Over the years I have been lucky enough to work with a diverse population of patients, including babies, toddlers and children. Those who have been in my treatment room may have noticed the baby mobile above the table. I am often questioned as to why I treat this population, when these patents needs care, and how these treatments are different. The article below is written by some colleagues from AltaVie, a great clinic in Kelowna regarding this topic. Please enjoy!
𝑪𝒉𝒊𝒓𝒐𝒑𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒄 𝒄𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒂 𝒔𝒂𝒇𝒆 𝒕𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒐𝒑𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒂𝒈𝒆𝒔
There have been several large review studies verifying the safety of chiropractic care for children of all ages6,7,8,9. All manual therapy techniques and home care recommendations for children are modified to appropriately meet the physical needs of the developmental stage that little body is in. For example, the amount of force used to adjust an infant is often compared to the amount of pressure you would use to test a ripe tomato at the grocery store10. (Those of you with kids know that they are certainly able to withstand a lot more of a squish than that!) Catering care in this way requires a working understanding of the anatomy as it grows and changes over time. This is one reason why choosing a chiropractor who focuses on or has completed additional training in pediatric care is often recommended.
𝑪𝒉𝒊𝒓𝒐𝒑𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒄 𝒄𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒌𝒊𝒅𝒔 𝒊𝒔 𝒅𝒊𝒇𝒇𝒆𝒓𝒆𝒏𝒕… 𝒃𝒆𝒄𝒂𝒖𝒔𝒆 𝒌𝒊𝒅𝒔 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒅𝒊𝒇𝒇𝒆𝒓𝒆𝒏𝒕
Although the basic premise for chiropractic care is the same whether the patient is 80-years-old or 8-minutes-old, the ever-growing and ever-changing active little bodies of children have distinct needs. Although our care is essentially applied understanding of anatomy at any time of life, 𝒄𝒉𝒊𝒓𝒐𝒑𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒄 𝒄𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒊𝒏𝒇𝒂𝒏𝒕𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒄𝒉𝒊𝒍𝒅𝒓𝒆𝒏 𝒍𝒐𝒐𝒌𝒔 𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚 𝒅𝒊𝒇𝒇𝒆𝒓𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒂𝒅𝒖𝒍𝒕, both in treatment techniques and responses. Generally, we find that children respond much faster and more profoundly to chiropractic care than adults do.
Another major difference is that pain is often not a primary complaint. This can make it more difficult for parents to know when their child may benefit from a visit with their chiropractor. There are certain “clues” that parents can watch for to gain more understanding in this area, such as postural changes, only wanting to breastfeed from one side, being off-balance or suddenly clumsy, always tilting their head to one side, refusing to roll one direction, or running with a limp. Remember, chiropractors are healthcare professionals trained in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of the neuromusculoskeletal system. That means we support the health of the bones, joints, muscles, and nerves of the whole body, whether it is full-size or still growing. 𝑾𝒆 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒉𝒆𝒍𝒑, 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒅𝒂𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒑𝒂𝒊𝒏 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒑𝒍𝒂𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒔, 𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒖𝒎𝒂 𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒄𝒌𝒔, 𝒈𝒓𝒐𝒔𝒔 𝒎𝒐𝒕𝒐𝒓 𝒅𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒍𝒐𝒑𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕, 𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒍𝒚 𝒇𝒆𝒆𝒅𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒖𝒈𝒈𝒍𝒆𝒔 𝒓𝒆𝒍𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒃𝒊𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒊𝒄𝒔, 𝒐𝒓 𝒔𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝒔𝒖𝒃𝒕𝒍𝒆
As mentioned above, the amount of force used and the specific techniques utilized will vary depending on the unique needs of an individual kid and what stage of development they are currently in. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to chiropractic care of infants and children! Depending not the presenting patient and their goals, 𝒄𝒉𝒊𝒓𝒐𝒑𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒄 𝒄𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒂𝒕 𝑨𝒍𝒕𝒂𝑽𝒊𝒆 𝒎𝒂𝒚 𝒊𝒏𝒄𝒍𝒖𝒅𝒆 𝒂 𝒃𝒍𝒆𝒏𝒅 𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒖𝒂𝒍 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒂𝒑𝒚 (𝒂𝒅𝒋𝒖𝒔𝒕𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒔, 𝒔𝒐𝒇𝒕 𝒕𝒊𝒔𝒔𝒖𝒆 𝒕𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒔), 𝒄𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒊𝒐𝒔𝒂𝒄𝒓𝒂𝒍 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒂𝒑𝒚 (𝑪𝑺𝑻), 𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒍𝒐𝒈𝒚 𝒕𝒂𝒑𝒊𝒏𝒈, 𝒍𝒊𝒇𝒆 𝒔𝒕𝒚𝒍𝒆 𝒎𝒐𝒅𝒊𝒇𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔, 𝒉𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒄𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒓𝒆𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒅𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔, 𝒆𝒙𝒆𝒓𝒄𝒊𝒔𝒆 𝒓𝒆𝒉𝒂𝒃, 𝒄𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒍 𝒏𝒖𝒕𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒍𝒕𝒉 𝒆𝒅𝒖𝒄𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 . One aspect of care that is the same for children and adults is that you are going to be involved!
References for Chiropractic Care of Children & Infants
1. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2018;41:725-733.
2. Chiropr Man Therap 2017;25(35).
3. J Alt Comp Med 2010;16(6).
4. PLoS ONE 2017;12(5).
5. BMJ Open 2019;9.
6. Chiropr Man Therap 2020;28(12)
7. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2014;xx:1-14.
8. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2019;19:60.
9. PLoS ONE 2019;14(6).
10. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2016;39:401-410.
Dr. Darcie Weglo, Chiropractor