A child may encounter many physical stressors throughout their growing years and as musculoskeletal therapists, chiropractors may assist in the treatment or management of such stressors affecting the spine, joints and nervous system. Through the use of specialised treatment techniques tailored to children and infants, chiropractic care can enhance future growth and function by ensuring no neuro-musculo-skeletal imbalances occur during this crucial time of growth.
Just like the bones and muscles of their little bodies, a child's nervous system is also developing at a rapid pace. Control of the body and all of it's many functions comes down to a cooperation between the brain, spinal cord and millions of nerves that extend from them to our joints, our muscles and our organs. Just like our bones and muscles need proper motion for optimal development, so do our nerves. By facilitating optimal nerve function through the implementation of chiropractic treatment, we are ultimately ensuring that communication between the body and the brain, and the brain and the body, is as good as it can possibly be going forward for your child's growth and development.
While there is limited research currently verifying the safety and efficacy of chiropractic care for children, it is important to understand the differences in care for children compared to adults and seek advice from chiropractors who have undertaken additional training in paediatric care and diagnosis. Traditional adjustive techniques are not commonly used for infants and small children, instead gentle manipulative techniques are used with pressure comparable to the amount of force you would need to test a ripe tomato. Similarly, infants and children do not suffer from the same ailments afflicting adult populations and as a result, generally respond better and more quickly to methods of treatment or intervention.
Scoliosis, for example, often arises in children around 10 years of age and is more common in girls than boys. Early detection is key to preventing the onset and progression of scoliosis, especially during years of major growth spurts. While chiropractic care has shown to be effective in the management of standard cases of scoliosis, the idea that spinal curvature being the result of things like leg-length differences or carrying a heavy school bag over the same shoulder every day is now a thing of the past. Emerging research is suggesting the cause of scoliosis is actually the result of poor nervous system integration - that is, errors in our sensory input from the muscles, ligaments and spinal joints to our brains and visa versa!
Because of the link between the spine and nervous system, many chiropractors and musculoskeletal therapists report improvements in the occurrence of common childhood complaints such as colic, recurrent ear infections, bed wetting and asthma. While such reports may advocate chiropractic treatment for these and similar childhood conditions, it is important to note there is currently NO evidence supporting or verifying chiropractic treatment for the management of these conditions.
Our chiropractor Ashleigh Mundy has completed additional training in the musculoskeletal diagnosis and care of infants, children and pregnant women and has experience working with conditions such as infantile torticollis and deformational plagiocephaly.
To find out how chiropractic care may assist the growth and development of your child, contact us here or call (03) 6424 5003 to make an appointment.