As parents, we are on a never-ending quest to make our children healthier, stronger, smarter and more indestructible. From kale-berry smoothies to kid yoga, what haven’t we investigated and tested on them?
For some of you, chiropractic for kids may be your quinoa. You’ve heard about it, but aren’t sure what it entails. Maybe you think it’s only for older people with back and neck pain. Or maybe you’ve heard that it’s only for your budding athletes, who are getting a little too roughed up and tumbled on the field or court.
The truth is, chiropractic, which studies and treats misalignment of bones (primarily spinal column, but other joint areas as well), is an excellent system of care for any age child, injured or not. The spinal column houses your nerves, which carry messages from your brain to the rest of your body. If your spinal column is in misalignment, this will impair how well your nervous system functions and ultimately, the functioning of other organs/systems in your body.
So, what’s an easy way to learn what chiropractic can do for your kids? How about a fireside chat with Dr. Seth Lueders, trusted South Bay chiropractor? Read and see for yourself:
- What is your favorite part about living and working in the Bay Area?
I moved here from the east coast in 1978 and never looked back. I love the climate and all it allows you to do. As an avid runner, cyclist and hiker, you can’t beat what the Bay Area has to offer in terms of open spaces, mountains, trails and ocean views. I love living here with my three adult children and wife, who also works with me in my office.
- Is there such a thing as “too young” to be evaluated by a chiropractor?
No. Every newborn has a lifetime of incredible potential and chiropractic only maximizes that. Think about the birthing process – even if delivery is fairly gentle, pulling and twisting of the head necessarily occurs. Newborns can be found with sprains and misalignments, regardless of method of delivery. The head can be engaged deep down in a mother’s pelvis, even during c-section delivery. At times, there is some pulling from the feet. The head has to be turned 90 degrees to deliver. In cases of a difficult delivery, there can be 50 to 70 pounds of pressure applied. All of this results in a dramatic pull on the baby, with consequences ranging from misalignment’s to tearing of the cervical spine.
For babies and toddlers, they may fall hundreds of times while learning how to play, crawl and walk. And how many times have our babies rolled off the bed?
We have a tendency to brush these injuries off. But injury upon injury over the course of years can lead to further problems down the line.
- What are some conditions we see in babies and toddlers that could be attributed to misalignment’s?
There are many conditions that involve interference with the nervous system. Nerve interference causes obstacles to functioning normally in terms of various bodily functions, and you don’t want to risk those obstacles developing into physical or developmental delays. Some conditions that chiropractic has been known to address include (but are not limited to):
- Ear infections
- Stomach problems
- Weak suckling reflex
- Ability to nurse from both breasts
- What successes have you had in treating children?
I regularly treated my own three kids and over the course of their younger years, they had very few ear infections and other early childhood issues.
I’ve treated children with asthma. One patient’s asthma was so out of control despite inhalers, etc. He had dark circles under his eyes and couldn’t breathe easily. He was in emotional and physical distress as a result. After an initial adjustment, his mother called me. It was as though a switch had been flipped. He was breathing better, sleeping better. His life was literally turned around.
I’ve treated children for sleeplessness, too. I treated a 5-year old who hadn’t slept well in days. She had been to medical doctors – but will little success. She had occasional fever spikes, too. I checked and adjusted her atlas (top bone in neck) – she went home and slept 18 hours, no recurrence of symptoms. The area of the spinal cord that I worked on contains breathing control centers, immune response, hot/cold temperature regulation. When you take pressure off of that area, there is greater potential for optimum function of other systems.
- Is there value in chiropractic for expectant mothers in terms of their newborn’s health?
Certainly. The concept of Fetal or Prenatal Programming – the idea that external factors can influence the environment and development of the fetus – supports the positive impacts chiropractic can have. Conditioning of an expectant mother will affect the baby’s mind/body. An expectant mother, afraid and in pain, unintentionally communicates these feelings to the fetus. Physically, pregnancy can take a toll on the pelvis as the baby grows. Breathing becomes harder, the ribs are compressed. By improving the mother’s posture, we relieve pressure.
- How do you handle assessments and adjustments for children who may be too young to verbalize what they are feeling?
For older kids, we rely on objective evaluation. For example, with assessing the upper neck, we may use a leg length check. The muscles will tighten on one side of the spine, indicating which joints are in misalignment.
For infants, we may do a stretch test. This is a gentle method of stretching infants to release or pull apart adhesion’s. If bones are misaligned, gentle presses are how they are corrected. At this young age, the bone is more easily realigned – so you wouldn’t hear the pops or cracks that you would hear in treating older children and adults.
In this age of new inventions and alternative medicines, sometimes the old adage rings true; an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Chiropractic could be a fantastic method to prevent problems from ever developing.
To learn more about what chiropractic can do for your kids (and you!), you can reach Dr. Lueders at http://www.asanjosechiropractor.com/.