Now that you have a greater understanding of the Vertebral Subluxation Complexes (VSC), it is easier to understand why all infants and children should be checked out. It is not all about joint restrictions, tight muscles, and spinal degeneration. It is not all about pain complaints. It is about removing any interference that is standing in the way between you and your optimal self. Obviously, kids deserve that too!
I can’t express how much more powerful this construct is when applied to the developing nervous system of children. Not only are the negative implications relevant (because if there is any issue during this crucial phase then optimal developmental cannot occur), but the positive impacts are grand. Infants and children tend to respond much faster and in a much stronger way to these corrections. This is partially because their young bodies do not have the same level of long-term abuse as our adult bodies do and partially because the developing nervous system is programed to learn and adapt on a whole other level. It continues to impress me on a daily basis.
So what causes the trouble to start with? Here is a list of things that I take into consideration with every young patient. Let’s start from the beginning.
o In-utero Constraint & Trauma. Was baby stuck in an awkward position during the last month of development? Were they breech or in some other sub-optimal placement? Was there any trauma to mom during pregnancy, including car accidents, falls, or emotional/chemical insults?
o Birth Process & Trauma. Anyone who has ever witnessed even the most “normal”, perfect, natural birth understands what an incredible feat this is on such a delicate little body (and on mom). And that is just if everything goes right! Any additional intervention – including excess manual force, forceps, or vacuum suction – brings in its own slew of potential disturbance. Cesarean sections require special considerations as well; it is not a gentler option! A medical researcher in Germany concluded that at least 80% of infants are born with upper cervical dysfunction. Yikes!
o Passive Processes. Spending a good chunk of the day in the baby bucket (AKA the car seat) and constant pressure on the back of the skull. Carrying and changing diapers with repetitive or faulty mechanics. Walkers and jumpers. Well-meaning older siblings being over-zealous when handling baby. And just plain, old-fashion falls!
o Developmental Stages. Tummy time, rolling, crawling, standing, and walking are all important stages that need to happen in order and in specific patterns in order to facilitate proper neurological development. This is my area of expertise and passion! I’m going to stop myself now before this blog never ends…
The three primary areas that form the allostatic load apply to children too. Physical, chemical, and emotional stresses all have a complex interplay and they all matter. In chiropractic, we refer to these as “thoughts, traumas, and toxins”, for the sake of alliteration. One of the wonderful facets of being a human being is that these three primary areas are so intricately intertwined that we can never isolate one, in terms of impact or intervention.
About half of my patient base is under the age of 10 and another quarter is pregnant. This is the world that I live and breath and I love it. Chiropractic care is a safe, effective, and powerful method of ensuring that your child reaches their utmost potential in health and development. Addressing neurosensory development, nutritional support, and emotional integrity take it up to a whole new level. I firmly believe that every infant and every child deserves this opportunity and should at the very least be checked out during a well child visit a couple times a years, just like going to the dentist. If those baby teeth deserve that level of attention, how much more does the developing spine and nervous system necessitate?