Why Chiropractic for children?
An adult’s body will function in a certain way, with certain limitations, because of how it is built, in other words your form decides your function. But in babies and children that are still growing it is the other way around. Their form is not yet set, so how well they function will ultimately lead to the type of body they will eventually develop. It is the goal of the paediatric chiropractic to maximize that potential.
As in adults, when spinal or cranial joints are not moving properly they are not able to send clear communication to the brain via the nervous system. The nervous system relies on this constant flow of communication from the joints (called proprioception) and muscles to function and develop optimally. The spinal asymmetry created by these dysfunctions can often have long reaching effects and manifest in different ways.
Some issues commonly associated with joint dysfunctions in infants and children can be:
• Nursing issues
• Poor sleep
• Fussiness in babies
• Gastrointestinal issues
• Postural Asymmetries
• Behavioural problems
• Positional head deformities
• Chronic pain
Some reasons for this asymmetry and why these joints may not be moving correctly could be:
• Birth and related injuries
• Slips and falls
• Poor posture (Desk work, iPad overuse)
• Sporting injuries
Your Chiropractor will assess if the complaint is potentially related to, or perhaps worsened by joint dysfunction and faulty neural communication. Chiropractors are trained to correct and restore proper joint function and communication allowing the body to heal and grow at its best.
It is important to correct asymmetry as soon as possible. During infancy there are optimal times at which basic skills should be learnt. If a skill is not acquired correctly or is acquired poorly out of the normal chain of events pattern, it can interfere with cognitive and motor development later on. This is a fundamental reason why even minor signs and asymmetry should be detected and treated as early as possible so as to avoid excessive treatment at a later date. Often, with children, pain is not associated with their complaints as it is in adults.
The big picture is summed up well by Behrman and Vaughan (1969) who suggest that “The goal in the…management of the child is to permit him to come into adulthood at his optimal state of development, physically, mentally and socially, so that he can compete at his most effective level”