likely already aware of the benefits of chiropractic care — perhaps you (or someone you know) has experienced the often instant relief that comes from having a properly aligned spine. With the gentle pressure of a chiropractic adjustment, your child’s normal spinal and nervous system function can be restored, too. Why not give your child this same opportunity? With proper alignment, your child’s body will be free to heal itself, enabling your child to grow up with a healthy spine and nervous system.

Would you like to learn more about ensuring your child’s spine is healthy not only now, but in the future? Schedule an appointment online or call us at (626) 469-7478. We look forward to creating a customized treatment plan for your child.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.


The Joy and (Back) Pain of Being a New Mom

Did you know your body is considered postpartum for an entire year after your little one arrives? Unbeknownst to many new moms, post-pregnancy hormones have a powerful effect on your joints, ligaments, lower back, and other parts of your body.

What should you do to avoid postpartum pain? And, are there ways to bounce back from your pregnancy more quickly, with minimal discomfort? Absolutely! 

Keep reading to learn 5 ways to help your body heal faster and more effectively.

1. Adjust Your Posture

It’s only realistic to expect some back pain as part of your new-mom healing process — after all, giving birth is strenuous on every muscle in your body, particularly your spine. And, with a newborn in your life, you’ll also likely find yourself sitting down more than ever, which places pressure on your spine and negatively impacts your posture. All said, it translates to lingering aches and pain in your back.

Back pain, however, shouldn’t sideline you from everyday activity. When sitting with your baby, use a footstool to elevate your feet to minimize pressure on your back. And, to help your body recover more quickly, consider making an appointment for a chiropractic adjustment to help your pelvis, hips, and spine regain their equilibrium and return to normal. 

2. Adjust Baby’s Position

Among many other changes in your life, you’re constantly toting around your new baby and your body may not be used to the new routine. Between feeding, holding, rocking, placing your child on a changing table, in a swing or in a crib, it’s quite common to develop back pain, not to mention neck pain, shoulder pain, and misaligned hips. So what’s a mom to do?

When you pick up your child, hold her close to your midline. This method activates naturally durable muscles that support you more readily. When possible, support your baby with your bicep, giving your wrists and hands a break from the strain. Additionally, your shoulder placement in this stance maximizes your ability to breathe and you’ll find your muscles won’t tire as easily.

3. Build your Core

Core-strengthening exercises not only help get rid of excessive pregnancy layers, but can promote better posture as you take on the new physical demands of parenthood. Exercises you’re likely already familiar with, such as pelvis tucks, planks, and crunches all build up your abdominals, strengthen your core, which in return, supports your back. Remember your muscles and ligaments are more flexible than usual following pregnancy, so adjust your speed and intensity accordingly. If you find yourself with sore muscles, ice, heat packs or warm bath can do wonders for easing muscle (and mental) fatigue!

4. Evaluate Your Car

It’s not uncommon for new parents to evaluate transportation options to accommodate their growing family. For many, parenthood means the days of two-door cars (temporarily) come to an end, due to the inconveniences of accessing the back seat. After a while, placing a carseat and child in and out becomes taxing on your back. If you are considering purchasing a new vehicle, a four-door or even a minivan can make your life considerably easier not to mention less strenuous on your back and shoulders. 

Another car-shopping note: make sure your car has a LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) anchors for car seats, designed to make properly installing a car seat much simpler. Digging through car seat cushions to find the anchor can be not only frustrating, but hard on your back. Fortunately, most cars built after 2002 have this LATCH feature.

5. Take Time for You

It’s only natural your primary focus is on your baby, especially in those first few months after giving birth. Don’t forget to care for yourself, too– napping when baby naps, staying properly hydrated, allowing your friends and neighbors to assist with laundry and cleaning–these are a few of self-care basics. But don’t overlook the internal needs of your healing body. A visit to the chiropractor can help restore your body as you journey back to optimal health. 

Schedule your appointment online or call our office at (626) 469-7478 – our goal is to learn all about your health, help you regain your sense of wellness and avoid pain in the future. We’ll make sure you’re at your very best as you care for your new baby.