Going to the chiropractor isn’t just for athletes or adults. There are tons of evidence-based reasons to take your kiddos on a regular basis. (Shout out to my girl Dr. Rachel, DC who my kiddos go see once a month!)
Keep on reading for the 5 best health benefits your munchkin can experience from pediatric chiropractic care.
Our little humans tend to stumble, fall, run into walls, jump off couches (and even countertops…)- all of which can cause shifts in their musculoskeletal system and set the stage for subluxations. These misalignments can press on the spinal nerves and interfere with the body’s ability to function and develop optimally.
Chiropractic care works extremely well for growing children to alleviate those misalignments. And, in doing so, is curative for common childhood illnesses and prevents further health conditions and physical issues.
A chiropractor who treats kids will have undergone specialized training because kids, obviously, are different than adults (duh, CeCe). Techniques, depth, & pressure are all different because kids’ bones are not fully formed yet and are more cartilaginous than adults. But it’s important to understand the evidence behind the safety and effectiveness of pediatric chiropractic care.
-Author Matthew Doyle conducted a review that found mild adverse events for pediatric chiropractic therapy between a range of 0.53-1%
-Alcantara et al.conducted a study that reported 3 adverse events per 5,438 office visits from the treatment of 577 children. Parental surveys within the same study indicated 2 adverse events from 1,735 office visits involving 239 children.
The Vorha Study looked at peer-reviewed literature over the past 110 years for any practitioner performing spinal manipulation and found 9 adverse events. 9 in 110 years.
I mean let’s just compare that to adverse effects of… drugs. For any ear infection, I always recommend for my patients to seek chiropractic care (reasoning, once again, is below...sorry). Another common treatment for ear infections is, of course, antibiotics. In a review of pediatric adverse drug events, it was found that an average of 585,000 pediatric adverse drug events require medical attention each year. 27.5% of those cases are due to antimicrobials (antibiotics). versus 9 adverse events in 110 years
I’m gonna let ya’ll sit on that stat for a second.
That’s not to say chiropractic care is the answer for every condition requiring antibiotics. My point here is, safety. By just looking at the literature, comparing adverse events, and understanding that chiropractors have the lowest malpractice rates of all primary health care providers (rates that are based on risk)... those are strong indicators of the safety of pediatric chiropractic care.
I can’t stress how important quality sleep is for our growing humans. Nearly 30 percent of kids experience sleep disruptions, such as sleep apnea, insomnia, & night terrors. Chiropractic care releases tension and stress being held in the body and, in turn, can improve sleep and reduce insomnia. By improving the functionality of the nervous system, chiropractic adjustments can also help address the issue of bed wetting. Not to mention a sleeping, less stressed kid = a happier, less moody kid.
Chiropractic care works to improve the overall health of patients, but more specifically it can target the immune system. From allergies to colds to asthma to sinus infections, the evidence is there. By targeting the misaligned nerves that affect a child’s respiratory system, these common ailments can be easily treated with consistent chiropractic care.
As mentioned above, I frequently advise patients to seek chiropractic care for treating ear infections. With ear infections, fluid gets trapped in the middle ear due to the Eustachian tubes spasming. This restricts the tube’s opening, trapping the fluid inside and creating a breeding ground for bacteria or viruses. Antibiotics may kill the bacteria, but they won’t necessarily get rid of the fluid buildup. But guess what does get rid of the fluid? A chiropractic adjustment. Those ears will start leaking almost immediately.
Nearly 15 percent of newborn babies are diagnosed with colic. Chiropractic treatment for infants with colic is gentle, conservative, and highly successful, often reducing the amount of crying by more than 50 percent. A study from the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reports improvement in 94% of cases across a three-month long study, with a 67% decrease in crying as a result of chiropractic treatment compared to a 38% decrease in crying for babies treated with dimethicone (anti-gas medication). The long-term benefits of chiropractic care to treat infant colic were also associated with fewer incidences of waking up at night.
It can be super frustrating when issues with latching occur for breastfeeding mamas. Honestly, it can make you want to give up. But, through chiropractic care, both mom and baby can improve their musculoskeletal health and spinal alignment, which allows for the latching process to become easier - allowing mamas to continue to breastfeed without further complication.
A clinical case study of 114 patients with “sub-optimal infant breast-feeding”, found 0% of babies improved after visiting midwives, pediatricians, or lactation consultants. However, 78% were able to exclusively breast-feed after 4 visits to the chiropractor. I mean, that’s dope.
In addition to colic and nursing dysfunction, by restoring motion to the joints and balance to the tissues, chiropractic care can prevent or treat plagiocephaly, torticollis, & hip dysplasia.
Alright, we’re about to get a little technical. The nerves that allow muscles to contract (ganglion cells) connect directly to the celiac ganglion, which supplies the stomach, liver, kidney, gallbladder, spleen, small interesting, and ascending/transverse colon with nerves. Stay with me. When the spine is misaligned, it aggravates those nerves - interfering with the normal function of the digestive tract, including the muscles that push poop out of the body (i.e. long way of saying chiropractic care helps with constipation, acid reflux, and tummy aches).
95% of headaches are caused by muscle tension in the back or neck. Spinal manipulation and adjustments aid to relieve the tension in the body and calm the muscles and joints causing those headaches.
Nearly 50% of kiddos experience growing pains. Despite popular belief, growing pains are not actually caused by growth spurts. Rather, they are a result of overuse from running, jumping, playing, and climbing all day (there isn’t enough coffee in the world that could give me that type of energy). The throbbing aches and pains can be strong enough to wake them up at night. BUT. chiropractic care can help calm the pain and take the pressure off the spine.
Sports injuries are super common with active kids. With regular treatment and stretching techniques performed by a chiropractor, kids can heal up quickly and actually improve their game. A study published by The Journal of Chiropractic Research and Clinical Investigation reported a 30% improvement in agility, balance, power, kinesthetic perception, & reaction time in athletes who received 12-weeks of chiropractic care.
Similar to the nerves of the GI tract, chiropractic care can have a great impact on your kid’s neural brain development by releasing pressure from bones, joints, & the spine -directly affecting the nervous system. From hyperactivity to anxiety to motor skill delays, adjustments have been shown to improve brain and behavioral development.
At the end of the day, we’re here to improve our kid’s quality of life. Chiropractic care can do just that. It may not be a cure-all, but it can create changes that allow kids to reach their full potential. As my good friend, Dr. Rachel with Atlanta Restoration Chiropractic, says:
“Chiropractic care for babies and kids is a safe, noninvasive way to affect the spinal cord and nervous system to create functional changes. Because the spinal cord is housed within the bones of their growing spine, adjusting babies and kids can have many benefits - from improving a breastfeeding latch, avoiding torticollis and a helmet, better coordination and more appropriate musculoskeletal control, to controlling bed wetting, improving the immune system, draining fluid in the ears, correcting scoliosis, and calming behavioral outbursts. Maintaining spinal structure is the foundation of health and there is no one better to care for a growing child than a chiropractor who is passionate about seeing babies and kids.”
Rachel Weimer, DC
Pediatric care | Webster certified | Chiropractic BioPhysics ®️ certified
The Discovery Doc - Dr. CeCe Brooks - Atlanta Holistic NP
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Disclaimer: This is not medical advice.