“As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.” One way to interpret this quote from Alexander Pope is to understandhow events that occur early in our life truly shape our adult years. This is exactly the case when it comes to the developing spine. The bones of the spine do not entirely fuse into hard structures until the age of approximately 20 years old. Prior to fusion the bones are made from cartilage, like the tip of your nose. This is a huge advantage for a human being that takes countless falls during the learning to crawl, walk and run phases of life. However, despite this advantage sudden trauma through sports injuries, slips, falls, car accidents and now repetitive exposure to poor postures while using tablets and phones cause the young spine to misalign. When this alignment problem begins early in life the likelihood that it will progress into a chronic condition increases significantly. Structural problems such as scoliosis, leg length differences, and severe upper back rounding are common outcomes. Another condition known as degenerative disc disease, which was previously thought to only exist in people after the age of 40, is now being found in 10% of ten year olds and 37% of 20 year olds. Symptoms such as headaches, sciatica, neck pain and slipped discs as well as sinus problems, digestive issues and asthma can all be directly tied back into a chronic spine problem. Traditional, adjustment only chiropractic, has been effective in providing only short term relief of the aforementioned symptoms. Luckily, through state of the art treatment methods such as the use of specifically recommended spinal traction in the office and at home spinal traction, patients of Shea Family Chiropractic not only resolve these conditions during their formative years but maintain the correction for the rest of lives. A common question I receive from patients is when can my son or daughter begin traction? The answer is around the age of eight. At this age they are able to lie still long enough to create lasting change to the spine. By using an at home Pediatric Denneroll (the name brand) a child can work to correct or ideally maintain their spinal alignment which results in significantly better health and reduced susceptibility to disease for the rest of their life. To find out if your son or daughter would benefit from the use of a Pediatric Denneroll or in office traction please contact Dr. Shea at (858) 312-5066 today!