Somehow the old perception of the chiropractor as a back-cracker is still alive and kicking. Some of the adult patients who come to my practice are nervous about their first appointment, so it’s not surprising that many parents are skeptical about putting their children on a chiropractor’s table.
Is chiropractic care safe for children?
The answer is yes, but I would even go a step further and say that most children will benefit greatly from chiropractic care. First, let’s answer the safety question, and then I’ll explain what chiropractic care can do for children.
Most chiropractic sessions do include a few cracks and pops. These noises are not bones being roughly twisted or pushed into place. In most cases, the popping sound is only escaping gases inside a joint as it moves back into correct position.
Children tend to have more flexible joints than adults, which usually makes them easier to adjust. They also require less pressure and force due to their small body size. With children and adults, I will never force a joint to move that doesn’t want to move. In cases where a joint is stubborn, I’ll simply ask the patient back for a follow up appointment in the next day or two, and we’ll try again, using gentle pressure until the joint is ready to move.
There is absolutely no danger to bringing a child to a trained chiropractor. We understand that children’s bodies are different than adults, and we know how to moderate pressure and force for each child’s unique body. Chiropractors can even safely adjust infants and toddlers.
I can already hear your next question. So, even if chiropractic care is safe for children, why would a child even need to go to a chiropractor?
Would you be surprised to learn that many children, even young children, are already out of alignment and have notable subluxations (pressure on the spinal column)? I’ve known parents who shake their head at this news. Many tell me, “But my child isn’t in pain!”
Most children don’t suffer from back pain, low back pain, tight neck muscles and tight shoulders like adults. That’s because, the body is very good at compensating for misalignments to avoid pain. When you feel pain, it’s usually because your body has been compensating for poor posture for years or even decades and can’t compensate anymore! Pain takes years and years to rise to the surface, but it could all start with subluxations of the spine in childhood.
Additionally, many children do have symptoms of subluxation and misalignments. You just might not recognize them! Subluxations pinch the spinal cord, which disrupts communication to the brain and body. This can cause symptoms of their own or make other existing issues in children worse. I’ve seen chiropractic care help relieve or lessen allergies and ear aches in children, as well as improve concentration, digestive health and sports performance.
Most children can benefit from chiropractic care, starting even at just a few days old! I began adjusting my children within the first few days of their life and continually check them weekly to ensure they live up to their genetic potential. My chiropractic practice is located in 4S Ranch area of San Diego, California. I work with patients of all ages, including children and teens in San Diego, Poway, Rancho Penasquitos, Rancho Santa Fe, and Escondido.