Children have the same joints that we do, but they're not fully formed yet. Their joints are more cartilaginous than adults, so chiropractic adjustments have to be a little faster but less forceful. This is because children's joints are far more flexible than adults. Sometimes joint mobilization is more preferable than manipulation.
One of the most common reasons parents bring their children to see our Chiropractors is for management of chronic ear infections. The other common treatment for ear infections, of course, is antibiotics. In a 2009 review of pediatric adverse drug events in the outpatient setting, Bourgeois et al. found that an average of more than 585,000 pediatric adverse drug events requiring medical attention occur each year; by far the most common culprits in these cases, at 27.5 percent, were antimicrobial agents.
The key to safety in pediatric chiropractic is education. Dr. Cheryl La Grange has done extensive training in chiropractic care of pediatrics and as a mother of three herself, she is very experienced when handling young children and teenage patients. She is trained in the proper techniques, contacts and depth of pressure to apply. She makes smaller spinal contacts uses a shallow, less forceful thrust to correct the misalignment.
Pediatric chiropractic also differs dramatically from treating adults when it comes to the nature of the complaints. Older children - middle schoolers and teens - present with musculoskeletal complaints similar to those of young adults, particularly if they are involved in athletics. This differs from younger children, toddlers and infants, who cannot accurately communicate their pain directly.
For slightly older children, one of the most common reasons to visit the chiropractor is a chronic ear infection.
How might chiropractic care improve chronic ear infections? Fluid is getting trapped in the middle ear cavity, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. Medically, you'd use an antibiotic to kill the bacteria, but unfortunately that does little to reduce the fluid buildup. If the muscles surrounding the Eustachian tubes are spasming, that can close down the tube's opening and not allow the fluid to drain. Chiropractic adjustments stop those muscles from spasming.
Some claims have been made about chiropractic's potential to have an effect on larger childhood developmental disorders and syndromes like Cerebral Palsy, ADHD, Autism, Post-Stroke, Down Syndrome and more. Chiropractic may improve their quality of life by keeping their system moving and allowing their nervous system to work the best it can, so their body can reach its fullest potential.
If you have an infant, toddler or child who you think may benefit from being assessed and adjusted, please contact Riversedge Chiropractic and book an appointment with Dr. Cheryl La Grange.