By chiropractor Andrew Richards from Well Aligned Cammeray

Chiropractors have a unique specialist interest in the promotion of healthy neuromuscular and structural development at all ages.

A child is never too young to see a chiropractor and we often check children soon after birth particularly after difficult deliveries requiring intervention.

Chiropractic is safe and should not be considered synonymous with having your neck cracked. There is no need to ever ‘crack’ a baby’s neck.

There are a range of gentle techniques that we use in a paediatric setting to restore proper function. Interventions are always graded and delivered in an age-appropriate way.

Forget the neck crack, there are a range of gentle techniques that chiropractors use in a paediatric setting to restore proper function.

The most common reasons people seek out Chiropractors for help with the children are:

  • Neck problems such as restriction such as trouble turning the head one way or a tilted head. The immediate flow on effects here are problems breast feeding, deformation of the skull causing flat spots ‘plagiocephaly’ from constant pressure of only laying on one side of the head and then irritability with tummy time.
  • Delayed development – When children are having trouble reaching developmental milestones such as rolling over, crawling, walking, issues associated with fine and gross motor skill acquisition, balance and co-ordination.
  • Postural dysfunction – Parents will often bring their children in with concerns about broader postural issues such as walking with ‘toe in’ or ‘toe out’, having one shoulder higher that the other, a head or pelvic tilt or suspected spinal curvature ‘scoliosis’.
  • Colic – Parents are usually most desperate with colicky babies for obvious reasons and have often exhausted many other options first. There is an emerging body of research supportive of the results we have anecdotally seen in the practice over the years.
  • Recurrent ear infections – Chiropractic can help decrease ear infections by improving drainage of the ear.
  • Behavioural concerns such as ADHD – Parents can often present with broader behavioural concerns such as ADHD and others on the autistic spectrum. While these are multifactorial in nature and require multi-modal interventions chiropractic care can play a vital role in stabilising the health and function of the nervous system as a whole.
  • Bed wetting – results from a study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that one quarter of the 171 children in the study treated with chiropractic had a 50% reduction of wet nights.
  • Acute Torticollis ‘Wry neck’ – I generally see this only a handful of times per year. While it is really upsetting and painful for the child the good news is that with the right corrections it gets better really fast.

Parents may seek help from chiropractor for varying reasons.

It is because of the intimate relationship between the nervous system and the spine that Chiropractors give so much focus to spinal alignment and function.

Since nerves affect every cell, tissue and organ in the body if irritated at the level of the spine the effects can be far reaching.

Having said that though, we also acknowledge that healthy development and function of the nervous system and spine can also be influenced in a myriad of way so our training and interest doesn’t stop there.

We consider neuromuscular and structural systems as a whole as well as areas such as nutrition, how children are handled and other environmental factors when assessing children of all ages.

 Chiropractor Andrew Richards is from the holistic chiropractic clinic, Well Aligned Cammeray.

With over 20 years’ experience in chiropractic care, Andrew takes an integrated approach to health care and is passionate about being the health partner of his clients in injury and in health, seeing clients of all ages from toddlers through to seniors.