The paediatric chiropractor has one primary aim – to optimize the potential of function since children and babies form is not yet set.
Joint restrictions (i.e. having decreased range of motion, experiencing pain and not being able to move properly) relating to the cranium and spine often interrupts the communication between the nervous system and brain. The nervous system depends on an uninterrupted flow of communication from the joints (referred to as proprioception) and muscles to function and develop to the best of their ability. The spinal asymmetry created by these dysfunctions can often have unnecessary extensive effects and manifest in various ways.
Some issues commonly associated with joint dysfunctions in infants and children include nursing issues, poor sleep, fussiness in babies, gastrointestinal issues, postural asymmetries, behavioural problems, torticollis, positional head deformities, chronic pain and headaches. Research studies have shown that manual therapy may decrease crying by up to 1.25 hours per day in irritable infants.
Chiropractors are educated to assess your complaint and to establish whether the complaint is related to disruptive neural communication and joint dysfunction. These issues could be resorted with restoring proper joint function and communication allowing the body to heal and flourish during development.
It is essential to correct dysfunction as early as possible. There are specified times at which milestones should be acquired during infancy. Cognitive and motor development could be troublesome in the future if a skill is not acquired accordingly. Therefore, even the smallest signs and asymmetry should be identified and treated as soon as possible in order to avoid intensive care in the future. Pain is not always related to the complaints in children as it is in adults.
Numerous research studies have been conducted on the safety of chiropractic care in children and has been established to be remarkably safe. The methods implemented during treatment of babies and children are modified to be relevant for their age and development. The scientific evidence available had led to the development of a model of care on which these modifications are based. The manual therapy utilized when treating babies and children strictly adheres to this model of care.
Chiropractic care has proven to be a safe, effective as well as cost effective method of healthcare for babies in one of the latest studies involving more than 2000 mothers. The benefits of chiropractic care seen in this study included improved tummy time, feeding and sleeping, as well as reduced crying. Recently an Australian survey of 27 000 parents who had used chiropractic care for their children found no complications. Furthermore, more than 99% of the parents responded positively about their experience implementing chiropractic care for their little ones.