Children, Subluxation

Is your child slouching? Chiropractors aim to straighten things out

If your child slouches, it is not because he or she chooses to.

And countless reminders to stand or sit up straight will not correct the issue. That is because the spine dictates posture – there is no other structure that holds our body upright.

Dr Matt Kan, senior consultant and chief executive of specialist clinic chain Chiropractic First, told The New Paper: “If the spine is crooked, your posture can never be straight.

“Over a period, bad posture leads to injury of the spine and causes symptoms like aches and pains that affect our spinal health.

“Many long-term clinical studies show postural imbalances can lead to spinal degeneration due to the extensive and persistent compression of the nerves, as well as a breakdown of the cartilage within the spine.”

And that is where chiropractic – the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system – comes in.

Contrary to popular belief, it is also suitable and beneficial for children 12 and under. About 15 percent of Chiropractic First’s patients are from that age group. Dr Kan recommends that parents bring their children to be checked for subluxation – an incomplete or partial dislocation of a joint – as early as possible and not wait until they experience growth spurts.

He said: “Chiropractic care is extremely safe for infants and children. We use very gentle adjustments and paediatric techniques which involve very light fingertip pressure to correct any spinal misalignments.

“Getting adjusted from an early age can minimise or even eliminate any effect that bumps and falls – and even the birthing process – can have on our spinal joints.

“Much of the degeneration we see later in life is a result of past trauma.”

What are the common causes of subluxation in children?
They include birth trauma, slips and falls, and unnatural or heavy loading like heavy school bags.

An increasingly worrying trend is chronic slouching due to forward bending caused by looking at devices at a young age.

Sitting on chairs for long hours, especially those not tuned to meet the ergonomic needs of children, could also lead to subluxations and more serious issues such as scoliosis.

Coupled with a lack of exercise and body movement due to home-based learning, children are even more prone to developing issues such as postural kyphosis, or rounded back, due to poor ergonomics and constant slouching.

What were some of the problems faced by younger patients that were successfully resolved with chiropractic adjustments?
A parent cited their toddler was diagnosed with an ear infection; was on antibiotics for a while but with no resolution.

Middle ear infection can be caused by misalignment of the occiput (back of the head). The pain results from inflammation and fluid build-up in the child’s middle ear.

Chiropractic adjustments correct the drainage to flow downwards.

A baby was also brought in with a distended abdomen due to chronic constipation.

A simple chiropractic adjustment was administered to his lower back, and his bowel movement was instantly resolved.

Also, a mom was complaining that she did not know why her toddler kept tripping. It turned out she had uneven leg length due to a misalignment in her pelvis.

What does the chiropractic process entail and what can patients expect?
Chiropractors go to the root of the problem and are trained to detect spinal misalignment, resolve or reverse them.

A thorough physical examination in the clinic is the first step.

Next, a full spine X-ray is required to confirm the extent of the subluxation. They make use of an EOS imaging system, featuring a low-dose X-ray detector and proprietary software technology which takes only 15 seconds for a full-body scan and is known to be very safe even for children.

Duration and frequency of the adjustments will depend on how bad and long the subluxation was.

If the damage is not severe, they can usually resolve children’s cases in two to three months. The frequency will depend on the issue and can range from two to three times a week.

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