We get questions all the time about what age we start and why we adjust children. The most common reasons people go to a chiropractor is for secondary conditions such as headaches, neck pain, and back pain. Since that majority of kids don’t have those issues, they shouldn’t be adjusted, right? WRONG! Although pain reduction is a common goal for many of our adult patients, overall, we’re more interested in the function of the nervous system, which relates to anyone that has a spine and a nervous system- kids included!
The goal behind tonal corrective chiropractic care is to adjust misaligned spinal bones to their proper alignment, which restores the tone or tension of the spinal cord to a more normal state. When this happens, the messages being sent from the brain, down the spinal cord, and out through the spinal nerves to every muscle, tissue, and organ in your body are sent without disruption. When a misalignment is present, it can directly affect the tone or tension of the spinal cord which can therefore create miscommunication within the nervous system, leading to secondary conditions.
We said that, everyone with a spine and nervous system should be checked by a chiropractor. But how can a 1-hour-old baby have a spinal misalignment? The birthing process, no matter how natural it is, places a significant amount of stress on the baby’s head and neck. Typically, in a vaginal birth or C-section, the first body part that is grabbed and tugged is the baby’s head. Although medical professionals are careful and gentle throughout the entire delivery process, even that slight pressure on the newborn’s head and neck can cause the very first spinal misalignment. This is why we encourage new parents to have their newborn’s very first chiropractic checkup soon after birth. Beyond birth, babies can experience spinal misalignments when learning to sit up, crawl, and even walk, seeing as those developmental milestones typically involve unsteadiness and regular tumbles until they master those skills.
Now most people think of chiropractors as “racking” and “cracking” the spine. We can assure that you will not hear the stereotypical “popping” noise at our office, regardless of who is being adjusted. Adjusting a newborn requires a very small amount of pressure applied to the spinal bone that has misaligned. With newborns specifically, we use a very gentle technique that uses no more pressure than the amount of pressure it takes to test the ripeness of a tomato. Did you catch that? It is a VERY low amount of pressure used, and again, no “popping” noises!
We know it can be a scary idea to allow a chiropractor to adjust your new baby, but we can assure you that each adjustment in our office is specific, precise, and is given based on your baby’s needs in that moment. Especially in those very first few weeks of life, it is extremely important to make sure your newborn’s nervous system is functioning optimally, without any disruptions. This can help set the stage for great health and development!