What You Need To Know Before Taking Your Kid To A Chiropractor

The goal of spinal manipulation, a technique that involves adjusting joints, massaging, exercising, and conducting physical therapy, is to improve the spinal movement, relieve joint pressure and inflammation and to improve a person's overall physical function. Chiropractors use spinal manipulative therapy to treat a range of conditions such as migraines, lower back pain, neck pain, sinus problems, and menstrual pains.

Although this treatment works for adults, is it a safe medical alternative for kids?

Chiropractic care has shown positive results in some cases, but other studies have shown no effect whatsoever. However, doctors are yet to determine whether Chiropractic care works in treating muscular and skeletal conditions in children. This is because chiropractic care has provided short-term relief for kids’ neck pains, but physicians are not aware of the long-term risks and benefits.

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Chiropractic care does not require any prior preparations.

You may only need to plan at least six to ten visits to the chiropractor. However, that will depend on the time it will take for your child to show improvement in his or her condition. Luckily, several health insurance policies cover chiropractic care. Therefore, you could check to see what the terms and conditions for your child’s cover are.

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Close up A little boy relaxes from a therapeutic massage. Male massage therapist makes a medical massage to the back of a child.
Credit: iStock

What happens at your child's first visit?

At your child's first visit, the chiropractor will ask for details about your child's health history. Afterward, he or she will examine your child physically in relation to his or her spine. In some cases, the chiropractor will recommend further testing involving X-rays, therefore, if you are considering chiropractic treatment for your kid, make sure that you are dealing with a well-trained and licensed chiropractor who will perform the therapy cautiously. Also, inform your physician that your child will be going through the treatment.

Chiropractic care looks different for kids.

The adjustments in chiropractic care should be minimal and gentle and suited to the child. The procedure should not hurt, but instead, it should feel like a massage. The process usually involves the chiropractor placing your child in specific positions to treat the affected areas. Then, he or she uses his or her hands to apply some gentle force on the pressure points of the joints.

In my experience, parents should make sure their babies go through this examination early, since the processes involved during birth can cause spinal misalignments. Damage can begin weeks after birth, and if not treated, the impairment may have long-lasting consequences. Considering the fact that spinal misalignments may not produce immediate pain or symptoms, your child needs to have consistent chiropractic checkups, especially because children usually fall on their bottoms as they learn how to walk.

It's deemed safe for children by some experts.

Despite the need for further research on chiropractic care for children, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association considers chiropractic care to be safe for children. However, each chiropractic treatment should be customized to fit each child's size, weight, and health condition. The association recommends a wellness checkup to detect spinal problems before they start.

While your child may experience minor side effects for a few days after the chiropractic procedure, some children feel better right away. This happens when a child’s condition was a simple misalignment. For cases that are more complicated, the side effects include pain in the areas that were treated and headaches. Some parents and healthcare practitioners have reported benefits of chiropractic care to include improved sleeping, better behavior and attitude, enhanced immune system, and reduced bed-wetting incidents.

During that whole process, your child will need your constant presence and support. Sometimes you may be allowed in the room with your child as he or she is going through the treatment to assure him or her that they are safe. Over time, your child will understand that the treatment is the best way to help him or her heal.

There are benefits to your child seeing a chiropractor.

According to studies, the developmental benefits of seeing a chiropractor include proper brain and nerve development, which can help to avert issues like ADHD in the future.

As a parent, it is natural to do everything you can to see your child in good health. There are times when conventional medicine is the way to go. However, there are times when going to a chiropractor may make a world of difference to you and your child. All the same, take your child for checkups with the general physician as well.

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