Have you ever walked into the chiropractic office and seen a teenager getting adjusted? Or perhaps a couple of middle school-aged kids? Some elementary school kids? Or wait, even a baby? It is often asked to us chiropractors, do kids need chiropractic care? And if so, why does or would a kid need an adjustment by a chiropractor?
The Spine and a Nervous System
Everyone has a spine, whether adult, teenagers, kids, or newborns. Those spines protect the nervous system. The nervous system is the body’s communication system. The brain speaks to the body through the spinal cord and miles of nerves. The body sends messages back through those miles of nerves into the spinal cord and back to the brain.
Newborns, kids, teenagers and adults live their entire lives dictated by this communication system. We eat, breathe, digest food, move, and engage with life through, and because of, this system. The better the nervous system functions, the better opportunity we have for an optimally healthy and full life. When the spine is restricted in range of motion or not moving properly, it can interfere with this nervous system function. Because 80 percent of the system doesn’t transmit pain, 80 percent of the time a person can experience some level of dysfunction but not have any painful symptoms. Getting your spine checked by a chiropractor and adjusted has to do with the proper health and movement of the spine, not your age or symptoms being experienced.
Trauma occurs in many forms and fashions and the moment we start living is the moment we start experiencing traumas. The birth process itself is a traumatic event. The baby needs to experience this enormous change in which the nervous system begins operating on its own outside the protection of the womb and amid all the stimulus that accompanies exposure to the world’s open environment. It’s a literal wake-up call. It’s common that babies have cervical (neck) spine restrictions (subluxations) after the birth process due to the torque and process of physically leaving the birth canal, which is smaller than the baby itself. Gentle chiropractic adjustments can help correct any spinal restrictions that result because of this. If you’re unfamiliar with the spinal adjustment, understand that adjustments for babies are much different than those administered to adults.
There are so many physical transitions in the youngest years that it’s hard to keep track — rolling over, learning fine motor skills, learning to walk and so on. Most humans fall down more in the first few years of life than they will the rest of their life combined. These falls have an impact on the health and motion of the spine, but folks often don’t think about it in this context. These are traumas. Chiropractic adjustments can help correct these minor traumas so that the effects don’t accumulate over the years to create a massive problem of restriction, immobility, or improper motion in the spine.
Kids grow at rapid rates in adolescent and teen years. Although the sports they play is extremely healthy, it takes a toll on the body. Falls, hits, long practices, and new training routines push the child’s body and abilities. It is important to get the child’s spine regularly checked by a chiropractor to assure optimal spinal motion and provide optimal nervous system function. It’s the best chance for optimal performance.
Now more than ever, our world is full of toxins — in food, in water supply, in soil, in medications, in the environment. Toxins are all over the place. External toxins that we come into contact with or ingest, negatively affects the nervous system and stresses it. With the added stress comes a more difficult time adapting and a less-than-optimal functioning nervous system. When the nervous system itself is stressed in this manner, any minimal spinal restriction will have a greater negative effect. Although certain external toxins may not be able to be eliminated. Getting the child a regular chiropractic adjustment can facilitate less stress and more adaptability.
Kids need chiropractic just like adults. Anyone with a spine and nervous system — and that’s all of us — can benefit from regular spinal checks and chiropractic adjustments. Each adjustment may look different based on age and individual, but that’s perfectly OK. The bottom line is that the healthier the spine in newborn through adult years, the better the chance for an optimally healthy person. Bring your kids to the chiropractor with you on your next visit; get all your spines checked!