Trauma, prevention, and performance/improved function are the top three reasons parents take their children to see a chiropractor.
Trauma: This one is easy to figure out. Your kids learn to walk. They run across the floor and they take a fall. Most parents get concerned if something doesn’t look right posturally, if the kid is not holding their head right after trauma or whatever, and they’ll usually bring a child in to get checked. There can be traumas and that can happen at any age. I read this really interesting statistic that I think quoted the National Safety Council. They say that 50% of infants have a head first fall from a high place, like a bed or a changing table, during the first year of life. That’s a lot of kids, 50%. What’s interesting is sometimes that can happen with a babysitter or with an older sibling, and it might not even be reported, which kind of brings me over to prevention.
Prevention: I look at the dental analogy. Dentists start checking kids’ teeth almost immediately. If you care and you check and you make sure that kids’ teeth are healthy throughout the course of their lifetime, they get to keep their teeth for their whole lifetime. Back in the day, most adults would lose almost all their teeth by 65 because they didn’t know how to care for their teeth. They didn’t use dentists. But successive generations have learned to go to the dentist. If you care for your teeth a little bit at a time throughout the course of your lifetime and they stay healthy, you get to keep them.
Well, the spine is made of the same stuff. It degenerates in a similar fashion. If it’s not cared for consistently throughout life, it will degenerate and cause problems. We’ve all seen that 70-year-old guy who is all twisted up, bent forward, and looks like a pretzel. Well, he didn’t just wake up one day, look into the mirror and say, “Gee, what happened to me?” These things can happen slowly over time. Caring for your spine is something that should be done throughout the course of your lifetime, not just when your spine hurts. That’s the important thing.
Performance and Improved Function: Lastly, if there’s enough pressure on a spinal nerve to cause pain, it can affect the other functions that those nerves do. Those nerves control, run, and regulate every cell, tissue, and organ system in your body. That is how everything gets connected up to the brain. The brain does the running, the regulating, and the healing. Keeping those pathways clear from interference will enhance general neural function and allow these kids to grow up healthy and strong. We can make sure that their immune system is optimized and that their nerve system is optimized, so they can really use those systems to adapt to any stresses and strains in life, whether they be chemical, emotional, or physical stresses and really make the body more adaptable. The adaptation ability of a body is what helps it get through life. It can change and adapt to any different situation, any stress or strain. It’s really about optimizing a nerve system, not just about pain.
The main things that people come into my chiropractic clinic with their children for are after a fall or if they’ve been educated in chiropractic care and they understand the true value of maintaining a healthy spine and a healthy nerve system so their child can lead an active, healthy, and hopefully drug-free life.