Children have a remarkable ability to respond to chiropractic care. Some of the most dramatic health corrections in the annals of chiropractic have been accomplished with children. In obtaining health correction, chiropractic uses the body’s own recuperative powers. This ability to rebuild diseased or malfunctioning organs or structures is especially great in a child.
One of the most important aspects of a child’s future is the prospect of good health. The future certainly looks bleak if there is low resistance to disease. To most pre-teen or teenage youth, the question of health at the “old” age of 40 is remote. A parent’s duty to his children does not end with education and immediate health care; it includes education to insure good health throughout the child’s life.
The body develops its neurologic organization through many stages as the child grows. Each stage of development is important to the ultimate balanced function of the nervous system. Periodic examination – and correction when necessary – by a doctor knowledgeable in applied kinesiology procedures will help these stages of development to be completed successfully, before the next stage begins.
All children endure bumps and jars as they grow. Most of these injuries are insignificant; however, sometimes imbalance can develop that causes interference with normal nerve function. The injury may possibly cause a vertebral misalignment that irritates a nerve root, affecting an organ or structure; or a muscle itself can be over-stretched or over-contracted, causing a disturbance in the nervous system. These are also effectively examined and corrected on periodic evaluation by your applied kinesiologist. Use a regular evaluation to determine if control of body systems is correct, just as you do for dental development and preventive treatment.
Low Back Pain. 10% of children aged 9-10 have been reported to suffer from it with 2% of schoolchildren experiencing disability because of it. In schoolchildren, the lifetime prevalence of low back pain has been estimated to be anywhere from 20% to 51%. If mechanical distortions are allowed to remain in a spine while a child is growing, the spine develops in a strained position much the same as a tree would grow if it were distorted into a bent position. Although bumps, jars, and injuries cause spinal displacements that irritate the nerves, they are easily corrected by chiropractic examination and adjustment. Uncorrected misalignments can cause major problems many years later, after they have irritated the controlling nerves for a long time. Often when nerve irritation is first present, an individual is young enough and has enough resistance to ward off the resulting symptomatic involvement. Later in life the body no longer has the resistance necessary to continue functioning normally when nerve irritation is present. Symptoms develop that drive these individuals to a doctor. Many major adult health problems could easily have been corrected if the basic underlying cause had been discovered when it first developed.
Dr. Scott – along with many other clinician-scientists around the world – has published a series of research papers about the applied kinesiology care of children at the Chiropractic Health Center and elsewhere. These papers are available online as indicated below, as well as at the clinic. Please let us know if you would like this information from the clinic.
Athletic injuries should be examined and treated early. Many individuals suffer later in life from athletic injuries that could have been effectively treated earlier. Football injuries are a good example of this. Do not make the frequent error of thinking, “It’s just a muscle strain – it’ll go away.” Competitive sports, although good for the child’s total development, can cause health problems that are not recognized until adult health is affected.
Strength and development come naturally to children in sports and at play; these activities should be encouraged. A child’s development will be monitored by the doctor of chiropractic, making certain that the muscles develop in a balanced manner. Occasionally – especially in unilateral competitive sports – the body develops faster in some areas than in others, causing an imbalance that may be present for life and may affect future health. The doctor will also suggest which sports might be better for a particular child.
Infections in a child are best treated by keeping his/her resistance high. Have you ever wondered why only a portion of a class will “catch” an infection when the entire class is equally exposed? Fighting an infection after it has already developed is hindsight, not foresight. Give your children the advantage of a health program designed to develop natural health and resistance to disease.
Childhood diseases fit into the resistance picture noted above. The child with well-developed natural health goes through the different childhood diseases easily and rapidly.
Dietary Habits. Poor dietary habits develop in children in many ways. First, and probably the most obvious, is that children develop a fondness for — or dislike of — certain foods by observing what their parents and other adults around them enjoy. Food likes and dislikes are primarily acquired. If a new and strange food is placed before a young and impressionable child, and someone he admires — such as his father rejects the food with the comment, “What did you fix this yucky stuff for?” the child is well on his way to disliking the food before he even tastes it. These patterns of observation in children develop well before the average adult thinks the child is paying any attention at all.
The use of food as a reward or punishment should be avoided. Sometimes the comment is made, “Eat your zucchini or you can’t have any ice cream.” To the child, this means the zucchini is bad and ice cream is good. The promise of sweets is a very common reward used by many parents. Unfortunately, this just increases the child’s desire for food that has little nutritional value and is possibly even a negative food item. Negative foods are those that provide little or no nutritional value and may cause damage. For example, high sugar items usually provide no more than energy for a very short time after they are eaten; they can contribute to dental caries, adrenal stress, potential triglyceride problems, liver congestion, and more.
The use of high sugar and other detrimental foods as rewards is bad not only because the reward is detrimental, but because the child’s mental attitude toward the reward is to want more.