Common Childhood Spinal Complaints and the Chiropractic Perspective
Parents are sometimes surprised when made aware of the possibilities of chiropractic as a health care alternative, especially for their children. Chiropractic care is designed to identify if your child has a developing spinal problem. Children’s spines can develop problems just like adults and therefore need regular check-ups, just like teeth. This concept can be very confusing for parents because infants and children rarely show any signs of spinal pain but if they look closely it is communicated through changes in behaviors.
Many parents ask how it is possible for their infant or child to get misalignments in their spines, as they certainly haven’t had years of physical stress on their spines that most adults have had to deal with. The infant’s spine, however, can go through its own stresses. Some of these include the baby’s position in-utero, including a Breech presentation, transverse lie or “sunny side up”. The spine can also suffer similar problems during labour, from the trauma of the trip through the birthing canal or from the birthing process itself.
Spinal problems can also occur during the first few months of life from frequent falls off beds or change tables or sudden stops in cars. The act of learning to walk and the number of simples falls as a result can induce shifts in the large joints of the pelvis or in the neck from hitting their head.
Common disorders that can result from the stress on the nervous system due to spinal misalignments in infants can include colic, torticollis, digestive problems such as gassiness or constipation, sleeping problems, eczema and feeding problems such as a poor latch. Other disorders seen in children a little older can include chronic ear infections/ear aches, sore throats, headaches, neck and back aches, bed wetting (enuresis), growing pains and scoliosis.
These spinal misalignments are identified through careful and thorough evaluation of the child’s spine. Spinal adjustments for infants are very light, gentle, specific, quick and painless, and typically very fun! They involve a light finger-tip adjustment, no more than 2 lbs of pressure which is usually sufficient to restore mobility to the spinal joints which are causing an interference with the normal function of the nervous system.
There are certain signs that parents can look for that can be indicators that the child needs an adjustment. Common indicators may include a head tilt consistently to one side, restricted head/neck motion to one side, disturbed sleep such as 1-2 hours at a time, constipation or gassiness, difficulties with feeding whether it be a poor latch or difficulties nursing at the breast from one particular side, arching of the back and difficulties consoling or longs periods of crying.
Dr. Rahim and Dr. Chamberlain have both completed the 180-hour post-doctorate program with the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, earning them CACCP credentials with the Academy of Chiropractic Family Practice. This training focuses on chiropractic care for families, prenatal/postnatal mothers and children.
Dr. Giselle Chamberlain B.Sc. D.C.