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Myth: Chiropractic care is only for adults

March 23, 2017

Chiropractic physicians adjust children all the time for various reasons. Kids can get headaches, neck pain and back pain just like adults. Kids can also get injured in sports and have tennis elbow or knee pain. Kids fall down and go boom. Pick the type of pain and joint or muscle and a kid can be treated for it. Many migraines start in late childhood or adolescence. Even babies that are minutes or hours old can be adjusted.

There are other things that can be treated by chiropractic physicians that are considered more controversial by the general medical community. Chiropractors have treated kids who have asthma, ear infections and colic and have had amazing results, however, there is not good research to support this. It is basically thousands of chiropractors and chiropractic patients who have watched children get better after getting treated. The problem with these stories is that they are not research. The stories can be very compelling but it is not hard data. That being said there is value in the stories.

While the underlying cause of the problems will not be directly affected by the treatment, it makes sense anatomically and physiologically that chiropractic care can help. Often times, kids that have ear infections also have associated neck symptoms. Those neck symptoms can cause spasms in the neck that can cause associated spasms in the back of the throat around the tube that connects to the middle ear. The reason why your ears pop when you yawn is because these tubes open up. The kids typically respond quickly when they have an ear infection because the adjustment causes these other muscles to relax and allows the tubes to open up. I’ve seen kids that have had the surgical treatment that were not helped at all who responded with one adjustment. A chiropractic physician is not going to directly affect the inflammation or constriction of the bronchi and a child that has asthma but what we can affect is the thoracic spine and the rib joints in the front and back. Often, kids with asthma have major restrictions in these areas in freeing the restrictions can help to reduce the symptoms significantly. Symptoms from colic can be helped because adjustments to the lumbar spine can affect the infant’s autonomic nervous system.

These are obviously very simple explanations for the sake of space, but there is a biomechanical or neurological basis behind these treatments. I will not preach that there is “nerve interference” that causes these issues because there are legitimate arguments as to how they affect the body’s physiology.

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