I have waited to write this blog on children and chiropractic because I did not want to start it with “back in my day”, thus giving away my age. However, I cannot put it off any longer, and I cannot think of an alternate introduction, so, here goes.
“Back in my day”, when I was a child, I don’t remember going to see the doctor or pediatrician much. Although I do remember the visits with Dr. Crumpler because they always included SHOTS, but that’s another story. Anyway, other than those visits, I, or my siblings, had to be bleeding, have an obvious fracture, or be next to dying, to be taken to a doctor. And a chiropractor? Forget about that. Any complaints of back pain or neck pain were immediately countered with, “you don’t even have a back. All you have is a gristle”. They might give me an aspirin and send me out the door, but more often than not, those aches and pains were brushed off. Little did they know of the possible long-term damage that was being created from neglecting those “growing pains”.
Fast forward to 2016, this generation of parents has access to a plethora of information regarding, not only the risks of ignoring musculoskeletal complaints, and other symptoms of spinal misalignments such as poor posture, sleep disturbances, and irritability, but also the benefits of complementary and alternative treatments like chiropractic. Even if there is no pain, which in infants and young children is often the case, research actually shows that chiropractic care can help in treating other issues that you may not have thought of as being chiropractic issues such as recurrent ear infections, ADHD & Autism, colic, common colds and more.
I and other parents of today pride ourselves in being THE most well-informed, THE most hip. Certainly, we would not overlook these signs. After all, we want our children to thrive. To lead happy, healthy, productive lives. We pack their lunches filled with vegan this, organic that, no dairy, all cut into cute little animal shapes with notes attached to encourage them throughout their day. We buy them the nicest clothes, we shuttle them from music lessons to sports lessons, and we volunteer our time to sponsor teams or call in favors to coaches to guarantee our kid a spot as a starter. Nothing is too good. We want the best for our kids. And that includes finding the best structural chiropractor. A chiropractor that offers a safe, natural, drug-free, complement to traditional pediatric healthcare.
How do parents (myself included) make the decision that one thing is more important than another? Do we do our best to “keep up with the Jones’s”? Spending excessive amounts of money on trendy clothes, sports equipment, and specialty summer camps? Or do we do something that will REALLY make a difference in our children’s lives?
You may know that Chiropractic is based on the relationship between the spine and the nervous system. One of the most important teachings of chiropractic is that if there is dysfunction or interference in the spine, then that dysfunction and interference, if untreated, can carry over to the nervous system. And since the nervous system controls the functions of the body, any interference can cause a wide range of problems. These dysfunctions can begin while the child is still in utero, and continue throughout childhood. Ensuring that our children develop to their fullest potential by keeping their nervous system free of stress starts at birth.
Since spinal trauma can often occur during birth, it is wise to have your newborn evaluated right away. Then, a well-check would be recommended as your baby continues to meet milestones such as sitting, crawling, and walking. As your little one begins to take part in other childhood activities like bike riding, or sports, he/she may start to develop small, but significant misalignments that may or may not result in pain or symptoms, but need to be evaluated none the less. These regular checkups can help to identify potential problems before they become problems. Make corrections early, so that these minor health complaints do not develop into chronic health conditions during adulthood.
As I write this, I am reflecting on my own life. I wish that my parents knew of chiropractic then. I’m sure that in my rough and tumble childhood, more than one spinal misalignment was incurred. How thankful I am, and I know that my children will someday be, that chiropractic is so mainstream now. They have seen their chiropractor more often than their medical doctor or pediatrician. (I can’t help but think and wonder if their chiropractor is the reason why.) After all, it’s easier to STAY WELL than to GET WELL.
Your kids will outgrow the trendy clothes, and lose interest in the sports, but they will always have a spine. Be the cool parent, invest in your child’s health.
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