Chiropractic Care for Children
Many people wonder why children would need chiropractic care. They are still young, healthy and free of aches and pains, right? The answer is simple, children have spines and a nervous system just like adults and we want to make sure they are taking good care of it especially during the developmental years. The biggest issue is that people today don’t realize the correlation between chiropractic and the nervous system, which is largely located in the spinal column and controls almost all of the body’s functions; when something is wrong with the spine it can impact every other area of the body.
What is a Nervous System?
The brain is like a computer that controls your body’s functions, and the nervous system is like a network that relays messages to parts of your body. It does this using the spinal cord, which runs from the brain all the way down to your tailbone. Your nerves branch out from your spinal cord to every organ and body part.
When a message comes into the brain from anywhere in the body, the brain tells the body what to do next. For example, if you touch a hot surface, the nerves in your skin send a message of pain to your brain. The brain then sends a message back telling the muscles in your hand to pull away.
When your spinal bones shift out of alignment (or what we like to call a vertebral subluxation), your bones put pressure on your nerves, causing a disconnect in the communication from our brain to your body, leading to dysfunction and disease. It is important to know that not all signals are pain related. Pain free does not necessarily equate to being healthy. For example, someone who suffers from a heart attack could feel perfectly fine moments beforehand.
What Causes Spinal Misalignments (aka Subluxations)?
It is a common misunderstanding that the only way your spine becomes misaligned is through a serious physical trauma such as a car accident. Although a physical trauma is a common cause of spinal misalignment, you will be surprised to discover that there are three main causes to be aware of.
- Physical stressors– Physical stressors are the easiest to understand when it comes to the impact they have on your physical being. Physical stressors include falls, car accidents, sports injuries, repetitive movements and posture. As a parent, could you imagine if you fell down as much as your children do? Although they are young, those slips and falls can impact their nervous system too.
- Chemical stressors – A chemical stressor includes what we are putting inside of our body. For example, any medication you take has a long list of side effects. Although it may suppress a symptom it is also imbalancing the chemicals in your body. You have to remember that your body has a delicate chemistry, it seeks to balance; anything you introduce to it, from processed foods to cigarettes, can alter the chemistry and cause abnormal function of the central nervous system. Chiropractic care is a great natural resource for children’s health and wellness.
- Emotional stressors – Have you ever heard someone say they carry their stress in their shoulders? Or when a stressful situation subsides people feel a “weight” lifted off their shoulders? Stress can have a big impact on our physical state and can lead to spinal misalignments too. Children are great at keeping a positive mindset but they experience stress as well. Whether it is a new school, changes within the home, learning to communicate and process emotions, stressful experiences can cause our little ones to suffer from muscle tension and dysfunction.
Finding a Pediatric Chiropractor
As children age, pediatric chiropractic care can help to establish a firm foundation for continued nervous system function and overall health, which encourages proper growth and development as well as an improved quality of life overall. Children undergo a significant amount of physical stress throughout all stages of life due to heavy play, athletics and physical activity that can easily create spinal misalignments. With consistent chiropractic care, children are able to maintain proper spinal alignment regardless of their level of activity. With proper spinal alignment, your child’s nervous system will be able to function optimally, leading to improved sleep patterns, behavior, and physical, emotional and mental development. Chiropractic care is safe for all ages including newborns.
As a Mount Juliet Chiropractor, I am passionate about building a healthier and happier community and I believe that starts with the younger generation. To better serve our community, I am continuing my education on a routine basis by participating in the Diplomates for Pediatric and Pregnancy Care, from the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.