Did you know that kids love coming in to see us at Be Well? Those that come with their parents to get checked often race to get on the table first!
Chiropractic adjustments for children can differ significantly from those performed on adults. Our adjustments are very gentle, and typically a parent will notice their child will be soothed. There are no cracks or pops; we apply gentle pressure to decrease any tension on their little systems. Some babies even fall asleep on the table!
A child's nervous system is rapidly developing in their first year of life. 65% of neurological development (development of the brain and nervous system) occurs during this period. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that infants have every opportunity to maximise their nerve function during this critical period.
For those who think of chiropractic care as primarily a solution for neck and back issues it can be a surprise to learn that chiropractic care can be helpful for many types of infant and childhood issues. In fact children often receive the most benefits from chiropractic care, as they generally respond more quickly than adults and the adjustments have an even bigger impact.
An important thing to remember is that chiropractors have a holistic approach and focus on the whole nervous system - not just the spine. The nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord and all the nerves of the body. It is the control centre, regulating the entire body. If the spine, small or large is negatively impacting communication of the nervous system; the body will not work as well as it should.
Top 10 reasons parents bring their children to see a paediatric chiropractor at Be Well:
- To maximise their child’s brain and nerve development.
- To enhance a child’s overall wellbeing.
- To help with sleep issues.
- To strengthen immunity, reducing incidence of colds, earaches and illness.
- To help with colic and irritable baby syndrome.
- To improve spinal posture or reduce head tilt.
- To improve their child’s ability to concentrate.
- To assist with behavioural disorders and offer greater emotional wellbeing.
- To help alleviate bed wetting and digestive problems.
- To help with asthma, allergies or eczema.
Craniosacral and gentle chiropractic adjustments
Sarena has been looking after children in her practice for 15 years. She is the mother of three young children and is well practiced when it comes to wriggly babies and toddlers lying on the table for the first time. Sarena and Camille are passionate about attending paediatric seminars to learn the latest research and techniques to improve their skills. They are excited to attend an extensive six day paediatric chiropractic and pregnancy chiropractic course in November.
The cranial bones and the upper neck protect the brain and brainstem- so any unnecessary pressure on these delicate bones can cause symptoms.
It’s important make sure a child's delicate neck and cranial bones are not restricted as a result of birth trauma or minor bumps and falls. Spinal bones are still in the soft stage of development until the age of 12. During this period children are more susceptible to the effects of traumatic forces. Birth is usually the first trauma endured; the spine is often compressed by strong contractions when the babies head presses against the mothers pelvis as they try to manoeuvre through the birth canal. If the baby is pulled from the womb during delivery with either hands, forceps or ventouse; or during a Caesarean section this can be a traumatic force. The baby will often have a misshapen head and consequently have trouble feeding or settling.
As a child grows there endless head bumps on tables and tumbles as they learn to crawl, walk and play. Some of these can have a significant effect on the spine and nerve system. Your little one may not be able to communicate that they have a sore neck but you may find they always sleep with their head turned to one side, or they prefer to feed from one breast, or pull on their ear. Many times a child may not have pain but the symptoms manifest in another way: they may have digestive issues, trouble settling or sleeping.
When children are under 8 years old they have a relatively heavy head and weak neck muscles in comparison. The top three vertebrae in the neck protect the brainstem. The brainstem controls the flow of messages between the brain and the rest of the body, and it also controls basic body functions such as breathing, swallowing, heart rate, blood pressure, consciousness, and whether one is awake or sleepy. A child still has a fairly fragile neck so the brainstem, spinal cord and nervous system are susceptible to disturbance. Nervous system disturbance can result in problems such as constipation, colic, problematic breast feeding, grumpiness, ear infections, bed wetting or poor sleep patterns.
It is important to consider how a child's cranial bones have been effected by birth trauma, bumps and tumbles. A dysfunction of the bones, internal fascial structures, circulation of blood, lymph or fluids in the head can be central to many health problems. The body has a great system of correcting such faults: actions like swallowing, chewing, and deep breathing which can return things to normal. However, as children age there are things that can cause cranial faults and jaw issues. Activities such as sleeping on the stomach, propping the head up with the hand or opening the mouth for more than 20 minutes at the dentist can distress a child's jaw and neck.
Unfortunately sometimes problems develop and the body is unable to self- correct on its own due to an imbalance of the spine or muscles in the body. At this time it is important to have a check up with Applied Kinesiology (AK) Chiropractor. AK techniques can be used to determine why the body is not self-correcting and what can be done to create balance in their delicate systems. At Be Well our Chiropractors are trained in the Sutherland osteopathic technique. It is nice and gentle, making it perfect for children and babies. This is combined with a full check of their spine and pelvis.
When to start chiropractic
When a pregnant mother comes in for chiropractic care this can be the first beneficial visit for their baby in utero. If the mothers pelvis is restricted there can be torsion on the uterus impacting the space for the growing baby. This can effect growth and proper development. Once the mothers pelvis and sacrum are aligned the baby is able to get in a better position for birth which can reduce the length of labour.
These babies are often brought in again within a week a so after birth for their first chiropractic check up. After an examination our chiropractor will let you know if a series of adjustments is recommended for optimal. development. After the initial care plan parents tend to bring in their children for monthly visits for wellness care. At the bare minimum, we recommend that all children are have a check up as they reach each milestone of development. Developmental milestones reflect the maturation of a child's nervous system. When a child has a delay in reaching these milestones it may be an important indicator of underlying neurological issues that can be helped by chiropractic.
Key times for a child to have a check up with a chiropractor:
- After birth - A healthy newborn can have their first check up as soon as you are ready to leave the house! The inevitable experience of birth trauma is a good reason for a child to have a chiropractic check up as soon as possible. With gentle techniques and craniosacral therapy a paediatric chiropractor can gently adjust areas where the cranial bones have overlapped during birth. It also allows for a complete check of the child's nervous system.
- When they learn to sit up - As they learn to hold their head up and also to sit, their neck and back are getting used to new movements, ensuring they are in proper alignment supports this stage of development.
- When they start crawling - A stage of more bumps and tumbles, it is important to keep things in check!
- When they begin to walk - Walking brings even more tumbles and bumps, and these new movements and developments create changes in the lower back. This is an important time to check that your child's spine is moving freely.
For more information on different stages of development and corresponding chiropractic care, you can ask us by requesting complimentary consultation or sending us an message at firstname.lastname@example.org
We have discounted fees for children and family memebers at Be Well. We also offer a Mother & Baby combined Initial Appointment. To see one of our chiropractors you can click to Book Now or call us on 043884512 and we can answer any questions you may have.
If you like what you have read and are interested in learning more on the topic of Applied Kinesiology research and craniosacral therapy you can click here:
Muscles and cranial function
Applied kinesiology meets the health care needs of children