Chiropractors often encounter parents who appreciate the importance of regular checkups for their child’s teeth, hearing and vision but draw a blank when it comes to a spinal checkup. That is distressing because a spinal checkup could be one of the most important checkups your child will ever have! The reason it is so important is because your child’s spine protects his or her spinal cord, which is an extension of their brain. The spinal cord contains billions of nerve fibers that send messages and energy to every part of the child’s body.
Blockages in the Spine:
If there is blockage of any nerves along the spinal cord, any nerve damage at all, then a state of “disease” can develop. Disease is a state of disharmony in the body which can lead to lowered resistance to disease, organ malfunction, sickness and disease.[i] Blockage of nerves in the spinal column is usually caused by tiny misalignments of the spinal vertebrae called vertebral subluxations.
The First Subluxation:
How can your child’s spine lose its natural alignment and develop subluxations? Vertebral subluxations have many possible causes, some of which may occur as early as labor. Injuries can occur to a baby’s spine at birth due to a breech presentation or a difficult delivery that puts too much stress on the child’s body. Health problems in childhood or even adulthood have been traced back to spinal damage at birth.
Immediately after birth, damage can occur if the baby is dangled by the feet. As the famous French obstetrician Frederick Leboyer has written in Birth Without Violence:
“We know very little about our bodies, so little that we forget the importance of the spine… Why, when the vulnerable spine has always been curved, do we insist on holding the newborn upside down and jerking the back straight?[ii]
Toddlerhood Through Childhood:
Toddlerhood through childhood is a very “physical” time. Those first hesitant steps soon evolve into jumping and running, and falls and accidents are all part of a normal childhood. While most falls are minor, at times they can cause spinal and nerve-damaging vertebral subluxations with serious long-term consequences.[iii] For that reason all children need periodic chiropractic spinal checkups.
A Family Affair:
Doctors of Chiropractic love to see the whole family, from babies to grandparents, coming in for spinal checkups. Such “chiropractic families” enjoy a lifestyle that is more drug-free with more energy and improved health. It is not unusual to hear parents state that since getting under chiropractic care their children get sick less frequently, less severely, have less ear infections and take less (or no) antibiotics or other drugs than their classmates.[iv]
Physical and Psychological Benefits:
For decades parents, clinicians and researchers have noticed positive changes in not only physical health, but also behavioral and emotional improvements in children under chiropractic care. Among the observed benefits are improvements in children with hyperactivity, autism, anxiety, low mental stamina, lack of concentration, asthma and discipline problems. Improvements in grades and IQ have also been recorded.[v],[vi]
The mechanisms explaining these results are varied, but there is evidence that subluxation correction improves blood flow to the brain.[vii]
Spinal Checkups Are Vital:
If your child is suffering from any of the common conditions listed below, it is essential to get his or her spine checked for vertebral subluxations; not as a treatment for these conditions, but because all children, especially if they are ill, need healthy spines. Being free of blockages to the flow of energy and information over his or her nervous system can make a big difference for your child’s physical and emotional health.
- Headaches, vision problems, loss of hearing, ear or sinus infections
- Fever, cough, colic, asthma, bronchitis, croup or frequent colds
- Hypertension, nervousness, fatigue, irritability, poor concentration or bed-wetting
- Poor posture or co-ordination
- Allergies, stomachaches or constipation
- Neck, back, joint, leg or arm pain, numbness or arthritis
More and more families are finding that periodic chiropractic spinal checkups for their children make a big difference in their health. Why not include chiropractic checkups as part of your family’s health care?
[i] Dystonia associated with atlantoaxial subluxation. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2001;102(4):233-235.
[ii] Leboyer F. Birth without violence. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984:21, 28.
[iii] Eleraky MA, Theodore N, Adams M, et al. Pediatric cervical spine injuries: report of 102 cases and review of the literature. J Neurosurg. 2000; 92(1 Suppl):12-17.
[iv] van Breda WM, van Breda JM. A comparative study of the health status of children raised under the health care models of chiropractic and allopathic medicine. Journal of Chiropractic Research. Summer 1989:101-103.
[v] Giesen JM, Center DB, Leach RA. An evaluation of chiropractic manipulation as a treatment of hyperactivity in children. JMPT. 1989; 12:353-363.
[vi] Walton EV. Chiropractic effectiveness with emotional, learning and behavioral impairments. International Review of Chiropractic. September 1975; 29:2-5, 21-22.
[vii] Carrick FR. Changes in brain function after manipulation of the cervical spine. JMPT. 1997; 20(8):529-545.