5 reasons why parents take their children to see a chiropractor:
1. To improve spinal movement
2. To improve spinal posture and position
3. To maximise and increase their child’s brain and nerve development (improve sensorimotor integration)
4. To improve muscle tone
5. To enhance their child's ability to balance
(#2 to 5 all happen with enhanced proprioception/ position sense information sent to the brain, caused by improving the movement of the joints).
So how does chiropractic work?
‘An estimated 27- 41 kgs of force is used on an infant’s neck during ‘normal’ delivery.’
If your brain and spinal cord are protected by your skull and spine, can you imagine what 27-41kgs of stretching force can do to the nervous system when applied to a newborn?
Even "normal" births may cause trauma to the spine, especially the neck and cranium of the newborn. When forceps, vacuum extraction, or caesarean section medical procedures are used during childbirth, the risk of trauma increases.
Chiropractic care as a baby or child is just as important as getting adjustments when you are an adult.
Children are learning all the time by running, jumping, falling, tackling and sitting. The effect of everyday-play on a child's body, as well as the load of carrying heavy school-bags and sitting at desks, can often cause a reduction in full movement of the spine and the joints surrounding the nerves. This restriction in movement of joints in the spine, and how it affects the function of the nervous system, is called a ‘vertebral subluxation’.
A subluxation can therefore interfere with the integrity of nervous system function, meaning that the communication between the brain and body via the nervous system may not be as finely tuned as it could be. It means that sensory information from the joints and muscles in the spine- particularly position sense information into the cerebellum- may be causing the brain to make a distorted body image of where it is in space. The ability of the brain to understand where the body is in space is called proprioception- which is position sense information. Poor proprioception can impact on muscle control throughout the entire body, possibly affecting co-ordination, balance, hand-eye co-ordination, as well as muscle tone and spinal posture. This will impact on the healthy and optimal function of the whole body.
Because the nervous system controls and coordinates every function in the body, regular chiropractic care starting at birth (or preferably in utero) can help children to grow up healthier and happier.
How can I tell if my child has a subluxation?
Your baby may:
- Have a preference for feeding on one side
- Tilt his head to one side when lying on his back
- Arch her back when she cries
- Be a poor sleeper or generally hard to settle
- Have a misshaped head
- Be slow to lift their head, crawl, or walk
Your toddler or child may:
- Have one shoulder blade that is higher or sticks out more than the other
- Tilt their head to one side, or have one ear higher than the other
- Walk or stand with their toes pointing together
- Have recurrent tonsillitis or ear infections
It is important to realise that chiropractic is not the cure of any condition. The purpose of chiropractic is to find and reduce stress and interference to the nerve system (including the brain), allowing the person to experience greater function and an overall improved quality of life.