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Chiropractic Care For Children

Some parents are hesitant about getting their children adjusted even though they themselves are under care. Our children are so special to us that sometimes, in an effort to be protective, we become "over-protective" and deprive them of a necessary and valuable experience. If chiropractic care is necessary to your well being and to reaching your potential as an adult, then it logically follows that it is even more necessary for a child. After all, they have a nerve system which controls and coordinates all of their bodily functions just as you do.

Their vertebrae can become misaligned - subluxated - just as yours can and interfere with the function of the nerve system. The only difference is that they still have a lifetime ahead of them which will manifest the results of what they do today.

Subluxations can occur at any time. The first one may have occurred during the baby's birth. That is why parents who understand the benefits of chiropractic have their newborn babies checked by a chiropractor as soon after birth as possible. By correcting subluxations at an early age, before the body has begun to function with impaired capability, damaging effects can be prevented. The longer a subluxation is present, the greater the effects of interference to the nerve system. In addition the longer the subluxation is present, the more chronic it becomes, that is, the more the vertebra becomes accustomed to being in the wrong position. Many people who have come into a chiropractor's office for the first time as adults would have had a far greater potential for regaining their health had they received regular chiropractic care as a child.

Adjusting a child's spine is not a difficult procedure. In fact, under most circumstances, a child's spine is much easier to adjust than an adult's. They have not had long-standing subluxations, their muscles are usually not as tense and they are generally more relaxed than adults. Not only are children easier to adjust, but under most circumstances they hold their adjustments for longer periods of time and do not need to be adjusted as often as the average adult. However, with the falls, accidents and the generally active lives that most children experience, regular check-ups are important.

Chiropractic adjustments are painless. Children may, on the first visit or two, be somewhat reluctant. However, rarely do children hesitate to get on the table to be adjusted, especially when they realize that visiting the chiropractor is a family affair. When they see Mom, Dad and their brothers and sister getting adjusted they are usually more than willing to have their spines checked too. Your chiropractor will work with you so that your child will become accustomed to the adjustments. Most children look forward to their regular visit to the chiropractor. Those children who are reluctant at first should be lovingly told that they must be adjusted. As parents we realize that our children are not going to like or enjoy everything that is good for them. Spinach is not enjoyable for most children and afternoon naps are not much fun. Children who are adjusted regularly from infancy think of the visit to the chiropractor as a regular part of their lives and are not the least bit reluctant to climb onto the adjusting table.

Most importantly, parents must not think that chiropractic adjustments for the children are something that they might as well do since the children have come along to the office with them. Chiropractic care for children is vital to their well being and is an absolute necessity to their development and future potential in every area of life.

Regular chiropractic care is essential for optimum well being. A properly functioning nerve system enables the body to reach its full potential in restoring and maintaining function as well as enhancing other areas of life such as job performance, academic excellence and athletic accomplishment.

When a vertebra misaligns to the degree that it interferes with the proper function of the nervous system (subluxates), the inborn, self-regulating mechanism of the body cannot function as it should. This results in a decrease in the quality of life. Chiropractors correct these subluxations.

Chiropractic care is for everyone! The Greater Pittsburgh Chiropractic Centers, Inc. specialize in family chiropractic care. Call the Wexford or Cranberry office for more information on chiropractic care for the young and old or to schedule an appointment for your complimentary family spinal screening now.

Chiropractic and Children: Shown to be Safe

An E-Newsletter of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association www.icpa4kids.com

An article recently published in the January 1, 2007 issue of the journal Pediatrics (a journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics) addressed the issue of pediatric safety as they pertain to spinal manipulative therapy. The study by Vohra et. al. entitled, “Adverse Event Associated with Pediatric Spinal Manipulation” has incited questions and undue concern from the general public from news headlines that have misinterpreted this article. Our Research Director, Dr Joel Alcantara, has critically appraised the study by Vohra et. al. and the immediately retrievable supporting articles. His findings thus far are very revealing about the true nature of this publication, which he will address in a Letter to the Editor to the journal Pediatrics and in articles to be published within our own profession. We will keep you updated.

As the largest pediatric chiropractic organization in the world, the ICPA is making this statement immediately to the profession (particularly to practicing chiropractors) to assure them that the chiropractic care of children is safe. The ICPA is making these comments:

“In a review of the scientific literature spanning a period of 104 years, Vohra et. al. ultimately could only identify 14 cases involving adverse events associated with spinal manipulation. Of these, 10 were associated with chiropractic care. Of the 10 cases, 5 patients experienced only minor adverse events (i.e., sore and stiff neck, sore back) that were self-limiting, did not require medical attention and cared for successfully by the treating chiropractor. Incidentally, 2 of the 5 cases were incorrectly sub-typed by Vohra et. al. Of the articles documenting the 5 cases associated with severe adverse events (i.e., required medical care) from chiropractic care, 4 were immediately retrievable. What does the date really show?

What becomes apparent after reading these articles is the following. The patients had a pre-existing condition that was associated with the patient’s adverse events and/or had a history of significant trauma (i.e., gymnastic somersaults and falling on their head and neck) prior to presenting to the chiropractor. To make cause and effect inferences (i.e., chiropractic care directly caused the adverse events) from these case reports is inappropriate. Furthermore, Vohra et.al’s cited cases involving delayed diagnosis and/or inappropriate provision of chiropractic care was based on testimonials and anecdotal evidence. Vohra et. al.’s conclusion that “serious events may be associated with pediatric spinal manipulation” is unsubstantiated by the scientific literature and reflects a suspicious agenda against chiropractic by those who interpret it otherwise.”

The ICPA recognizes the need and is committed to performing research on the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic care for children. Based on our Research Department review, we have prepared a survey study for both parents and practitioners that will assess the iatrogenisis associated with chiropractic adjustments in children. Be sure to participate when the invite comes your way.

Why Should Children Have Chiropractic Care?

More and more parents are seeking chiropractic care for their children. Many spinal problems seen in adults began as early as birth. Even so called 'natural' birthing methods can stress an infant's spine and developing nerve system. The resulting irritation to the nerve system caused by spinal and cranial misalignment can be the cause of many newborn health complaints. Colic, breathing problems, nursing difficulties, sleep disturbances, allergic reactions and chronic infections can often be traced to nerve system stress.

Since significant spinal trauma can occur at birth, many parents have their newborns checked right away. As the infant grows, learning to hold up the head, sit, crawl and walk are all activities that affect spinal alignment and are important times to have a child checked by a Doctor of Chiropractic.

As the child begins to participate in regular childhood activities like skating or riding a bike, small yet significant spinal misalignments (subluxations) may occur. If neglected, the injuries during this period of rapid growth may lead to more serious problems later in life. Subtle trauma throughout childhood will affect the future development of the spine leading to impaired nervous system function. Any interference to the vital nerve system will adversely affect the body’s ability to function at its best.

One of the most common reason parents seek care for their child is trauma from an injury of some sort. These misalignments may or may not result in immediate pain or symptoms. Regular chiropractic checkups can identify potential spinal injury from these traumas, make the correction early in life and help avoid many of the health complaints seen later in adults. Proper spinal hygiene is an important key to better health.

Another sought out reason for care is the resolution of a particular symptom or condition. Parents seek care for conditions such as colic, ear infections, asthma, allergies and headaches (to name a few) because they have heard from other parents that chiropractic care can help.

It is important to understand that the doctor of chiropractic does not treat conditions or diseases. The expertise of the chiropractor is in checking the child’s spine for misalignments that impair nervous system function therefore affecting overall body function. The bones of the spine, the vertebrae, house and protect the spinal cord. The spinal cord is an extension of the brain and carries information from the brain to the body parts and back to the brain again. Subluxations interfere with the nerves’ ability to transmit this vital information.

The nerve system controls and coordinates the function of all the systems in the body: circulatory, respiratory, digestive, hormonal, eliminative and immune system. Any aspect of health may be impaired by nerve interference. The chiropractic adjustment restores nerve system function allowing the body the ability to express a greater state of health and well-being.

The doctor of chiropractic will take a case history and perform a chiropractic exam to determine if spinal subluxations exist. Chiropractic adjusting procedures are modified to fit a child's size, weight, and unique spinal condition. They are both gentle and specific to the child’s developing spinal structures. Most parents report that their children enjoy their chiropractic adjustments and look forward to subsequent visits. They also report that their children experience a greater level of health while under regular chiropractic care.

To enhance your child’s ability to function in a greater state of health, we can help you find a doctor of chiropractic near you who is dedicated to serving children with the utmost of care. Once your family has experienced the many benefits of chiropractic care—please help us tell others!

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