Pediatric Chiropractic Care
Why would a child need to see a chiropractor? Children are healthy and should not have any pain, right? Children do not have years of bad posture. They do not have stress from a ten-hour workday that gives them tension headaches, as do some adults. While all this is true, children are exposed to much worse traumas than we typically think. Even if it is a natural birth (meaning without a c-section), the doctor uses the baby’s delicate head and neck as leverage to deliver the baby.
Johns Hopkins Hospital did a study to measure the amount of force required to deliver a baby naturally. They found that depending on the technique that was used, the force ranged from 6.5 – 16 pounds. In the presence of a difficult delivery, the doctor may be required to use a vacuum or forceps, which attach to the baby’s head and pull the newborn out of the birth canal using up to 140-pounds of force. If that much extra force is necessary in a natural birth, imagine what is required during a c-section, when the ability of the mother to contribute to the pushing is eliminated.
The process of being born into this world is enough physical trauma to require a chiropractic assessment since most of us are subject to spinal subluxations from day one. This resulting subluxation interferes with the normal functioning of the nerve system, which is the ultimate controller of every cell and function in the body. The underlying basis for the effectiveness of chiropractic is that by assessing for and correcting subluxations, the body is able to restore its normal nerve flow and heal the body itself.
Some of the more common conditions in children that respond well with chiropractic care are colic, ear infections, asthma, torticollis (wry neck), and sleep disturbance. Families who understand the impact of chiropractic care commonly have the chiropractor present at the birth to give the newborn an assessment and adjustment within the first few hours of life. This allows the newborn to experience the world with an intelligent and healthy body, free from nerve system interference.
One of the most common questions asked regarding chiropractic care for pediatrics is: Will it hurt my child? The force applied to adjust the spine of a child is equivalent to the pressure you would use to test a ripe tomato. The research done on chiropractic safety with children reveals that the care is effective and safe for relieving the patients’ presenting conditions. The side effects of the adjustment are rare, occurring in nine out of the 812 patients in the study, and were reported as the patient being “sore” or “fussy” for a limited period of time. Parents of the pediatric patients in the study also reported that the children showed improvements in immune system function, mood, and sleep.
Dr. Abbey Denaro is a member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and loves being a pediatric Chiropractor.
 Alcantara, J., Ohm, J. and Kunz, D. (2007), Treatment-related aggravations, complications and improvements attributed to chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy of paediatric patients: a practice-based survey of practitioners. Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 12: 3. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-7166.2007.tb05843.x