In the last few months I’ve had several patients ask me what kind of patients I like to see. Some have even asked what kinds of conditions I see that respond the fastest. While this might sound like a simple question, I have to honestly say that I love seeing all kinds of patients with all kinds of complaints.
But, to be more specific, I’d have to say that I really enjoy taking care of children. Children are so dynamic and heal so quickly and are genuinely fun to adjust. When entire families come in for care, the children are usually racing to get to the table to be adjusted first. Kids are tuned into what’s good for them and they know they feel better after they get adjusted. Parents are usually thrilled to see that their children are better behaved, are sick less and rarely, if ever, suffer from ear infections.
In children, the most common issues that I see are headaches, ear infections and scoliosis. Yes, children get headaches too and they respond much faster than adults. As for ear infections, it’s very rare for a “well-adjusted” child to ever get one. With scoliosis (and for virtually ever other condition), the sooner a child is cared for, the better. The sooner a scoliosis is detected and worked with, the faster the results and the lower the chances of a disfiguring life-long condition.
Imagine if you played as hard, fell as often, wrestled as much and got in as many pillow fights! It amazes me that children can hold a spinal adjustment in the first place with all the frequent micro-trauma they sustain on such a regular basis. The fact is, children do hold their adjustments and they usually hold much better than adults. Once a child has spinal stability (holds their adjustments well), I recommend that they be checked for nerve interference (nerve pressure) on a monthly basis or sooner if problems begin or a new trauma occurs.
In the process of passing through the birth canal, infants experience 75-pounds per square inch of pressure on their delicate skulls. Compounding this problem is the standard obstetrical procedure of pulling and twisting their fragile, weak and undeveloped neck during the birth process.
Imagine being yanked out of the canal with forceps or being tugged out with vacuum extraction, or worse…imagine both procedures being used on the same child – this is a common occurrence. C-sections aren’t the answer either – this is even more traumatic for both the mother and infant and currently, our national C-section rate is 25% and rising (1 in 4 children).
As for injuries sustained during the birth process, there are several autopsy studies on infants, which show tearing of spinal nerve roots, tearing of the spinal cord’s protective covering (dura mater) and bleeding around the brain stem (medulla oblongata). Needless to say, they were not born that way; those injuries were brought on by the gross over-use of pulling and twisting. Unfortunately, many of the parents are told the child was “still-born” or later succumbed to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Common questions I get:
- Do children need chiropractic care? Absolutely!
- Do all children need to be adjusted? No. Not if they are free of vertebral subluxation and their spine is stable.
- Should all children be checked by a chiropractor? Yes.
- Are the adjusting procedures different for children? Yes, they are extremely gentle adjustments that are modified for the child’s age and size. For infants, most adjustments are performed with fingertip pressure.
- Have I been specially trained to care for infants and children? Yes. In addition to all of the graduate obstetrical and pediatric training I’ve had, I have completed a post-graduate fellowship program taught by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA).
- Check out this great video on children and chiropractic
A Little About Me:
When I was 10-years old, I fell from a pull-up bar while I was hanging upside down and I landed on my upper back; the fall resulted in 6-spinal compression fractures! I was scared to tell my parents what happened to me (didn’t want to get grounded) so I never told them; in reality, I didn’t realize how badly I was hurt.
Over time, I forgot about my “little” problem and I never had any pain complaints once the initial injury had healed. I do however, remember being told that I had “bad posture” and to “stand up straight.” Little did my parents know that I had smashed 6-bones in my back making it very difficult, if not impossible to stand up straight.
Ten years later, at age 18, I was rear-ended in my car two times in two days! I was in college taking my pre-meds for dental school and these accidents changed my life forever. They changed my life because as a result of the injuries, I finally sought out chiropractic care for my disabling headaches and spinal pain.
My chiropractor performed a thorough examination, a detailed history, and took x-rays. To my amazement (and I think his) he explained that approximately 10-years earlier I had fractured my spine in 6-places. He hit the nail on the head; this immediately reminded me of my fall, a fall that I had totally forgotten about until he made his estimation!
Three chiropractic adjustments later, I changed my college major and sent a letter off to Palmer College of Chiropractic asking for an application.
A day doesn’t go by that I’m not grateful for being hit by those cars (some people have to have “sense” knocked into them) – those car accidents and my chiropractor changed my life forever. I am so fortunate and blessed that I can perform that same service to hundreds of children every year and ultimately thousands of kids over my lifetime.
Yes, I have to say that without a doubt, caring for children is the most rewarding service I can perform. To realize that chiropractic can have such far-reaching implications in a child’s life-long development is an awesome feeling.