Are Chiropractic Adjustments Necessary for Children?


Dr. Chad Updike here again continuing our weekly discussion on some of the most commonly asked questions about Chiropractic. One question that I get a lot is, “Are Chiropractic adjustments necessary? Why would a kid need to be adjusted?”

I hear some variation of this question almost every week in our practice from patients who see kids running around in the office, “Why do kids need Chiropractic? Are adjustments really necessary for kids?” That’s a great question and I can see why people might ask it. We can all understand why someone who has been in a car accident, or a sports injury, or even someone who has poured concrete for 20 years might need Chiropractic care. But why would my 5 year old daughter need to be adjusted? To answer that question we need to first understand what we are looking at and addressing as Chiropractors.

Most people know that we deal with the spine as Chiropractors. What you might not know is the only reason we do anything with the spine is to affect the nervous system. Your nervous system is made up of your brain, sending messages down your spinal cord, out these individual nerve roots to every cell, tissue, and organ in your body. The nervous system is so important that it is protected by the hardest bones in your body, these moveable vertebrae. The only problem with these bones being moveable is that they have the potential to mis-align. When that happens instead of protecting that nerve, they put pressure on that nerve and irritate that nerve. About 10% of this nerve is there to sense pain. So when you are experiencing pain, that portion of the nerve has pressure on it. The other 90% of the nerve fiber is there to run the function of our body. So if there isn’t pressure on the 10% of the nerve that causes pain, we don’t know anything is wrong. In kids, nerve pressure may show up in other areas… bed wetting, asthma, ear infections, ADD/ADHD, colic. All things that we see in children.

So back to why children need to be checked by a Chiropractor. Often times, the first trauma to a child is the birth process itself. For all the parents out there, you know how traumatic this process can be for a baby. Especially if there is some kind of intervention like vacuum or forceps extraction. Then think about the baby learning to crawl, and then stand up, how about starting to walk? How many times do you think a baby who is learning to walk falls down? How about a five year old wrestling with his sister? Kids are extremely tough on their bodies. The great thing is that their bodies are able to compensate and cover a lot of things up. Just like you don’t wait until your child has tooth pain to take them to the dentist, you shouldn’t wait until your child has back or neck pain to get them checked by a chiropractor. It is much easier to find and correct a problem early, before it becomes symptomatic than it is to try and restore function and health once the problem has been there for a long time.

So the three big takeaways you should have from this video are:

  1. Chiropractors deal with the nervous system. Because of that we are able to help kids with many issues other than back and neck pain. Bed wetting, asthma, ear infections, ADD/ADHD, colic, digestive issues. The reason is because we are taking pressure off the nervous system.
  2. Children are extremely tough on their bodies. From the very first trauma of the birthing process, to learning to walk, to rough housing with their buddies kids put their bodies through a lot. Contrary to what many people think, their body and especially their spine is not made of rubber.
  3. It is always easier to prevent something bad from happening than to try to fix it once it does. Kids are resilient and their bodies are able to compensate for a lot. Pain is often time the last thing that shows up when there is a problem. Just like how you wouldn’t wait for your children to complain of tooth pain to have their teeth checked, you shouldn’t wait until your child is complaining of back pain to have them checked by a Chiropractor.

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