At Mona Vale Chiropractic and Natural Therapies our aim is to provide the highest level of care for children. We believe each individual deserves to have a fully functioning nervous system – the master system that controls how your child feels, grows, breathes, digests, runs, rests and plays.
Chiropractic is principally about restoring optimal communication between the brain and body.
We believe this is especially important in children because their nervous system is experiencing rapid growth and development, In fact between 2 months and 2 years of age, the brain forms 1.8 million new connections every second!
Now let’s have a think about some of the physical factors that may upset the delicate spine and nervous system in Babies and Older Children:
Beginning within the womb, the foetus may experience unnaturally cramped positions and adopt an uncomfortable birth presentation (such as breech). We know the birth process that follows may be traumatic for babies as well as mum. High forces are experienced by the baby’s cranium, neck and shoulders in particular – even more so with assisted delivery techniques such as forceps or vacuum extraction.
Research1 indicates that up to 70% of infants have one or more asymmetries stemming from birth suggesting infants may receive musculoskeletal injuries even through non-traumatic births. This said, it is interesting to note that in this age group, the majority of presentations to chiropractors worldwide2,3 are for non-musculoskeletal complaints.
With extensive postgraduate paediatric training, Dr Stefan (Chiropractor) is familiar with a wide range of infant presentations.
Our first step is a thorough history covering pregnancy and birth factors, sleeping and feeding patterns, and assessing maternal nutrition and any allergy profile. Then after a detailed physical examination including assessment of developmental milestones, postural and primitive reflexes, we will discuss all findings with you before starting care.
When working with infants our methods differ from those used on adults, often requiring only light fingertip pressure, cranial mobilisation, and other low force techniques. Naturally we refer whenever appropriate and so we work closely with a network of Lactation Consultants, GPs, Midwives, Naturopaths and Sleep Consultants.
Growing up means surviving all those accidental falls off the bed or change table, the jarring falls as you learn to walk, ride a bike and take up sport. These falls and accidents may result in spinal injury or joint dysfunction - potentially upsetting the normal nerve signals within the spinal cord or adjacent nerve roots.
Chiropractors assess for joint dysfunction called Subluxation. As you can imagine addressing these findings promptly makes a lot of sense.
Parents of school aged kids are all too familiar with the heavy school bags, hours playing computer games, looking down at iPads and phones that has become today’s norm. In practice we see the cumulative effect of this, commonly presenting as postural concerns, neck tension or headache.
And growth spurts bring problems of their own - This is the key time to pick up spinal curvature (scoliosis) and growth plate disorders. Yes, the chiropractic profession plays a significant role in managing or co-managing these conditions too. In some cases, the earlier these problems are addressed the better the result.
Again, all treatment methods are selected based on safety, effectiveness and your child’s comfort and modified to suit their age, physical size and condition. And our holistic approach means we also consider any necessary changes to nutrition, orthotics, or a set of tailored exercises.
Chiropractic care is a low risk modality of health care and the safety record of Chiropractic care in Australia is exemplary6.
Chiropractors have been caring for children for over 100 years, and worldwide currently there are in excess of 30 million child visits each year4. While it must be acknowledged that any form of intervention carries some risk, there have been few if any serious adverse events reported in literature in the past twenty years despite utilisation rates for chiropractors increasing significantly in this time5.
All available evidence suggests that manual therapy for the paediatric patient in the hands of a skilled chiropractor carries a very low risk indeed.
If you would like to find out if Chiropractic care could benefit your child, call 9979 7700 to arrange an appointment or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you.
1. Miller J, Fontana M, Jernkas K, Olofsson H, Verwijst I. Risks and rewards of early musculoskeletal assessment. Journal of Health Visiting Oct 2013 Vol 1(10)
2. Hestbaek L, Jorgensen A, Hartvigsen J. A description of children and adolescents in Danish chiropractic practice: results from a nationwide survey. J. Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2009;32(8):607-16
3. Marchand AM. Chiropractic care of children from birth to adolescence and classification of reported conditions: an internet cross-section survey of 956 European chiropractors. J. Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2012:35(5):372-80.
4. Lee AC, Li DH, Kemper KJ, Chiropractic care for children Archives of Paediatric Adolescent Medicine. 2000;154(4):401-7.
5.Todd A, Carroll M, Robinson E, Mitchell E. Adverse events due to chiropractic and other manual therapies for infants and children: A review of the Literature J. Manipulative Physiol. Ther. 2014 (Oct 30)
6.Chiropractors Association Of Australia. Media Release 11 May 2016 Chiropractic Safety Record in Australia. www.chiropractors.asn.au