Between school and winter weather, many parents may be feeling concerned about their children’s health. But parents don’t have to feel helpless. Chiropractic medicine is one of many ways parents can help ensure their child remains in optimal health this school year.
Like adults, a child’s health can greatly benefit from the preventative health care and holistic treatment methods chiropractic medicine offers. Chiropractic physicians treat patients of every age and can adjust anyone throughout any stage of life. They also have the expertise needed to treat a number of common children’s conditions.
Here are some reasons why you should consider bringing your child to a chiropractic physician:
Chiropractic physicians treat patients using gentle and noninvasive modalities.
Compared to adults, the medical treatment children receive can look very different. Many medications such as over-the-counter cold medicines and aspirin are off limits for young children, especially those under the age of five. So when it comes to treating children, who can be more sensitive to the side affects of prescription medications, it’s important to consider the most natural and conservative approach first.
Unlike MDs, chiropractic doctors specialize in non-invasive health care methods. By considering a wide range of factors that may impact a patient’s health, such as biomechanical dysfunction, genetics, trauma, emotions, hygiene, microorganisms, nutrition, exercise, posture, environment and stress levels, they are able to determine the most effective natural treatment plan.
Research shows that spinal manual therapy is safe for children
Research shows that spinal manipulation is a safe form of treatment for children of any age. A 2019 study review published in PLOS One found that “gentle, low-velocity spinal mobilizations seem to be a safe treatment technique in infants, children and adolescents.” According to a 2015 study, published cases of serious adverse events in infants and children receiving chiropractic, osteopathic, physiotherapy, or manual medical therapy are rare.
This is because, when it comes to adjusting children, chiropractic physicians take special precautions. They often start by gauging what the pediatric patient needs from a conservative stand point and then adding to the treatment plan as needed. Typically, chiropractic physicians only need to apply minimal pressure to get the adjustment. In some cases, no noise or pop occurs. It’s generally painless and if there is any discomfort, it’s usually some soreness similar to post exercise soreness.
Could your child benefit from an adjustment? Some common indicators include:
- bumping their head in the same area (meaning they are purposefully bumping their head in the same area onto a surface like a wall)
- favoring one side of the body versus another. This includes reaching for an item or leading with one side predominantly
- any aches or pains that are generalized and cleared as not being serious.
Chiropractors can do more than just adjusting
Depending on their training, chiropractic physicians may also be able to practice functional and nutritional medicine and physical rehabilitation therapy. NUHS graduates, in particular, are able to employ a host of clinically-proven treatment options, including:
- modern medical diagnostic testing
- nutritional assessment and lifestyle counseling
- botanical medicine
- physical rehabilitation therapy
Chiropractic physicians recognize that what works for one patient may not work for another. Many patients, especially those with chronic health problems, see vast improvements when treated using a variety of tools.
Chiropractors are trained to treat several common children’s conditions more thoroughly using whole health healing
A child who comes in with a headache isn't just a “head problem.” The child doesn’t automatically need a neck adjustment. Instead, a chiropractic physician will evaluate the full range of possibilities that could be causing the headache. They will consider the total person, as well as the patient's complete health profile and medical history.
A headache could be a sign of infection in another part of the body, or the result of stress. It could even be caused by a neglected dental problem. Whole health healing means asking the right questions and evaluating the total picture before making a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Chiropractors work integratively and can expand treatment options with other practitioners
With a litany of health care practitioners and disciplines available today, it can be hard to decide where to turn. A chiropractic physician, who has a thorough understanding of how each field treats patients, can help steer you in the right direction. They often have contacts with specific providers like naturopathic physicians, massage therapists, or MDs. Through referral, chiropractic physicians can provide many other treatment options.
Even if a patient is already working with another physician, a chiropractic physician understands how multiple health care fields can work together for the benefit of patients. A chiropractic physician is often able to complement an existing treatment plan. Some of the assistance chiropractic medicine can provide is medication-free pain relief, adjustments to increase range of motion and exercise recommendations.
Chiropractic physicians can help their patients, whether young or old, explore natural, drug-free and surgery-free approaches to improve their health. Today, preventative health care has never been more important. It’s just one of the many ways chiropractic physicians can benefit the overall health of children.
At National University, students have the opportunity to treat and learn more about the pediatric population at the on-campus Whole Health Center as part of their clinical training. To learn more about the chiropractic medicine degree program, click here.
About the Author
Dr. Anna Jurik