Good spinal health is key to our overall health. Although important at any age, it’s crucial in children. Our spines carry 90% of our sensory input to our brain. As we grow, this input helps develop our brain’s structure, promoting the cell development that creates the body’s neural pathways.
Spines are adversely impacted by subluxation, the condition that occurs when our spines’ vertebrae become misaligned, interfering with and distorting the sensory signals transmitted through the spine. Your child’s physician isn’t trained in the skills of spinal misalignment diagnosis and treatment, making regular chiropractic checkups important to his or her development and health. Spinal adjustment is a core competency of chiropractic care.
Children’s spines are often subjected to greater external stress than that of adults. It begins even as they’re born. During the trauma of birth, a baby’s vertebrae can become misaligned. As the child matures, day-to-day activities typical of kids can cause subluxation. Regular play with friends, sports, totting heavy backpacks and consistently poor posture can over time adversely impact spinal health.
Extreme sports such as skateboarding, bicycle motocross, stunt riding or in-line skating will cause kids to land hard on buttocks or feet. This sends a shockwave of force up their vertebrae and can damage the spinal structure in ways subtle or profound.
Subluxation’s impact isn’t confined to the musculoskeletal regions. Constipation, chronic ear aches and sleeplessness are typical symptoms of subluxation.
Children who play in competitive sports or participate in gymnastics are especially prone to injuries that impact the back and the resulting pain. A condition called spondylosis is common to those who hyperextend their backs. It can result in a stress fracture requiring a prolonged period of recuperation, which can be aided by chiropractic spinal decompression.
Scoliosis affects about 7 million people in the US. It develops most commonly in children aged 10 – 15, and more so in girls than boys. It’s important that your child be screened for scoliosis, especially if there’s a family history of it.
What is scoliosis?
Our nervous system works to keep our spine in a straight line from side to side. Occasionally, a sideways—lateral—curvature develops. If it’s greater than 10 degrees, it’s scoliosis. Scoliosis can have many origins. In teens, it’s often caused by a postural problem, legs of unequal length or muscle spasms. These can be successfully treated by chiropractors to prevent worsening of the condition.
A comprehensive chiropractic physical exam is the best way to determine your child’s spinal health. At Chiropractic Health Clinic, we use the latest in chiropractic imaging techniques to detect spinal issues. A thorough medical history is first obtained, including birth and development. With children who are involved in sports, we discuss their current performance, goals and challenges, and can further refine our exam to include sports specific criteria.
We’ll thoroughly discuss our results and recommendations, either with you or with you and your child. We may also offer nutritional and lifestyle advice as part of our recommended treatment plan.