Care for children many times should start with the newborn or infant. Many mothers can tell you the difficulty of the birth process from their perspective, but it is also a physically demanding process for the infant. The baby’s neck may be pulled and twisted, shoulders may get caught and squeezed – all affecting their cervical and thoracic spine – especially in difficult births. Even for women who have a c-section, the force required to birth the baby through this procedure may require considerable strain on spinal structures of the infant.
In the Austrian scientific journal, Manuelle Medizin, researchers examined 1,250 infants five days after birth, and discovered that 25% were suffering from vomiting, irritability and sleeplessness. Examination showed that 75% of these infants had cervical (neck) strain, and that treatment for their neck problems often resulted in immediate relief of their irritability. Signs of spinal strain that parent or pediatrician might notice include: persistent tilting of the head, preferring to only turn the head to one side, a diagnosis of torticollis, or one leg appearing to be longer or stiffer than the other. Chiropractors have gentle, soft-contact techniques to correct these problems in their littlest patients.
There are many indications that a child should be checked by a chiropractor that a parent or health care provider can identify on their own. These include the following list:
- One shoulder appearing higher than the other when the child is standing
- One leg appearing longer than the other when the child is lying down
- “Toeing in” or “toeing out”
- Following a car accident, fall, or sports injury
- Persistent headaches or ear infections
- Being more comfortable sleeping with several pillows stacked under their head
- A diagnosis of “growing pains” or scoliosis
- Stiffness of movement during sports or play
- Neck or back pain from carrying backpacks
- Not able to turn their head as far to one side as the other, or holding their head tilted
- Urge to “crack” their neck or back themselves
One of the major reasons for getting children checked by a chiropractor includes the concern over scoliosis, possibly identified at a school physical. Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that often develops in a child’s growing years. According to the scientific journal Spine, children and adolescents with slight scoliosis have disturbances with postural equilibrium, causing a lack of normal feedback from their muscles. If a scoliosis progresses to an advanced stage, there can be pressure on internal organs such as the lungs and heart, impairing their function. It is widely agreed that chiropractors are well-equipped to work with children with scoliosis. Last fall, researchers reported in Musculoskeletal Disorders that the “use of spinal manipulation appeared to significantly reduce the severity of [scoliosis] in all subjects.” Chiropractic care is a conservative, non-invasive option for parents who are concerned about a child’s scoliosis.
If you want us to evaluate your children and see if they would benefit from chiropractic, feel free to call our office at (704) 987-3993 or log on to our website at www.lakenormanspine.com.