When most people think of chiropractors they think of back issues and posture. While we help patients with a variety of health areas, we absolutely help with back and posture issues. Children don’t experience the same pains as an adult. As an adult we earn our pains over years of trauma both physical and emotional. We experience our pains as dull aches, soreness, spasms, cramps, sharp stabs. We do repetitive activities for years to create layers and layer of damage (work duties, family duties, same hobbies, same sleeping position). For children, the pain receptors aren’t as well developed so that is why your kid can fall or bump into a wall and bounce off and keep going. In any person, pain is only a small portion of the nerves, about 10%, so it is easy for someone to have a problem without having pain.
One quick way to assess spinal health is to look at posture. Looking at someone straight on, from the front we should see a level head, level shoulders and level hips. From the side we should see the ears over the shoulders and shoulders over the hips. We should be balanced and upright with only minor changes. The body is good at compensating so these changes are the way the body deals with stressors and trauma. Chiropractic corrects which the body cannot do alone.
In children who are not standing yet, we analyze the spine by looking at range of motion in the head. Do they nurse equally from both breasts? Can they turn in both directions? When they are in the car seat or swing does their head flop to one side or stay centered? Are their hips rotated? Are there flat spots on the skull? We also look at crawl pattern, bowel movement frequency, sleep habits, and primitive reflexes. Primitive reflexes are something we are born with but they should go away as we age and our higher centers of brain function develop. If we retain these reflexes then we know there is a neurologic issue with development. One example of a primitive reflex is the grasp reflex where a child will grab your finger if you place it in their hand. There are several that we check.
Last week I had a 3 year old boy brought into my office by his mother. She noticed that his head was severely tilted to one side and he wouldn’t turn his head on that side. He would turn his whole body and hold his head still. When asked if he had pain he would point to his neck. She did not recall any trauma. An exam revealed a spinal misalignment of the second cervical bone which controls most of our rotation. It also controls nervous system connections to the sinuses and the eyes and the scalp.
The posture exam revealed a severe head tilt to one side. His ear was almost to his shoulder. When asked to turn to that side he would rotate his body at the waist instead of the neck. When I put a little pressure on the area he would flinch and pull my hand away. Chiropractic treatment is very gentle and the amount of force is based on the person’s size so for a small child it is very light. He did great with his treatment and after one visit his range of motion and posture were greatly improved. He LOVES coming to the office and at night he excitedly asks his mom if “tomorrow do I go to Dr. Brie’s?” I love to see his big smile when I walk into the room. He is feeling good, moving well, and playing like every child should. Had mom not paid attention to the posture change she may have not gotten him help until an ear infection or sinus problem or balance issue showed up.
Check your child or bring them into the office for an evaluation. www.livewellpgh.com 724-940-3900
#chiropracticforlife #posturepointers #choose2livewell