“Children rarely complain about back backs”
I’ve always worked with children, in fact as a student I was one of the busiest in my year when it came to the non-adult population. People often comment – has that child got back pain so young because most people associate chiropractors with bad backs, which is not a common complaint in children so why would a child see a chiropractor?
So given we know that children rarely have back pain, why do so many benefit from chiropractic care?
Firstly, it’s important to know that whilst chiropractors are great a reducing spinal pain their actual training is in working with and improving the function of the nervous system.
Your nervous system modulates and coordinates every experience you have in your body including your ability to heal, your emotions, your responses to stress, how your muscles contract or relax and your posture. It also controls all the internal organs – so you don’t have to worry about breathing, digesting, immune responses or your heart beating. That’s the job of your nervous system.
Your spine protects your nervous system. Misalignments or poor posture can affect how well your nerves transmit messages to and from your muscles, joints and organs which can result in a whole host of secondary conditions – and these secondary conditions are what people tend to seek solutions for.
Common reasons for parents to seek chiropractic care for their children include (and this is not exhaustive):
· Learning disabilities including ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, clumsiness
· Poor sleep
· Ear infections
· Developmental delay eg. Failing to crawl or walking to early
· Growing pains / sports injuries
So if we take the first one – Learning Disabilities. You may ask – how could working with the spine improve this.
Firstly you have to look at the neurological status of the child. Many children with learning disabilities exhibit what are known as “retained primitive reflexes”. These are reflexes that occur automatically as a child grows and develops that means they will learn to crawl, walk, pick things up and so on. Actually every motor and sensory task your brain needs to learn are governed by the reflexes. One example most people are familiar with if you’ve have or have been around young babies is the Grasp Reflex. If you stroke the palm of their hand they will grasp tightly onto your finger. This integrates as the baby gets older and they no longer hold on in this way.
However, if the Grasp Reflex fails to integrate properly your child may have problems with hand and finger control, poor pencil grip, hand writing and hypersensitivity of the hand. Due to this reflex’s association with the Rooting and Sucking Reflex, this child will often also dribble profusely and suffer delayed speech and articulation. You may also observe movement of the mouth and tongue when the child is writing and drawing.
This is one example of a neurological problem that can be detected and often addressed through chiropractic care as it’s a sign of neurological immaturity.
But my child is small, what are you going to do to them?
We’ve chosen to use a chiropractic approach that is so gentle it’s suitable for every age. Our approach uses very gentle touches to the spine that directly affect the physiology of the body, meaning tension in the spine resolves, muscles relax and posture improves. Children (and adults) tend to love it. Our biggest challenge is often getting them off the bench. I didn’t understand selective deafness until I saw how many children ignored me when I said – you’re done!
So if you think your child might be in need of some chiropractic care you have several choices. We run regular talks where we explain about how the body heals and teach you about becoming empowered with respect to your health and your family’s health. Or you can arrange a short phone conversation with one of our Chiropractors to discuss your concerns. There is no charge for this.
I’ve seen so many positive changes in the children we’ve worked with over the years that I believe looking after your child’s spine is at least as important as looking after their teeth. Because your spine affects every thought, emotion, muscle and organ in your body. And health is the most important thing to leading a happy fulfilling life.
Rachael Talbot, Doctor of Chiropractic, Expert in Re-organisational Healing. Webster Certified.
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