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Can You Adjust Children?

A very common question we get here at Keith Clinic is can my kids get adjusted? And the answer is YES! The misconception is that they will be adjusted just like an adult. Because they are much smaller and muscles haven’t developed like adults, adjustments to children require much less force.

The next question we get is when do you know a child needs to be adjusted? Just like an adult, the joints of the spine are palpated looking for areas where motion is lacking. You as a parent may notice your child getting sick or being overly fussy. This is a good indication that they need to get in to be seen. When the spine is sharing movement properly, the nerve signals can move at optimum speeds and the immune response is much quicker. This is important to not only prevent sickness but also prevent injury. Just like in an adult, when the spine isn’t moving properly areas will begin to move more, putting that area at risk for injury which is especially important in the developing child or even athlete for preventing repetitive motion injuries like throwing or kicking a ball.

When Should I First Get my Child Checked?

As chiropractors, we believe it is important to have your newborn checked as soon as you can. The birthing process is the first large stress put on the body, and that is in a non-complicated vaginal birth. If you have ever seen a C-section birth, you will see that once the mom is opened up, the baby is then pulled from mom using large clamps on either side of the head. This pull places a lot of stress on the neck and can cause the first misalignment. The same is true for a vacuum excursion and especially a regular birth when the doctor has to give an extra pull on babies head during delivery. Natural births can be very aggressive and this can cause many issues within your child’s spine and even nervous system. A common condition called Erb’s Palsy is very prevalent which is a condition where their nerves are damaged in vaginal birth due to pulling the baby out and it usually causes mild to severe paralysis to your baby’s upper extremities. The point of this is to explain that birth is not easy on your child.

Indications Your Newborn May Need to be Checked

Improper latching during breastfeeding, overly fussy, troubles sleeping, difficulty passing stools, increased spit up and even if you notice your baby does not like to turn to one side or the other. Although there may be other factors involved with each of these cases, a chiropractor can get some of your questions answered and get you to the right place. Here at Keith Clinic, we see a lot of newborns with these issues and they usually resolve only after a few treatments but sometimes only one!

An adjustment to a newborn also looks much different from an adjustment to a child and especially an adult. Because they are so delicate, the amount of pressure needed to correct an alignment is as much pressure as you can handle when pressing on your eyelid. In the neck, there is almost always no thrust and although the baby may be fussy with their head is being held, once the adjustment is performed you can actually see their breathing and temperament change. During adjustments to the pelvis, pumping mechanisms are used to decrease the amount of force needed. In the cases of difficulty passing stools, some moms report the “blow out” as early as on the drive home.  Newborns who don’t like to turn their head to one side, which can include even nursing on one side, have a better range of motion once the upper neck is free from fixation.

Newborns and kids are some of our favorite patients to work with. Kids will be very blunt most of the time and tell you how they feel after getting adjusted. It is also extremely rewarding to hear back from parents who report an improvement in behavior at school or improvements in breastfeeding once treatment has started.

Because the nervous systems of little ones are so delicate and areas of decreased motion are much less fixed than in adults with more chronic conditions, results are usually seen much quicker. By getting your newborns and kids adjusted, you are helping them improve their biomechanics all the way through development. From lifting the head for tummy time all the way through riding a bike or mastering throwing a football, shared motion in the spine will help develop the proper muscles to keep your kids performing at their highest potential.

Schedule an Appointment

Interested in getting your children checked? Call and request an appointment with one of our wonderful doctors at 704-940-4000. We would love to answer any questions you have and help decrease your concerns about getting your little ones adjusted. Have an athlete in the family? We also teach preventative exercises, which are best implemented from a young age to help decrease season and career-ending injuries!