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Chiropractors have been caring for children for more than a 100 years. The problem is that so many people still do not understand the benefit of regular chiropractic care. Many common childhood ailments respond to chiropractic care. If you have not had your child’s spine checked by a chiropractor, please take the time to schedule an appointment and get them under care – it can save them from years of suffering.

This article attempts to answer the questions asked by many parents about their children’s spinal health.

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Why do my kids need chiropractic?

Children encounter many physical stresses during their growing years.  Fact is, many of the problems we have with our spines as adults started from our early years as children.  Research tells us that abnormal problems in the spine or misalignments will only get worse as time goes on.  However, treating these issues early on, will slow and may even stop early spinal decay.

The earliest challenge our spines face is the position it is forced to adopt in utero or in mommy’s belly. Many women will have heard of fetal positions that can cause problems with labor (brow, breech, transverse, posterior, ascynclitic, etc). What is less well known is that these fetal positions can also cause problems in the baby’s spine as well.

Spinal segments can be pushed out of place or jammed by the position of the baby in the womb (especially if mommy was not aligned herself). If this position is less than optimal, it can result in a longer and more difficult trip through the birth canal, which can compound the spinal problems.  It’s likely that the reason why so many women have complications in birth is because their spines are not as healthy as they should be!

In this way, even natural birthing methods can stress an infant’s spine and nervous system—not to mention interventions such as induction, forceps, suction, or cesarean section. The latter (which account for an alarmingly large percentage of births in Australia), while appear to offer a less traumatic birth for the child, can actually create additional traumas and compromises to the infant’s future health and well-being.

The cause of many newborn health complaints such as colic, reflux, breastfeeding difficulties, sleep disturbances, allergic reactions, and chronic infections can often be traced to nervous system irritation caused by spinal and cranial misalignments.

Since significant spinal trauma can occur at, or prior to birth, many parents elect to have their newborn’s spine checked right after birth. Many developmental milestones such as learning to hold up the head, sitting upright, crawling, and walking are all activities that are affected by spinal alignment and are important times to have a child checked by a chiropractor. Additionally, falls, sports injuries, playground bumps, heavy school bags and sitting all day in the classroom are all physical stresses to the growing child’s spine and nervous system.

How can I tell if my child has spinal problems?

Unless a child has an obvious problem it can be difficult for a parent to recognise when a child’s spine is not working correctly. There are some signs which can indicate spinal problems. These include:

  • disturbed sleeping patterns
  • breastfeeding difficulties in the very young
  • restricted head or neck movement to one side
  • one shoulder higher than the other

Common childhood disorders can also be linked with spinal dysfunction, these include:

  • recurrent ear infections
  • persistent sore throats and colds
  • colic/reflux
  • asthma
  • scoliosis
  • headaches
  • bedwetting and/or constipation
  • growing pains
  • ADHD