Pediatric chiropractic is the practice of using chiropractic techniques on babies and young children to help improve their spinal health.
During the birthing process, babies undergo trauma caused by constant tugging and pulling. Furthermore, during their development and learning phases, such as sitting, crawling, and walking, babies and toddlers experience minor injuries that can affect their spinal alignment.
Active young children can easily experience slight spinal misalignment through play and daily activities that can impact their overall health. Childhood is a critical period of physical development where a child’s tissues and bones are under constant stress and experiencing continuous growth.
Chiropractic care for children can offer many benefits for your child’s overall health.
Assist with Early Stages of Development
Your baby’s spine is very fragile and can easily get misaligned with the slightest tug or pull. This is especially true during the delivery process.
Spinal misalignment in infants can contribute to issues, such as colic, trouble latching, ear infections, or reflux. Chiropractic care can help address these issues, helping both the baby and the parents caring for the baby.
Chiropractic care can help improve children’s concentration and focus, which can also help with behavioral issues.
Gentle pediatric chiropractic can help release pressure on the spine, bone, and joints, assisting with a child’s neural brain development. This can help with issues such as ADD and ADHD.
Stress can have a major impact on children, resulting in children acting out, because bodily stress is hard for children to manage. Chiropractic care can relieve stress in the child’s body, which can help improve their behaviors.
Poor spinal health can make one’s muscles tight, causing back issues that can impact your child’s ability to get a good night’s sleep. Spinal alignment issues can also contribute to bedwetting in potty-trained children.
Gentle chiropractic adjustments can help fix misalignment and nerve interference, helping your child get the sleep they need. Sleep is essential for children to function during the day and vital for physical and emotional development.
Immune System Support
Chiropractor care is one of many tools that can be used to help support your child’s immune system. It can help improve your child’s immune system, making it easier for your child to fight off illness.
Chiropractic care can also help with digestion, constipation, and reflux issues that often impact children.
Why Your Child’s Back May Hurt
Pediatric chiropractic care is not just about addressing back pain. However, that is one component of pediatric chiropractic care.
There are many reasons why your child’s back may be hurting.
Young children are very active, and engaging in physical activities, even for children, always comes with a risk of straining a muscle or joint. Overexertion is a major cause of back pain among children and adults.
Children’s backpacks can easily become too heavy for them to handle. Your child’s backpack shouldn’t be over 10-20% of their body weight. So if your child weighs 50 pounds, their backpack shouldn’t be more than 5-10 pounds.
Lack of Physical Activity
Not being active enough can also be hard on your child’s body. A sedentary lifestyle with close to no physical activity can be just as taxing on the body as excessive physical activity.
Sitting for long periods, slouching, and hunching over, can put a lot of strain on one’s back, neck, and shoulders.
Falls or Hits to the Body
It is very common for children to bump into things or fall off things. These normal falls and bumps can cause shifts and misalignment in your child’s spine,
Birthing can sometimes involve twisting, pulling, and even using certain tools to assist with childbirth. This can contribute to misalignment, especially in the upper neck, for children.
Torticollis, also known as wry neck, is a painful condition that causes the head to tilt to one side due to muscle stiffness or spasms in the neck. It can be caused by injury, nerve damage, or congenital abnormalities. It commonly occurs in young children.
Chiropractic care can help relieve the pain and discomfort associated with torticollis by using gentle spinal adjustments to realign the vertebrae in the neck, reducing nerve interference and tension in the muscles.
Chiropractors may also use soft tissue therapies such as massage or stretching to help loosen and relax the affected muscles. Dr. Tanvi Desai can help get your child’s head properly aligned and treat this condition.
Cranial Flat Head
A cranial flat head, also known as deformational plagiocephaly or positional plagiocephaly, is a condition where a baby's head develops a flat spot on one side or the back of the head due to sleeping in the same position or neck muscle problems.
Chiropractic care can help treat a cranial flat head by relieving pressure in the spinal column and correcting torticollis in infants, which can contribute to the development of a flat spot on the head. Misalignments in the spine can affect the formation of cranial bones.
By using gentle spinal adjustments, Dr. Tanvi Desai can allow for different positioning and movement with your baby, which can help alleviate pressure on the flat spot and allow for the healthy growth of cranial bones.
Colic is an uncomfortable condition that affects approximately 10-20% of babies and can last for up to three months or longer.
Chiropractic care can help with colic in infants by using gentle adjustments to remove nerve interference and restore normal function of the digestive tract, thus alleviating symptoms of colic.
Research has shown that chiropractic care can reduce crying episodes and improve sleep in colicky babies and can be a preferable alternative to short-term medications.
An ear infection, also known as acute otitis media, is an infection that occurs in the middle ear, which is the air-filled space behind the eardrum.
It is a common condition that affects both children and adults, but it is more common in children. The infection can be caused by bacteria or viruses that enter through the eustachian tube, which regulates air pressure within the middle ear.
Symptoms of an ear infection include
Crying more than usual
Trouble hearing or responding to sounds
Chiropractic care can help by eliminating joint limitations or misalignments in the spine and other joints of the body that can cause blockages in the Eustachian tubes. By doing so, it allows the fluid to drain normally, reduces inflammation, pressure, and helps with pain management.
Early Onset Scoliosis
Scoliosis is defined as an abnormal, side-to-side curvature of the spine. In children, this is referred to as early-onset scoliosis.
Congenital scoliosis is when a child is born with this condition.
Infantile scoliosis is when a child develops scoliosis under the age of five.
Juvenile scoliosis is when a child is diagnosed with scoliosis between the ages of six and nine.
Adolescent scoliosis is when a child is diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of ten or above.
Scoliosis can strain the joints, causing inflammation, and can put unnatural pressure on the spinal discs.
Signs of Scoliosis
The signs of scoliosis can vary from one child to another, but here are a few common signs that you may notice with your child:
A visibly curved spine
Differences in shoulder height
Head not centered on the body
Other postural abnormalities
Signs of Spinal Misalignment in Babies
A baby can’t tell you that their back hurts or their spine is misaligned. However, there are signs you can look for that will let you know if your baby needs pediatric chiropractic care.
Irregularities in sleeping posture
Treatment Options for Children
When treating children, Dr. Desai uses gentle chiropractic techniques. Gentle adjustments are about using very gentle pressure to make corrections. For example, with newborns, only fingertip pressure is used for adjustments. The Activator Method is one of the primary gentle techniques used with children.
With children, Dr. Desai also guides older children through exercise routines and works with children’s parents on lifestyle changes, such as nutritional changes.
Gentle chiropractic care can help children live happier and healthier lives.
Safety of Chiropractic Care for Children
Chiropractic care is safe and recommended for children. Traditional doctors largely support chiropractic care.
All chiropractors undergo training in pediatric care. Some chiropractors, like Dr. Desai at Lotus Chiropractic Care, specialize in pediatric chiropractic care, which means she has undergone additional training and education in pediatric chiropractic care.
Pediatric Chiropractic Care in Dunwoody, Georgia
Dr. Desai is a chiropractic expert with extensive training and experience in caring for infants and children’s spinal misalignment issues. She offers patients treatment options for gentle adjustments.
Are you looking for an effective, non-invasive, and safe form of chiropractic care in Dunwoody, Georgia?
Yes, chiropractic care is safe for children. All chiropractors receive training in pediatric chiropractic care, and some chiropractors, such as Dr. Desai, specialize in pediatric chiropractic care.
How old does a child need to be to visit a chiropractor?
Chiropractic care can start when your child is a newborn. The birthing process is very traumatic, both vaginal and C-section births. Normal childhood activities can also result in misalignment in the back.
These misalignments can lead to subluxations, which impact the development of spinal nerves.
Pediatric chiropractic care can correct misalignments in the spine which helps improve the child’s well-being and protects your child from future health concerns brought about by growing up with a misaligned back.
What are the benefits of chiropractic care for my child?
There are many benefits of chiropractic care for your child, including
Supports the immune system
Improves brain development
Helps with early stages of development
What techniques are used for chiropractic care for children?
For children, a technique called gentle chiropractic care is used, which involves very soft adjustments. Your child’s back isn’t going to be cracked like with traditional adult chiropractic care. Instead, very light adjustments with minimal pressure are used.
What type of conditions can pediatric chiropractic care address?
Examples of conditions children have been helped with by Dr. Desai are:
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