Kids and Chiros:
What Every Parent Should Know
By: Dr. Lauren Millman
Many parents are initially petrified by the thought of a child receiving chiropractic care. However, they quickly change their tune when they witness for themselves just how well children and babies respond to gentle chiropractic care. Caring for children, and even babies, is by far one of the most rewarding aspects of my job. It’s often one of the most misunderstood, too.
I know you’re thinking, “Why would anyone need to send their child or baby to a chiropractor?!” Most people, and surprisingly many doctors, are simply uninformed as to what chiropractors actually do, and that misinformation boils over to a lack of understanding in the care for children. Many people believe all chiropractic care is performed in an aggressive, twisting, and cracking fashion, and they simply cannot fathom the thought of this being performed on a child. I agree with you! However, there are many forms of chiropractic methods and many of them are surprisingly gentle, which don’t require any twisting, cracking, or even harsh jerking motions. The method used on babies is so gentle they often fall asleep during mid-procedure. Just like how adults receive vast health improvements under chiropractic care, techniques are modified to address little spines. In fact, addressing a baby or a child is drastically different than addressing an adult spine, just as it should be.
Why would a child possibly need to see a chiropractor? Ironically enough, I would make the argument that it’s more important for a child to be under chiropractic care because it impacts every aspect of healthy growth and development. For starters, chiropractic care for children is rarely about neck or back pain. In my decade of private practice, I have helped hundreds of babies and children with colic, torticolis, recurring ear infections, recurring colds and sickness, asthma, allergies, behavioral challenges, growth and developmental challenges, in addition to scoliosis, headaches, and improving posture, just to name a few. Quite often parents bring me their child to help improve one or more health challenges, and then choose to continue period checkups to maintain good health throughout their growth and development. This is what we call preventative care. You wouldn’t wait to have a cavity before you visit a dentist. Of course not. Instead, it makes sense to receive period dental checkups to avoid those cavities, or something worse. Just as you value your oral health and practice these preventative measures, you wouldn’t wait until you have pain or health problems before seeing a chiropractor. In fact, wellness-centered care around children is rarely about pain at all, its more about preventing challenges and encouraging the healthiest possible development. Many parents seek chiropractic care to maintain an already healthy child, as a part of their wellness routine because they understand healthy children grow into healthy adults.
The saying goes, “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.” Many problems in adulthood are often traced back to original injuries in childhood that were left uncorrected. Kids are resilient and injuries in young bodies don’t express themselves like injuries in adult bodies. Sometimes injuries sustained in childhood don’t show their impact for years, even decades. This is why we encourage children to be checked after falls, bumps, slips, and sports injuries. So much of adult ailments can be cut off at the pass into adulthood if addressed in a timely fashion.
Gentle, natural care for children is often a very welcomed and happy discovery for parents. When parents discover just how simple improving their child’s health can be, they often respond with, “I just didn’t know! I only wish I knew sooner!” Getting and keeping your family healthy doesn’t have to be complicated to be powerful and effective.