Kids and Chiropractic Care

Chiropractors have often encountered parents who appreciate the importance of regular checkups for their child’s teeth, hearing, eyes, ears, nose and throat, but draw a blank when it comes to a spinal checkup.  Spinal checkups should be one of the most important checkups your child should have!

When do subluxations start?

It’s tough to say for sure, but one has to look at the birthing process initially. Usually, obstetricians will twist the infants’ head and neck so far to the side just to get the shoulders to line-up in the birth canal. A baby’s head is very large and heavy when compared to the rest of it’s body, so a great deal of care must be used when handling it.  However, babies were meant to be pushed out of the birth canal, not pulled and twisted.  In situations like this, neck subluxations can occur easily and turn out to be the exact start of a baby’s ‘first subluxation’… and getting treatment early is proving that benefit more and more!

I’m often asked about chiropractic care for children, and most often it’s by the parent who just watched their child get injured – whether it be ice-skating, playing sports, or even a mis-step off the curb that jams the back. I’ve been checking my children – and treating them – for subluxations since the days they were born. Children LOVE getting adjusted, and the videos below prove it. They have no preconceived bias, notions or fear. They only know what they feel…if they’re hurt, they’ll cry. If they’re feeling good and are having fun, they’ll laugh and smile. Although the first adjustment is always a bit ‘unexpected.’

Adjusting a 3-year old

IMG_5551 IMG_5549Children lead very busy physical lives…they run, play, jump, and fall all day long. Any of those activities could be responsible for subluxating the spine, and with children being as flexible as they are, they typically won’t complain much. Knowing that any kind of accident can cause a spinal misalignment, wouldn’t it be wise for all parents to have their children’s spines checked periodically throughout the year by specialists? Chiropractors are the most proficient physicians at determining spinal abnormality, scoliosis and posture.  But there’s more to it than that.  As mentioned in the “Why Everyone Needs A Chiropractor” section, the nervous system has an extremely close relationship with the immune system. A healthy nervous system gives the immune system it’s best chance to combat infections that could otherwise become advantageous and cause sickness. In children, this is even more paramount as their immune systems are still developing.  Subluxations in the spine that hinder nerve function will also retard the enhancement and development of the immune system. The result is chronic sicknesses or increased susceptibility to colds, flu, or infections.


A 1989 study in the Journal of Chiropractic compared 200 children of chiropractors to 200 children of pediatricians. The result?  The health of the chiropractic group was notably superior to that of the children brought up under standard medical care. (Journal of Chiropractic, Summer 1989, p 101-103).  The chiropractic group had fewer ear infections, fewer allergies, fewer cases of tonsillitis, and less medical treatment(antibiotics, immunization/vaccinations).  Most parents have brought their children to chiropractors for the treatment of persistent ear infections. The cause for concern of putting a child on continued antibiotics is real, as is the correlation with the ingredients of vaccines and antibiotics and the development of diseases like autism and asthma.  In the late 1970’s, children got 12 vaccination exposures. Today’s child is supposed to get 84 or more exposures, according to the AMA vaccine schedule.  That’s a 7-fold increase in the number of vaccinations, running in conjunction with a more than 8-fold increase (1:1,000 then, and 1:110 now) in the number of autism, learning- and processing dysfunction cases within the same time period (1977 to 2007).

The methodology of treating children for ear infections is quite simple…get the inner ear to drain it’s fluid.  The Eustachian tubes of children are oriented horizontally up until the age of 10 and it’s at that point that they start to angle inferiorly (downward) toward the throat. At that point gravity usually does all the work, but when the tubes are horizontal, there’s too much of a chance for bacteria from the throat to travel along the tube and not be drained out.  This is where chiropractic care is helpful, because by treating the neck and physically helping the fluid drain toward the throat you lessen the chance of ‘backflow’.  Treatment is usually continued – even on a supportive basis – until a decent weaning process can be achieved.

Children accept chiropractic treatment openly.  They only know what makes them feel better and what hurts. Also, their response times for injuries and/or conditions is often much less than adults because they’re still growing and are more flexible. For another great article about adjusting kids, click here.

Get you children’s spines checked!

ICPA Interview – Why Chiropractic Care For Kids?