Many people ask me, "Why should my child see a chiropractor?" I definitely recommend for children seeing chiropractic right after birth for example because the birth process is not necessarily easy on the mom and not necessarily easy on the baby as well. It's always great to have children checked after birth just to make sure that everything is okay. I do have a pediatric certification so I feel very, very comfortable and have a lot of experience working with children.
I want to share with you guys a couple of different things that I see in my practice and that how chiropractic has helped children as well as their parents and families. One of the number one things that I will see is colicky babies. Colic is defined by a baby who cries for three hours at a time, for three days, for three weeks. So three, three, three. That's a lot of crying. And if any of you have had a colicky baby it is very unsettling. It's hard on the baby and it's hard on the family. A baby has absolutely no way to communicate that anything is wrong aside from crying. So colic is a sign that there's something wrong. So what chiropractors can do is we can evaluate these babies and mind you everything is extremely gentle and soft and we use fingertip pressure. So very, very gentle. You can evaluate the baby and make sure and just see how their nervous system is working. A lot of times there are restrictions, usually in the head or at the base of the spine, that can cause some tension or torsion or twisting on that nervous system that is just uncomfortable for the baby. and so they cry. Many times I've adjusted babies within a couple of days, they're doing a lot better. They go from crying for three hours to crying for one hour. So those are huge when it comes to it comes to a family.
Another thing I'll see with the young children is feeding difficulties. So if a baby is breastfeeding or bottle feeding they may have a problem with their latch, they may have a problem with indigestion, or problems with their stomach as well. And what chiropractic can do is help to again alleviate the spinal subluxation up here and we can also do work on the cranial bones which affects how the baby sucks. We can look inside the mouth and just see how that the palate is and if that's unlevel or if there's any distortion or just tightness. So again very gentle releases that can help with the baby and help their ability to suck because
that's their way of getting food.
A few more things that I've noticed, especially as of late is something that's called torticollis. Torticollis is a tilting or twisting of the head. If there is that then a baby's laying on that head and they're gonna cause what's called a plagiocephaly, or a flattening of the head. And nowadays because they've changed everything to the back to sleep so babies are now recommended to sleep on their backs, everybody's on their backs. Which is fine. However it's creating another issue called flat head syndrome or plagiocephaly. And so the two go hand-in-hand if a baby's head is turned one way will be resting on that side a lot more, thus creating a flat spot in the back of their head. What chiropractic can do is we can help to increase the motion of the head, which is oftentimes the cause of the torticollis. As well as do some cranial work to work on moving those bones because they're very pliable as infants. Again, very gently to help the baby to be more comfortable. Oftentimes I will refer out to a cranial-sacral therapist if it's a little more severe and the combination of chiropractic and cranial-sacral therapy are amazing.
A couple of other things I notice are any sort of like motor developmental delays or abnormal motor challenges. So if a baby is starting to crawl and they've got they don't have that proper cross crawl motion maybe one hip is is hiking up or they're scooting on their bottom that's a problem. It may look cute and it may seem like, "oh that's kind of fun," but neurologically the connection between the brain and the body is off. And the baby isn't able to do that proper cross crawl. So what we can do is look at the pelvis, look at the low back, look at the shoulders, the head, to see if there is a way that we can help that. Babies that are having hypotonia or hard time standing because their muscle tension just isn't quite there, by adjusting them kind of turning on the neurology between the brain and the body it helps to establish that connection. I've seen a few babies that have had a hard time with with holding their head up or crawling and walking be able to respond really well once they start getting adjusted.
As you get older ear infections are oftentimes a problem with children. I've got a local pediatrician who sends a lot of his infection patients to me because chiropractic has shown to help with ear infections and reduce the incidence of the fluid inside the ear. The first vertebra, so you see one which is right at the base of the skull, it's right behind the ear here, when that is distorted if it's either pushed to one side or the motionless isn't proper up there it can cause a lot of problems. One being ear infections as well so obviously we'll adjust the baby we can do a little some cranial work and work on the ears it kind of helped to open up those eustachian tubes, and then do some cranial work as well to help everything to move and flow properly. We also do recommendations for certain supplements, ear oils, other types of recommendations for diet too that can help to decrease the incidence of ear infections.
Moving on to older kids - anytime there are falls, any concussions, I don't deal with concussion specifically. I refer out to specific therapists that focus more on that if there is a brain injury. However, every time there is a brain injury there is a cervical spine injury and your cervical spine is here in your neck and if the brain is bruised, there is injury to the spine. So as a chiropractor I'd like to look at anybody who's had as a any sort of fall I mean babies fall on their head, toddlers fall all the time, checking the cervical spine is is a good thing to do then too.
Scoliosis is another thing that I see with children usually it's the prepubescent, usually girls, 10, 11, 12 years old. Once they hit puberty is when the spinal growth really starts and that's when the curvature can expand or can and can worsen. So I've had a number of children in my practice that have come in with 10, 12, 14 degree curvatures that once we've started working with them doing some adjustments and stretching those kinds of things after six months they've had zero curve. So anybody who has the beginnings of scoliosis, even if the doctors say it's mild and there's not much they can do about it, a chiropractor can help for sure. That's great.
Thank you Dr. Adrienne. How often do you recommend parents bring in their children?
This really depends. If a patient has a condition, one thing I didn't mention was constipation that's another thing I see quite a bit. If I have a baby that's constipated, I want to see them every couple of days because I want to get them regular. Once we start to help everything flow better so I'll see them a little more regularly. If a patient has plagiocephaly or has a significant issue then I'll see them more regularly. But just for a wellness care, if there's a handful of things going on, once every two or three weeks, once a month. Kids are growing rapidly, they're falling a lot, they've got a lot of different traumas, so it really depends on what the conditions is.
There are two or three other disease conditions that our consumers have asked about. One is bedwetting. Is that something that you've seen in your practice and is that something chiropractic can help with?
Yes I have seen it in my practice. There are a couple different causes for bedwetting. Some may be dietary issues so a lot of times a dairy intolerance is one of them and that can affect the bladder. So I usually recommend dietary changes, first of all. But the nerves that go to the bladder are located basically right here in the sacrum if you see here on my picture the bladder is here. So if there is an issue with the tailbone, the lumbar spine, the nerves that exit those bones, if there is a concern with how the bones are moving, it can affect those nerves. So that's how chiropractic can help is by adjusting the sacrum the lower part of the back, relieving leaving the tension that's on those nerves there can help the bladder to function properly. There also could be a previous issue with constipation. I see connection between bedwetting and constipation as well. So adjusting in this area which is more the lumbar spine here, and thoracolumbar spine that area goes to the small and large intestines to help to address the constipation. So it's a very well-rounded thing kind of finding the cause and addressing it with a couple different types of techniques.
What about sleep? Sleep and children? Have you seen any patients that have complained about it?
Absolutely, I had one little girl, I think she was nine months at the time, she came in to see me her parents brought her in out of desperation. She's been sleeping one or two hours a night and they had heard that chiropractic can help with this. So they brought her in and within I think three visits she was sleeping through the night at that first hour. That first night she slept two or three hours and then it went to six hours. And then she's been she's been doing that she's now in first grade. I still see her about once a month or so. Yes, basically the the premises is that when the body is is calm it's going to relax and then this works for children all the way up to the elderly. If your body and your nervous system is tense and there's a lot of restriction or tension if you will on your nervous system your body's not going to rest well. And sleep is your body's ability to heal, that's the time that we feel that's the time that children grow it's it's very very important.