Chiropractic care for your kiddo might sound like a new idea, or something strange that you would never think of to help with different issues that children experience. Some might wonder, “why would I take my baby, toddler or child to the chiropractor, their back doesn’t hurt.” This is an area where we LOVE to educate. We help parents understand the benefits of chiropractic care stretch far beyond just neck and back pain. Chiropractic adjustments impact the nervous system, which is the master system of the body, regulating and controlling all of its functions. By balancing the nervous system with gentle, specific, nervous system-focused chiropractic adjustments, we are able to see some pretty awesome changes in little ones!
Here are five ways that chiropractic care benefit your kiddo:
A large number of babies get diagnosed with colic at the doctor’s office. Although it is used as a diagnosis, it essentially describes uncomfortable babies that are crying for an unknown reason. When we meet these little ones at our office and are able to hear about mom’s pregnancy, their birth story and we see what’s going on in their little systems on our neurological scans, these signs usually all add up to tell us the same thing —their little nervous systems are stressed! The way chiropractic can benefit these little ones is addressing the areas of stress with gentle, specific adjustments that will relax their systems.
Sleep is a huge issue for a lot of the children that we see! Whether it’s a newborn baby who is having a tough time sleeping through the night, a toddler going through a growth spurt or just a busy kiddo who is always on the go, getting adjusted can help calm their system down and allow them to get deeper, more peaceful sleep! The way this works is by stimulating the parasympathetic or side of the nervous system which is in charge of REST, RELAXATION, digestion, immune function, growth and development! This is so important for children so they can grow, develop and thrive the way all kids should! Research
3. Immune Support
We all know that having sick kids is not fun! Believe it or not, we encourage children that are having immune challenged to come into our office to get adjusted. The reason for this is because we know how much getting adjusted helps support the immune system. One study, from the National College of Chiropractic, found that disease-fighting white blood cell counts were higher just 15 minutes after a chiropractic adjustment. Not only are the adjustments good for boosting immunity, but they also help encourage sinus drainage and good chest expansion for those struggling with congestion and respiratory illnesses.
As mentioned, we see a great deal of babies and little ones whose systems have more of a stressed or sympathetic tone. With their bodies in a stressed state, they are not able to relax enough to produce bowel movements on a regular basis. By getting them into more of a relaxed state with adjustments to their low back we are able to see tummy issues, gassiness and constipation improve. Adjustments to tense areas of the mid-back can also help with babies that spit up excessively.
When we hear that moms are having trouble with their babies with nursing/latching, we automatically check their upper neck and the muscles of the jaw for tension. With tension in these areas, babies often have a hard time getting in a comfortable position to nurse. They also have issues being able to get a good latch on the breast. This impacts the amount of time they are feeding, the amount of nutrients they are getting and even sometimes their ability to gain a healthy amount of weight. While we always recommend consulting a lactation consultant or other expert in this field for these issues, we know that relieving the tension in their necks and sometimes upper backs can help immensely!
While chiropractic can be extremely helpful in all of these areas, our main goal is not to treat specific symptoms, but to impact the nervous system and improve how the body functions as a whole! With nervous systems that communicate clearly, we see happier and healthier kiddos!
Is your Kiddo a poor plumber?
Parents, you might be wondering what in the world a “poor plumber” is, so let’s talk! In our office, we use this term to talk about kiddos that are having problems with colds, congestion, sinus infections, allergies, etc. There are two different categories that these kiddos who are “poor plumbers” normally fall into.
The first category is those that have too much fluid in their pipes. Now what can happen in this case as this fluid builds up, it can get backed up. When this back up happens and this fluid lingers in one place for too long, that’s when there is high susceptibility for an infection. We tend to see more fluid in times where kiddos have colds, runny noses and teething going on. As pediatric chiropractors, our goal is to keep that fluid moving throughout the pipes and the way we do that is through adjustments.
Another malfunction that can happen when kiddos are “poor plumbers” is pipes not being able to drain properly. When those pathways are not allowing fluid to drain properly, we can see sinus infections, colds and ear infections. Fluid from our sinuses should flow freely and be able to drain out of our system. When there is poor drainage happening and that fluid is not moving, it can get lodged in those sinuses as well as in the chest leading to sinus and respiratory infections.
What contributes to issues with plumbing?
In our field, we are so fortunate to get to work with so many kiddos! What we have noticed in working with these kiddos is that those with more tension and stress in their systems tend to have more issues with plumbing. So little ones that have had torticollis or plagiocephaly early on, or maybe they had a rough entrance into the world and were very colicky, fussy babies. This population of kiddos seems to be more prone to things like colds, congestion, respiratory issues and ear infections.
Stress and the immune system
In order for your kiddo to be healthy and have a healthy immune system, it is so important to maintain a balance between stress and the immune system. Stress in all forms can overwhelm the immune system, making kiddos more susceptible to the yucky stuff that causes plumbing issues. What we want is to keep that immune system strong, not allowing the stress to overwhelm it, so that your child’s body can kick sickness to the curb like it was designed to do!
How can chiropractic help?
Chiropractic adjustments along with boosting the immune system, help to keep that fluid tends to stall and get backed up, moving. Adjustments also stimulate the parasympathetic side of the nervous system, which helps with rest, digestion relaxation and most importantly IMMUNE FUNCTION. When the immune system is able to react and fight like it should, our kiddos are able to stay healthy and fight off illnesses. If any of these “poor plumbing” issues are affecting your kiddo, please feel free to reach out to us and let us help you keep your families healthy!