The last few weeks of summer are hectic for many parents, rushing to get ready for the school year and trying to enjoy the last days of summer break. You’ll probably check in with your child’s doctor about needed vaccinations and managing chronic conditions like asthma. There’s another type of medical provider that you should consider taking your child to during the first part of the school year: a chiropractor.
This may sound surprising, but there are many reasons why regular chiropractic care benefits kids. Here are 5 of them:
1. A Growing Spine Needs Care
Chiropractors specialize in caring for the nervous system as it relates to the spine. Since the spinal cord runs through the spine and nerves branch off it between vertebrae to connect to other systems, problems with the spine can cause issues in other parts of the body. Active, growing kids are at a higher risk for spinal subluxations (small misalignments of the vertebrae) than most adults. Letting these subluxations go unaddressed puts them at a higher risk for back and neck problems later in life. Kids frequently experience aches and pains from heavy backpacks, posture problems, and injuries but sometimes struggle to communicate their symptoms. Frequent earaches, asthma, digestive problems, and even behavior problems can be caused or worsened by subluxations.
A child’s spine is more malleable than an adult’s. This means that while it may be easier to move out of place, it’s also easier to fix problems when they arise. Infants can be born with subluxations due to trauma experienced while moving through the birth canal. Trouble nursing, colic, and fussiness are common signs of subluxations in infants. Chiropractors use gentle, safe techniques to adjust infants and children. With the skilled touch of a finger, a chiropractor can fix subluxations that keep an infant from thriving.
Another time subluxations tend to show up is when a baby is learning to turn over, crawl, or walk. The spine changes dramatically during these stages of development, and subluxations can delay your child’s progress through these milestones.
2. Because Sitting at a Desk All Day is Bad for the Back
School-aged children have come through the major stages of spinal development, but now they face a new hurdle: sitting for 7 hours or more. Even with an ergonomic setup, sitting for this long isn’t ideal for anyone. If your child’s desk and chair are not ergonomic or your child tends to slouch or hunch forward, this can cause damage to the back.
Teaching your child some basic ergonomic tips can help. Even young children can understand that their feet should be on the floor (or a block if having their feet on the floor would put them too low at the desk). If your child is taller or shorter than the average child their age, you may need to talk to their teacher about providing them with an appropriately sized desk and chair. Their forearms should be able to lie on their desk with their elbow at a 90-degree angle when they sit up straight. Their knees should also be at a ninety-degree angle, or their feet should be slightly forward.
Even with an ideal setup, some kids lean far forward over their school work. Your chiropractor can help you determine the reasons for your child’s poor posture and correct them. Sometimes kids have weak core muscles, making it challenging to hold a healthy posture throughout the day. Strengthening exercises and modified sitting positions during downtime at home can correct this. You should also get your child screened for vision problems. Some kids get close to their school work because they struggle to see it.
Whatever the cause, it’s important to help your child correct their posture as soon as possible. Poor postures can wreak havoc on spinal curves and damage muscles. Correcting posture in children prevents significant pain and injury later on.
3. Spinal Issues Contribute to Other Health Problems
Aches and pains are not the only symptoms of spinal problems in kids. As mentioned above, multiple systems can be impacted when vertebrae interfere with neurological function. Subluxations may be to blame if your child’s allergies or asthma have worsened for no obvious reason. Subluxations can also cause digestive issues and problems with concentration or behavior. Many parents with children who have ADD report an improvement in their child’s behavior and school performance following a spinal adjustment.
A specific adjustment to vertebrae in the neck is used to open the Eustachian tubes and prevent ear infections in young children. This can prevent the overuse of antibiotics (and miserable sleepless nights).
3. To Screen for Developmental Problems
Several congenital and genetic problems can affect how children’s musculoskeletal systems develop. Seeing a chiropractor regularly is a good way to catch the signs early so your child can be referred to specialized care.
Chiropractors also screen for scoliosis– a common developmental problem affecting the spine. Only twenty states require scoliosis screening in schools. This leaves more than half of states without any standard screening process. Scoliosis causes the spine to curve sideways and can interfere with other organs, and cause significant pain. Detecting it early is key to preventing the worst outcomes. It is treated with a special brace that helps to correct the curve of the spine, but this treatment doesn’t work well after the spine finishes developing. Adults with untreated scoliosis sometimes require surgery. Even after surgery, many continue experiencing symptoms.
Screening is easy and painless and can be done during a standard chiropractic appointment.
Chiropractic Care for Kids in Tennessee
A Stanlick Chiropractic, we’ve been providing chiropractic care for kids and adults for decades. Schedule a consultation today and take advantage of our patient appreciation special going on through the end of August to get life-changing chiropractic care for your family for just $39 per person.