Dr. Claire Peterson has taken over 200 hours of continuing education to earn an advanced degree in Chiropractic Pediatrics through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. She is one of only two chiropractors in Syracuse to obtain this certification. She practices at Meridian Chiropractic & Wellness in Liverpool, NY. (THANK YOU Dr. Claire for sharing helpful information with our Play2Learn community!)
What is chiropractic care?
Although Chiropractic celebrated its 123rd birthday last month, for most people it still remains unclear what chiropractic actually is. Chiropractic is a natural approach to healing where the focus is on restoring and optimizing the body’s innate ability to function and heal itself. The central nervous system is the master system of the body and it lives in the spine. Subtle misalignments in the spine (what we call “chiropractic subluxations”) cause stress and irritation to the central nervous system. Chiropractors use adjustments to make sure that all the joints of the spine are moving properly, clearing out irritation, so the body can adapt, heal and function optimally.
Chiropractic care for kids?
Spinal misalignments can occur as early as the birth process. Even under optimal circumstances, birth is a physically demanding event. Other sources of spinal stress in infants include repetitive motions and postures like diaper changing, feeding, and carrying positions. For toddlers, the process of learning to walk and explore is usually accompanied by many bumps and falls, which can easily cause restrictions in movement in the spine. Tumbles off swings and bikes, head bumps on the playing field, heavy school bags, sitting all day in the classroom and cell phones (see more on this below) are all common in active, growing children but can absolutely cause stress to a growing spine and nervous system.
By applying specific chiropractic adjustments to misaligned spinal segments, children under chiropractic care have experienced great improvements in symptoms associated with breastfeeding difficulties, colic, recurrent ear infections, allergies, asthma, bed wetting, headaches, diminished immune function, sleeping trouble, and more!
A 21st Century Source of Stress
Mobile devices and tablets have become hugely popular in the past few years with American adults averaging over 9 hours of screen time, and children averaging about 3 hours of screen media per day in 2017 (links below). These devices, while convenient and useful, are also a HUGE source of physical stress to our necks and upper backs. Being aware of how this affects the adult spine is important, but the effect it will have on our children is what is especially concerning to me. If you look around any time you’re out in public you will see kids and adults alike hanging their head low, looking down in their laps at their screens – maybe you’ll notice this is a habit you have as well. This forward head posture is extremely stressful to the neck and surrounding musculature, causing the neck to carry up to six times the weight it is meant to. We have not yet seen the full long-term implications (ie. a lifetime of screen use), but for starters we can surely bank on poor spinal alignment and posture, headaches, neck pain, numbness and tingling in the hands and diminished vital capacity. Our spine is still developing into our TWENTIES so imagine what 15-20 years of cell phone and tablet use is going to have on our children’s overall posture! (Shudder!) We are constantly talking about forward head posture in our daily conversations here at Meridian.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! The tricky part is that most of the time these misalignments are not accompanied by pain right away. Chiropractors are trained to identify these subluxations, correct them using adjustments, and help you identify stresses that may have caused them in the first place, so we can prevent problems in the future.
For an extensive collection of research studies and chiropractic case studies showing the efficacy of chiropractic care for children and pregnant women, please visit http://icpa4kids.org/Chiropractic-Research/.
If you have any questions about whether it may be appropriate for your child to see a chiropractor, please don’t hesitate to call- we’re happy to answer your questions.