This is a guest post from Drs. Dan and Lindsay Justice of Justice Family Chiropractic in Kennewick, WA.
As pediatric chiropractors, we are frequently bombarded with questions from parents such as, “Why would my child need a chiropractor?”, “How do you adjust a child?” and “If my child doesn’t have back pain, what are you going to do for them?” Chiropractic has long been known as a treatment for low back pain and headaches, which are symptoms most children never mention. However, chiropractic is so much more!
Chiropractors correct things called subluxations—a fancy word to describe misalignment of bones in the spine therefore leading to stress in the nervous system. The causes of subluxations are commonly from three factors: traumas (birth, falls, learning to walk, accidents, etc.), emotional or mental stress, and toxins—the things we put in our body, knowingly or unknowingly, that our body must recognize and eliminate. When these everyday occurrences happen, a child’s body responds in a protective, “Fight or Flight” response, just as an adult’s body would.
“Fight or flight” is referencing how the nervous system responds to the stresses of the outside environment. We call this “fight or flight system” the sympathetic nervous system and simply put, it activates a gas pedal in the child’s body. This leads to chronic stress throughout the body and nervous system, causing the body to be on overdrive. This leads to symptoms such as ADHD, autism, poor sleep, behavioral issues, inability to concentrate, and decreased immune function. This ALSO leads to a decrease in the parasympathetic nervous system, known as the “rest and digest” system of our body.
When the gas pedal is activated continuously, the brake pedal (parasympathetic nervous system) cannot be applied. This leads to a decrease in the ability to rest appropriately causing decreased productivity at school and work, decreased digestion seen in conditions such as constipation, colic, diarrhea, failure to thrive, and food sensitivities.
The goal of a pediatric chiropractor is to evaluate the function of the nervous system and determine if the gas pedal and brake pedal are applied appropriately in a child’s body. Typically, due to various factors in a child’s history, one of the systems is not functioning well, which leads to conditions frequently seen in the office. Some of the most common reasons for care are ear infections, frequent colds or flus, colic, reflux, difficulty with the digestion system, headaches, ADHD, Autism and overall behavioral problems. Once a thorough history and examination are complete, results are discussed with the parents or guardians to determine the appropriateness and need for chiropractic care.
The chiropractic adjustments themselves are very gentle and take only a couple of minutes to complete. The amount of pressure to adjust an infant is approximately the same as checking the ripeness of a tomato—very little! Parents often ask when they should have their child’s spine and nervous system checked. Our recommendation is to check the child as soon as possible after birth. The less time the body has to be in a state of stress, the better the body can function to focus on growth.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email us at Info@JusticeFamilyChiropractic.com or call the office at 509-222-1132. You can also check out the Justice Family Chiropractic website or follow us on Facebook. We look forward to checking your family soon!
If you do not live in or around the Tri-Cities and are interested in finding a pediatric chiropractor, check out the ICPA 4 Kids website to find a doctor near you.
Side note from Melody: Our entire family has been to see Dr. Dan and Dr. Lindsay (as my children call them) and we have been so happy with our experience. They are both so passionate about what they do and very interested in helping families through health and wellness training as well as chiropractic care. I received no compensation for this post nor is it sponsored, I just felt that this information would be super helpful to some of my readers.
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