Just because he is not complaining or showing signs or symptoms of it does not mean your child’s spine is not misaligned because spinal misalignment can go undetected for years that by the time it is, it is difficult to correct and takes longer to heal. The key is, therefore, to detect it early,
The birth process is probably one of the most traumatic experiences any of us will ever go through. In order to pass through the birth canal, an infant’s neck would have to bend one way then the other. It may be a normal and natural process but it can easily hurt a baby’s neck, shoulders, and hips, especially if assisted with either the forceps or suction. It is no surprise then that spinal misalignments, or subluxations, often first occur at birth. That is why Dr Matt Kan of Chiropractic First, recommends that babies get adjusted as soon after birth as possible. This is to alleviate any bone misalignment caused by in-utero constraint and/or the journey down the birth canal. Adjustment, or spinal manipulation, is the term used to explain the chiropractic treatment.
As your child grows, other problems may arise. While he learns to crawl and walk, thousands of minor falls, bumps, and bruises may occur. While playing, jumping on and off playground equipment or just running around, he is at risk. Even the bump to his lower back at the end of the slide has the potential to push your child’s spine out of alignment.
Years of bad habits, too, such as the continued use of overloaded. Poorly fitted school bags, bad posture or not taking the time to do proper warming up prior to taking part in sports and exercise, can add to the problem; and, if your child is active in sports, there is an even higher risk of damage to the spine. Contact sports like rugby and football can easily cause jolts, jarring and even breakages of the spinal column.
This is why your child’s growing years are his most important. Not only his he subjected to heavy wear-and-tear during this time; this is also when his body experiences rapid growth and constant change. Therefore any form of spinal misalignment should be detected before his growth spurt, which is between the ages of 12 and 16 years because the slightest misalignment can quickly worsen during these years. The Singapore Student Health Centre presently conducts screenings at schools for Primary 5 children. This, however, in Dr Kan’s opinion may be too late particularly for girls since they start their growth spurt earlier. By the time they are referred to a chiropractor, there might already be considerable damage and will take longer to heal than if they had come earlier.
Spinal problems that go undetected or neglected in children can become serious problems in adults because an injured spine will simply grow misaligned, leading to degenerative or permanent conditions later in life. Allowing subluxations to exist in your child’s body will also negatively influence the functions of his organs and cause his vital systems to malfunction, leaving him more vulnerable to illness and injury.
Parents, therefore, need to learn how to spot of their child’s spine is misaligned. Although a pain of some kind can be a clue, it is not always the case because often the nerves that are affected by the misalignment in the spine do not carry pain signals, which means that your child can suffer from subluxations for years without any painful warning signs. That is why you have to rely on your keen sense of observation to detect any spinal abnormality in your child.
If he is just a baby, watch if his head consistently tilts to one side, or if there is any restricted head or neck movement. Perhaps he has feeding difficulties or prefers feeding on one breast. All these are signs of a problem. Even colic, unusual crying, poor appetite, ear infections and / or erratic sleeping habits can also sometimes signal spinal distress.
If your child is a little older, it may be easier to spot the telltale signs. Just have him stand with his back to you and his arms down his sides. Observe his natural posture. Is his head straight? It should not be too forward or tilted. Then look at his ears, shoulders and hips, are they level to the ground? What about his legs, are they of the same length? If your child fails any portion of this test or complains of aches and pains, visit a chiropractor!
Treating with Chiropractic
A chiropractor would easily be able to detect if your child has any subluxations. Identifying the source of the compromise is key and after assessing the severity of the problem, the chiropractor will recommend an appropriate treatment plan. Different patients have different healing times. While some may experience relief within one or two weeks, others may only notice changes a little later because healing is dependent on the length of time a patient has had the subluxations and the severity of his problems.
Adjustments are painless. “Don’t be deceived by the cracking sounds,” assures 12 years old Jonathan Lim who has been to Chiropractic First for spinal adjustments for the past three months. “There’s no pain at all.” However, if a person is in pain, any movement can be uncomfortable; or if the patient has muscle spasms, then relieving the spasms can sometimes cause soreness. Otherwise, the adjustments are designed to ultimately reduce and eliminate the pain.
As children have generally been exposed to fewer stresses on their system and their subluxations are more recent compared to adults who may be dealing with problems arising from injuries are years old, they respond much more quickly to adjustments than adults. Childhood is also the best time to begin chiropractic care because kids tend to heal faster than adults do.
Children need chiropractic care so that they do not develop the problems we see in most adults and, if we want our children to be able to continue to enjoy the active everyday life of the very young, detecting the problem and correcting it as early as possible is paramount. With chiropractic, too, children can find relief from pain and illness without the risk and harmful side effects commonly associated with drugs and surgery.