Written by Jeanne Ohm, DC; March 1, 2005
More and more parents are seeking chiropractic care for their children. Many spinal problems seen in adults began as early as birth. Even so called “natural” birthing methods can stress an infant’s spine and developing nerve system. The resulting irritation to the nerve system caused by spinal and cranial misalignment can be the cause of many newborn health complaints. Colic, breathing problems, nursing difficulties, sleep disturbances, allergic reactions and chronic infections can often be traced to nerve system stress.
Since significant spinal trauma can occur at birth, many parents have their newborns checked right away. As the infant grows, learning to hold up the head, sit, crawl and walk are all activities that affect spinal alignment and are important times to have a child checked by a Doctor of Chiropractic.
As the child begins to participate in regular childhood activities like skating or riding a bike, small yet significant spinal misalignments (subluxations) may occur. If neglected, the injuries during this period of rapid growth may lead to more serious problems later in life. Subtle trauma throughout childhood will affect the future development of the spine leading to impaired nervous system function. Any interference to the vital nerve system will adversely affect the body’s ability to function at its best.
One of the most common reasons parents seek care for their child is trauma from an injury of some sort. These misalignments may or may not result in immediate pain or symptoms. Regular chiropractic checkups can identify potential spinal injury from these traumas, make the correction early in life and help avoid many of the health complaints seen later in adults. Proper spinal hygiene is an important key to better health. Another sought out reason for care is the resolution of a particular symptom or condition. Parents seek care for conditions such as colic, ear infections, asthma, allergies and headaches (to name a few) because they have heard from other parents that chiropractic care can help.
It is important to understand that the Doctor of Chiropractic does not treat conditions or diseases. The expertise of the chiropractor is in checking the child’s spine for misalignments that impair nerve system function therefore affecting overall body function. The bones of the spine, the vertebrae, house and protect the spinal cord. The spinal cord is an extension of the brain and carries information from the brain to the body parts and back to the brain again. Subluxations interfere with the nerves’ ability to transmit this vital information.
The nerve system controls and coordinates the function of all the systems in the body: circulatory, respiratory, digestive, hormonal, eliminative and immune system. Any aspect of health may be impaired by nerve interference. The chiropractic adjustment restores nerve system function allowing the body the ability to express a greater state of health and well-being.
The Doctor of Chiropractic will take a case history and perform a chiropractic exam to determine if spinal subluxations exist. Chiropractic adjusting procedures are modified to fit a child’s size, weight, and unique spinal condition. They are both gentle and specific to the child’s developing spinal structures. Most parents report that their children enjoy their chiropractic adjustments and look forward to subsequent visits. They also report that their children experience a greater level of health while under regular chiropractic care.
To enhance your child’s ability to function in a greater state of health, we can help you find a Doctor of Chiropractic near you who is dedicated to serving children with the utmost of care. Once your family has experienced the many benefits of chiropractic care—please help us tell others!
About the Author:
Dr. Ohm is a practicing DC in a family, wellness based practice since 1981. She is an international lecturer on the topic “Chiropractic Care in Pregnancy and Infancy” to practicing Chiropractors and affiliated Care Providers. A Post Graduate Instructor for numerous Chiropractic Colleges, she is also the author of many papers on pregnancy, birth, children and chiropractic.
Dr. Ohm is the founder of Makin’ Miracles…Connecting Kid’s n’ Chiropractic, a community outreach program to educate children and adults about the life saving benefits of chiropractic. She is also the producer and writer of the children’s chiropractic song, “Power On!” and educational video, “Birth Trauma: A Modern Epidemic.” In addition, she is the Executive Coordinator for the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, and editor of the I.C.P.A.’s bimonthly newsletter.
This article appeared in “Pathways to Family Wellness” magazine, Issue #05.