Alternate title for this might be “Confessions of a Former Chiropractic Assistant”. I worked as a CA while I was in graduate school, and it’s part of what launched my passion for integrative and functional medicine. I have an extra special place in my heart for chiropractic care.
1.Chiropractic manipulation corrects subluxations. A luxated joint is one that is completely out of place. A subluxation is a level underneath a full blown luxation, but does recommend a misalignment from its optimal position. Since the nerves that control our entire body exit from the spinal vertebrae, if a patient has a spinal subluxation, it may cause nerve entrapment. This nerve entrapment leads to less than optimal nervous system function, which can also suppress other body systems depending on which vertebrae are misaligned.
2.Symptoms of spinal misalignment are different in kids than adults. Most adults visit a chiropractor when they experience spinal or back pain secondary to a spinal subluxation. In children, the following are common symptoms of subluxations: attention/focus disorders; behavioral problems; failure to thrive; frequent fatigue; recurrent infections; and moderate to severe environmental allergies/sensitivities. Few of these are things that a child will complain about. Also, many of the children who are most sensitive to spinal subluxations may be non-verbal or have limited verbal ability. Be your child’s advocate and keep an eye out for these symptoms. If something seems off or out of the ordinary, get a chiropractic evaluation.
3.Consider starting chiropractic care before your child is symptomatic. Did you know you can start chiropractic care in the first year of your little one’s life? In fact, that’s one of the best times to start seeing a chiropractor! The birth process can be really traumatic on a baby’s spine, which may lead to or exacerbate digestive issues and colic. The spine grows up to 50% in length during the first year, so early chiropractic care can prevent structural and functional issues later in life.
4.Just like other doctors, chiropractors can specialize in pediatrics. Children’s spines are a lot more flexible and their vertebrae contain varying amounts of cartilage depending on how old they are. Because of this, children do not need forceful adjustments. Before taking your child a chiropractor, call around and ask questions. All chiropractors are required to take pediatric courses and complete clinical rotations in pediatrics. However, there are post post-doctoral programs that provide additional training and certification in pediatric and pre-natal care. Things to look for or ask about might be a Diplomate in Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics (offered by the International Chiropractic Association); membership in the International Pediatric Chiropractic Association; or special private studies with well known pediatric chiropractic physicians. Private studies may not come with a fancy title, but the experience is invaluable, especially if they’ve studied under a neurodevelopmental specialist like Drs. Spoelstra or Tullius. Once you get into the office, it should be clean and comfortable for you and your child. Your child’s comfort in the office and with their practitioner are so important!
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The views expressed in this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition and should not be substituted for medical or nutritional advice.