What is chiropractic? Chiropractic is a conservative and natural healing art and science that concentrates on keeping people well. While chiropractic is an American science more than 103 years old, its basic wellness premise dates back to spinal “manipulations” first used by Hippocrates, the Father of Healing in the 4th Century B.C.
Doctors of chiropractic do not treat symptoms, though this may be the initial reason why a patient comes to a chiropractic office. What the doctor of chiropractic does is attempt to get to the root cause of a health problem. The primary focus of chiropractic is the detection, reduction, and correction of spinal misalignments (known as subluxations) with resultant nervous system dysfunction.
The spinal column houses a critical part of the body’s nervous system, the spinal cord, which is responsible for the transmission of nerve impulses or messages to and from the brain. This free flow of nerve impulses is necessary to allow the body to function properly. A spinal malfunction (subluxation) can interrupt this flow of information and affect the body’s nervous system causing pain, muscle and organ dysfunction, and other imbalances.
The doctor of chiropractic, through a procedure called an adjustment, helps restore misaligned vertebrae to a more normal position, thus allowing the nerves to properly communicate with the rest of the body and let the body heal itself – safely and naturally.
Yes. Chiropractic’s drugless and preventive approach to good health makes it perfectly appropriate for infants, children, and teenagers. Chiropractic is licensed in all 50 states of the U.S. for the care of children of all ages.
Chiropractic is one of the safest forms of children’s health care. A chiropractor does not adjust a baby or a child the same way as he or she adjusts an adult. A baby’s spine is very supple during the first few months of life, so the doctor of chiropractic applies only a slight pressure to make an adjustment. For older children whose spine is still made of mainly cartilage, slight pressure followed by a gentle push is all that is required to put the vertebra back in place.
When you want to give your child a head start in good health and all the benefits of a conservative, drugless approach to health care, you should take your child to a chiropractor. It is important to have a chiropractic exam during the first year of a child’s life as spinal trauma can occur during birth, as well as from tumbles while learning to sit up or walk. Improper lifting and carrying can also contribute to spinal stress.
Your child’s spine grows almost 50% in length during the first year. This is equivalent to a six-footer growing to nine feet in just 12 months! It’s this kind of tremendous growth and developmental changes which make a complete chiropractic examination so important in the early stages of a child’s life. If there is a problem, the earlier it is corrected the less likelihood there is of it becoming a chronic or more serious problem later in life.
Doctors of chiropractic believe it’s much more important to prevent diseases than wait till some disease occurs.
Chiropractors have been providing safe and effective care for children for more than 103 years. Without efficacy, parents would have long ceased to seek out a doctor of chiropractic for their children. A 1992 survey showed that the most common conditions for which children visit a chiropractor are: earaches, neck pain, check-up, headache, upper respiratory, low back pain, allergies, asthma, enuresis, and thoracic pain. Other reasons are ADD and ADHD, colic, torticollis, insomnia, growing pains, and persistent crying in infants.
Chiropractors do not treat diseases, they help to correct spinal misalignments that can cause health problems. Through regular adjustments, counseling on proper nutrition, exercise, and posture, the chiropractor can help you raise a child who is structurally and functionally sound.
The number one “illness” in children is accidents. You may not realize it, but youngsters take numerous tumbles -- learning to ride a bike, or even just jumping and running around. If your child takes part in athletic activities, the “sack” of a quarterback could twist a young spine, pitching a ball can throw a vertebra out of alignment. These underlying injuries, if left uncorrected, can cause serious problems as the child grows into adulthood.
Doctors of chiropractic can do more than correct these problems. They can also help improve performance on and off the field by helping the body to function at its optimum level, naturally, and without drugs.
Doctors of chiropractic are trained to recognize complex health problems. Their primary obligation is the welfare of the child. It is the position of the ICA Council of Pediatrics and its parent organization, the International Chiropractors Association, that when the doctor of chiropractic or any doctor reaches the limits of their skill and authority that they are “ethically and morally bound to make patient referrals to practitioners in other fields of healing when such referrals are necessary to provide the highest quality of patient care.”
You are. As a parent or guardian you must take responsibility for your child’s health and use your best judgment as to what is most appropriate for your child. Fortunately, there are some outstanding primary health care providers to help you make your decision, including your doctor of chiropractic, pediatrician, and dentist. These professionals should make up your child’s personal health care team.
All chiropractic schools have required courses in pediatrics. Doctors of Chiropractic are also licensed in all 50 states of the US to provide chiropractic care to children and adults. However, there are chiropractors who take postgraduate courses in pediatrics after graduation because they want to specialize in this field. The ICA Council of Chiropractic Pediatrics offers a 3-year postgraduate program (320+ hours) that leads to Board Certification in Chiropractic Pediatrics. Graduate doctors are recognized by the letters DICCP (Diplomate of the ICA Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics) after their name. Since all chiropractors are licensed to care for children, there are many doctors of chiropractic who also see children in their practice on a regular basis.
When you choose a DC who is a member of the ICA Pediatrics Council, you will get a chiropractor who is either Board Certified in Chiropractic Pediatrics (with the DICCP credential) or is in family practice and has experience in caring for children.
The ICA Pediatrics Council regularly updates its members with the latest in chiropractic pediatric care and provides them with opportunities to continually refine and/or expand their diagnostic and clinical skills with continuing education classes or other resources.
Courtesy of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.
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