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If you’re a parent, you know how hard it can be to bring your child to the doctor’s office. The amount of coaxing and comforting it takes to get them to go to the doctor can be exhausting on your part. It’s a necessary part of life, and helps them either get better or stay healthy and strong.
The chiropractor is no different. While there is not a huge amount of information readily available to the public about pediatric chiropractic care, it’s a very beneficial practice that can make a big difference in your child’s quality of life. Keeping kids’ spine healthy, aligned, and strong can set them up for success in the future and put them on the fast track toward a healthy functioning nervous system as their brains develop. It can also help with growing pains as they grow up before your eyes!
The benefits of childhood chiropractic care are numerous, but we’ll delve into that more later. For now, to avoid that headache that comes with convincing your child to go to the doctor, let’s go through some of the most important things you should make sure your child understands before their first chiropractic visit:
Most importantly, your child should be very clear on the intentions of the chiropractor to help them, not hurt them. What really scares children the most about doctors is the potential to get hurt.
When it comes to their spine, neck, shoulders, and hips, they may be even more defensive about it, especially if they are in pain. It’s important that they know that the chiropractor is their friend, and that they want to help get rid of their pain, not cause it.
Painting the chiropractor as a friendly helper instead of a scary doctor can make a big difference in the mood, behavior, and openness of the child to receive the necessary adjustments they need.
Again, along the lines of being afraid of pain, children need to know that chiropractic adjustments are not supposed to hurt, and likely will actually relieve some pain. The idea of having their bodies twisted or pushed on in new and different ways can be frightening and uncomfortable, and the noise that comes with that crack can be jarring the first time a child hears it.
Comfort them with the knowledge that the clicking noise is actually their body healing itself and getting back to where it’s supposed to be, and although they may be in pain now, nothing the chiropractor will do will make it worse, and will actually get rid of that pain with time!
Depending on the condition and severity of the child in chiropractic care, he or she may need ongoing care for a little while before the condition truly heals or feels better. But rest assured, the child should understand that the chiropractor is helping them heal bit by bit with every single visit.
Some may feel better right away if their condition is a simple little misalignment. In this case, they can be confident in the chiropractor’s value right during and after the appointment. In other cases, it may take a bit more convincing over time to let the child know that chiropractic care is the best way to help them heal and feel better, and set them up for a pain-free adulthood as well.
As a parent, your presence and support is extremely important for a hesitant child to have during their first chiropractic appointment. Often times, the child can actually sit or lay on their parent while being adjusted to provide an added sense of security and comfort. If nothing else, you’ll always be welcome in the room with your child as they’re being adjusted to remind them that they’re safe, loved, and cared for.
Finally, but possibly most importantly, your child should know that there’s no need to be afraid of the chiropractor. While it’s important for their peace of mind to know that they are in the best care possible, it’s also important for the adjustment itself. It’s much easier for a chiropractor to adjust a client of any age who is relaxed and open to the adjustment, rather than one who is tense and holding uncertainty in their body.
Children are potentially more susceptible to being afraid of the chiropractor than most other age groups due to the fact that they’re strangers, the children themselves may be in pain, and that they don’t want this stranger to make the pain worse. That’s why it’s important for you as a parent to reassure them that these fears aren’t true, and that they have no reason to be afraid.
In addition to making sure your child is confident in their visit to the chiropractor, there is some other information you should know about pediatric chiropractors that will help you, as a parent, also feel confident in your decision to start your child on this path toward a healthy spine and nervous system.
Pediatric chiropractic benefits are numerous and varied, but here are some of the most striking benefits of chiropractic care for infants, and children of any age:
Most of all, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s much easier to align and cultivate a child’s spine as they grow, rather than fixing their spine a few decades down the road when their issues may be much worse.
The physical, mental, and overall developmental benefits of seeing a pediatric chiropractor are overwhelming positive. It aids in their growth and keeps them healthy in more ways than one. When the spine and nervous system is healthy and functioning properly, the child will live a more fulfilling life now and in the future.
There’s somewhat limited information out there about pediatric chiropractic care, and we want to dispel any common myths you might hear about the practice so that you can feel good about bringing your child into the office and getting them adjusted. Childhood chiropractor safety is verified by numerous studies and practices, so you should feel confident bringing your child in.
Actually, it’s never too early to have your child evaluated and adjusted by a chiropractor. From the minute they leave the womb, which in itself is a very common time a misalignment can occur, your baby is susceptible to a spinal issue.
Don’t worry though – it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with them, or that it can’t be fixed. Chiropractors can help at any stage of development, no matter how long ago the misalignment occurred.
However, when children are infants/toddlers especially, they may not have the speech skills to articulate to you that they are in pain due to a spinal issue. That’s why it’s important to have regular check-ups at this age and throughout childhood to make sure they’re developing properly.
While pediatricians can provide very comprehensive overall care, chiropractors are trained differently and can detect issues in your child’s spine that a pediatrician may miss during their check-up.
For example, regular chiropractic care can help infants who are crawling improperly, or who only seem to sleep on one side, whereas a pediatrician may not have the training to make the proper adjustments in these cases.
While it’s imperative that your child sees a chiropractor whenever they have an injury, they’re better off if they already have a strong spinal/central nervous system foundation. This makes them less susceptible to serious injury, and can help their bodies heal themselves faster. If your child is especially rambunctious, you’ll want to make sure they’re regularly seeing a chiropractor to keep them healthy.
This may be the basis for the training for the practice, there are certain courses, programs, and other resources available to chiropractors that help them train for family or pediatric chiropractic practices.
One of the best things about the chiropractic industry is that it’s constantly evolving with new ways to treat people better, smarter, and more comprehensively, and that includes children!
It’s important that both you and your child are confident in your decision to bring them to regular chiropractic adjustments. Make sure they know that you’re with them through the whole experience and that there’s nothing to be afraid of. Arm yourself with the knowledge of the benefits of chiropractic care, and the common myths that you can put out of your head. With all of this in mind, book your first appointment for your child today at Better Health!
Dr. Brent Wells has been a trusted chiropractor since moving his family from Oregon to Alaska back in 1998 and founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab – B.S. from Univ. of Nevada, Doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College, volunteer for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Foundation, and member of the American Chiropractic Association. As a chiropractor his focus is on family, including his 3 children and wife of 20+ years, his clinics, and ongoing education.