Pediatric Chiropractic Conditions
Generally, childhood is a slightly traumatic time. A child learns to crawl, walk, run, and tumble. Children are constantly in a state of play and discovery. Kids engage themselves in various physical activities and play in all types of settings.
While small stumbles may not seem to cause extensive discomfort, as they accumulate they can cause shifts in the child’s musculoskeletal system leading to discomfort or pain. Unfortunately kids aren’t always the best at telling us exactly what is hurting them.
Even though there is no exact cause of colic, many experts believe the issue arises from the gut. Possible issues could be an immature digestive system/gas, infant acid reflux, food allergies or sensitivity and many others. Other nondigestive factors could be overstimulation or possibly even tobacco exposure.
A main sign of a colicky baby is intense crying episodes. All babies cry, of course, however the cry of a colicky baby is different.
Your otherwise healthy, well-fed baby may be diagnosed with colic if they fit what many doctors call the “Rule of 3s”:
- Loud, piercing cry that begins around 3 weeks old
- Lasts more than 3 hours a day
- Occurs more than 3 days a week
- Continues for over 3 weeks
A study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics demonstrated a significant improvement in colic from chiropractic care. Based on parent reporting, the three-month long study showed that there was a positive improvement in 94% of the cases.
In infants, torticollis can occur due to the position in the womb or can occur after a difficult labor/ delivery. This is what is known as infant torticollis or congenital muscular torticollis. It may be present at birth or can take up to 3 months to develop.
Signs of torticollis can include:
- Head tilt to one side
- Trouble moving head side to side or up and down
- Looking at you over their shoulder instead of following you with their eyes
- While feeding, they prefer one side of the chest to the other
- Infant struggles to turn their head and gets frustrated or upset due to the movement being difficult
The mechanics of breastfeeding seem pretty straightforward, right? Baby, breast, suckling, milk, everyone’s happy. But did you know, in order to feed, your baby coordinates the use of the 22 bones of their skull comprising 34 joints, along with 60 voluntary and involuntary muscles under the control of six of their 12 cranial nerves? Your baby needs to use all of these to learn to suck, swallow and breathe to get the milk needed to grow. With so many working parts, though, there are lots of places where the process can go wrong.
The most common things to look for when determining if your infant is experiencing breastfeeding difficulties:
- Inability to maintain a firm latch (smacking or unlatching)
- Babies who cannot sustain sucking
- Babies who have difficulty latching on one side
- Babies who nurse in only one position
- Nipple pain or scabbing
- Babies who are comforted by constant sucking
- Increased regurgitation following breastfeeding
Pediatric scoliosis is a type of spinal curvature that affects children between 10 and 16 years old. In some cases, it can cause significant pain or discomfort, but pediatric scoliosis is usually mild and doesn’t normally lead to serious long-term health complications.
However, due to the potential for this condition to worsen over time and produce more severe symptoms, treatment for pediatric scoliosis is recommended as soon as possible. This can include chiropractic care and other treatment options like medication, bracing, and physical therapy.
The root causes of scoliosis can vary from person to person. Some may have this condition because of a congenital disability or weakness in the muscle and bone structure, while others could have it due to an injury to the back area.
In some cases, scoliosis can be hereditary. Regardless of the root cause or the severity of the symptoms, chiropractic care may be an excellent option to help treat the condition and prevent complications in children.
There are two commonly seen types of scoliosis: idiopathic and degenerative.
Idiopathic scoliosis tends to be more common and occurs when the cause is unknown. In contrast, degenerative scoliosis occurs due to the effects of aging or arthritis on the spine. Scoliosis can also occur due to an injury or another underlying medical condition.
Common Signs & Symptoms of Scoliosis
- An unusual curve or shape of the spine
- An uneven waist
- A difference in shoulder height or a tilt in the rib cage
- Back pain, particularly while standing straight or with physical activity
What does treatment for these common pediatric conditions look like?
Chiropractic treatment is always adapted to fit the patient, especially when applied to kids.
First, the chiropractor will meet the patient and get a full understanding of their medical history from the parents. Then, a physical examination will help identify any spinal problems or other underlying health issues.
Adjustments for newborns and children are different, using significantly less force. If any gentle adjustments are needed, the chiropractor will use fingertip pressure to make corrections.
Kids usually don’t feel any discomfort during treatment sessions. Chiropractic care for children is usually painless, unless it’s used to treat an injury. Any sensitivity that may be experienced should dissipate shortly after the adjustment.
Many of our little patients actually enjoy the process and refer to the pops as “popcorn” getting out of their backs, and are happy to come back for follow-up visits!
Disclaimer: This information is for general knowledge only and is not intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment.