Chiropractic care is for everyone, but I (Dr. Gardner) find that people are often surprised to learn that small children and even infants can receive and benefit from chiropractic adjustments. I’d like to briefly address a few of the most common questions and answers.
Why would an infant or child need a chiropractic adjustment?
By the time a baby is full term, the womb is a pretty cramped place to live—and being born can create some trauma in the body as well! It is not uncommon for children to be “born” with some spinal misalignment. And anyone who has been around a young child knows that by the age of 2 most kids have fallen a number of times—out of bed, down a step or two, or even just the repetitive “up and down” of learning to walk. Some of these falls are more traumatic than others, but any jarring of the spine can create a subluxation that would benefit from correction.
How can I tell if my child needs an adjustment?
Unless your child has a severe problem, it is easy for subluxations to go undetected—much like a cavity is not readily apparent until it becomes a major issue. But trained chiropractors (like trained dentists) can find and correct problems before they become severe. There are, however, some common indicators a parent may notice: a child’s head consistently being tilted to one side, restricted neck motion on one side, difficulty nursing on one side, disturbed sleeping patterns, persistent earaches, colic, bed-wetting, constipation, and growing pains. Some of these symptoms are caused by factors other than subluxation, but subluxation can and does contribute to all of these.
What does treatment typically involve?
Children’s spines are more mobile than an adult’s, so a very light finger-tip adjustment is sufficient to correct misalignment. Also, fewer visits are required to restore normal function than what is typical for an adult. Adjustments generally do not hurt, but children sometimes cry momentarily from fear or surprise.