Does Your Child Need To Be Examined By a Pediatric Chiropractic Specialist?
Health issues that affect babies and children may follow them as they grow into adulthood. Although many hope that children will “grow out” of a problem, due to the body’s amazing ability to adapt, underlying issues are likely to create compensations that cover up the original concern. These compensations accumulate as the child develops and will affect their health throughout their lifetime.
If your child has had any of the following in their health history, an examination by a pediatric chiropractor is essential to determine the extent of spinal weakness and nervous system injury.
■ Maternal health issues, pelvic misalignment, poor diet or other pregnancy challenges
■ Intrauterine constraint such as baby positioned breech, transverse, or oblique
■ Difficult, prolonged or precipitous (fast) labor
■ Diagnosis of CPD (Cephalo Pelvic Distortion)
■ Rotation or traction of the head, neck or shoulders during vaginal delivery by use of hands, forceps or vacuum extraction methods or pelvis, head or shoulders in a C-section delivery
■ Birth traumas such as shoulder dystocia, injuries to skull, fracture of clavicle or other bones, injury to spine or spinal cord, brachial plexus palsies, facial or other nerve palsies
■ Feeding issues such as tongue or lip restrictions, difficulty turning head to nurse, arching or pulling away in discomfort, difficulty opening mouth, “ratchety” type head and neck movements with frequent unlatching at the breast or when turned to nurse at a bottle
■ Persistent postural habits or repetitively returning to a preferred position
■ Only being able to nurse in a certain position (football hold, for example) or being bottle fed while being held on one side only
■ Asymmetries of the cranial or facial bones ■ Delayed or skipped milestones or newborn
■ Child has spent significant amount of time in inappropriate carriers (“crotch-dangling”, or some front-facing carriers) or in one position such as in some slinging methods
■ Significant amounts of time spent in car seats, swings, strollers, bumbos, jumpers, etc.
■ Difficulty holding up or turning of the head and neck
■ Intense dislike or distress during “tummy time”
■ Rolling over only to one side repeatedly, or other asymmetrical developmental milestones
■ Hip dysplasia, club foot or other joint issues
■ Trauma such as falls off of changing tables, beds, quick jerks or stops (pushes and pulls by older siblings), car accidents (even fender benders)
■ Colicky symptoms
■ “W” sitting or asymmetrical sitting patterns
■ Pulling at the ear, earaches or frequent ear infections
■ Head-banging, body rocking, or other repetitive self-stimulation
■ Frequent sucking on thumb or clothing, mouthing toys past a developmentally appropriate age
■ Decreased immune system, allergies, asthma or difficulty breathing
■ Digestive troubles such as gastric reflux, constipation, diarrhea, frequent or forceful spitting up or vomiting, distention of stomach or bowel, painful gas
■ Use of jumpers, walkers, exercise saucers, bouncy seats, swings, upright seats or other devices before the baby is naturally able to support themselves in those positions
■ Clumsiness, one foot or leg that is positioned more outwardly than the other, gait abnormalities
■ Quick growth spurts which change posture quickly or cause “growing pains”
■ Ears, shoulders, pelvis or leg unevenness
■ Computer, reading and texting habits that bring the head forward and/or down
■ Heavy backpacks (more than 10-15% of body weight) or backpacks which are improperly used (should be snug to the body with both straps across the shoulders and chest strap buckled)
■ Developmental delays, behavioral issues, special needs
■ Bedwetting, head-banging, thumb-sucking
■ Painful menses
■ Sports injuries, repetitive motion traumas
■ One ear, shoulder or hip higher than the other ■ Uneven head tilt
■ Ability to bend head to one side more than other
■ Uneven ribcage or scapula “winging” evident when child is bent over touching their toes
■ Unevenly worn shoes ■ Uneven leg length
■ Physically inactive
■ Sitting too long, especially in front of a computer, TV, or at school without proper ergonomics
Because of the rapid rate of growth and adaptation, the health of the nervous system in the first years of life will determine the health of the child for the rest of their life. Regular chiropractic checkups will allow optimal balance in the child’s body, resulting in a solid foundation for the child’s health as they grow into adulthood.
“Well-child” chiropractic visits should occur at the same time your baby would go in for their “well- child” pediatrician visits as well as when certain physical milestones are reached: holding up the head, rolling over, sitting with support, sitting without support, getting on hands and knees, crawling, pulling to standing, walking and running. A visit is also necessary if a child has a delay in, skips, or does not reach a milestone.