People are often surprised to find out that we work with so many kids in the office. Most people are under the impression that children are way too young to have a structural problem in the spine. It is true that some kids we check in the office have no structural problems at all.
However, statistics from the Center for Disease Control show some alarming numbers. Each year, over 1 million children between the ages of 0-5 will be hospitalized due to a fall. Another 700,000 will be hospitalized from an accidental trauma. That’s not even including the number of kids who will suffer a trauma to the spine, but are never taken to the ER!
Most people will never even know or think about taking their kids to a chiropractor following a fall or trauma. The great news is, that kids are extraordinarily resilient to injury. They bounce back up, and their ability to heal is just much better than that of an average adult. However, structural problems in the spine don’t necessarily cause neck pain and back pain, especially in children. What they can do is create other secondary conditions. Whenever there is obstruction on the nerves from a structural misalignment of the spine, many kids can have conditions such as:
- Immune problems
- Ear infections
These are just a few of the common conditions that parents bring their children to chiropractors for. While it’s not a chiropractor’s job to treat these symptoms, they are signs that the nerve supply from a child’s spine is compromised. For many kids, this can be tied to a difficult or traumatic birth process.
The best part of all is how much kids love getting gentle adjustments. It’s often times a parent’s worst nightmare to take their kids to a doctor. The screaming and tantrums on display at a pediatrician or a dentist can unnerve even the strongest parent. A child and infant adjustment is very different than an adult’s, and you’ll usually see kids that are excited to be checked! The amount of pressure used to adjust an infant no more than you would use to check the ripeness of a tomato.
But the most important reason that kids should be checked early is just because it makes sense. When most adults develop acute or chronic secondary conditions, x-rays usually show that a problem has been growing in the spine for 15+ years. Why let kids develop the same problems that us adults have had?
Just like we take our kids for a dental check-up to ensure that they are free of cavities, our kids deserve a structural check-up to prevent the damage of a structural shift.