As more parents seek natural and holistic lifestyles for their young children, chiropractic care for children is gaining new attention. But there are a lot of common misconceptions on this subject, and parents are often hesitant to seek chiropractic care due to these misconceptions. In order to find a clearer perspective on whether or not chiropractics can be safe and beneficial for children, let’s take a look at three things you probably didn’t know.
1. It’s been around for a long time
Many parents are concerned that chiropractic care for children is new, experimental, and untested – but this isn’t actually the case. The founder of chiropractic treatment, D.D. Palmer, pointed out the importance of monitoring a child’s spine from birth. Throughout the 1980s, several doctors of chiropractic – notably Dr. Larry Webster – laid the groundwork for child-friendly techniques and practices that ensure a safe and beneficial treatment. Dr. Webster created the International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association for this reason, and the association now has hundreds of members with a particular focus on treating children.
2. It’s unnecessary
Chiropractic care is certainly not necessary for all kids, but there are great many kids out there who can benefit from it. This is because spinal imbalances and misalignments can start during the early years of child development – and they can be much more difficult to treat as time goes on. When problems are identified early on, subtle corrections and alignments can contribute to better posture and healthier growth over the long term. It’s also worth noting that spinal misalignments affect the nervous system, and can therefore result in a whole litany of symptoms – colic, irregular breathing and so forth. In other words, careful attention to spinal health can optimize pediatric health in ways you might not expect.
3. There are no special techniques for children
The idea of doctors of chiropractic treating children with the same techniques they use to treat adults is disturbing – but it’s not at all the reality. Chiropractors who specialize in treating children use very light pressure and very subtle adjustments. Often times, gently moving the child into a naturally aligned position and having him or her stay there for a period of time will allow re-alignment to take place on its own. The spines of children have a lot more cartilage, as the bones are not fully developed. This means the possible issues – and the applicable techniques – are far different from those used on adults with fully-formed bone structures.
The idea of taking your child to see a chiropractor may seem scary – but with knowledge and research, the process can be de-mystified. The first thing you’ll want to do is find a chiropractor with plenty of training and experience that is specific to children. Looking for practitioners that are affiliated with the ICPA can be a good step. Once you’ve found someone who gives you a high comfort level, you can rest assured that your specific questions will be answered and that you will be present during the treatments. Above all, don’t hesitate to involve your family physician in the decision-making process – this is a positive step toward building confidence in chiropractic care for your child.