Why would my child need to see a paediatric chiropractor?
A pediatric chiropractor can help your child heal, grow, and thrive in optimal health. When spinal, cranial, and limb joints are not moving properly, they are not able to send clear, concise communication to the nervous system. The nervous system runs throughout the body and controls all its functions, both conscious and subconscious. It relies on accurate information coming in from the joints (called proprioception) and muscles to function and develop optimally. Common problems associated with these joint dysfunctions include nursing difficulties, poor sleep quality, constipation, growing pains, posture problems, and behavioural issues. It's not all about pain! Chiropractic care can restore proper joint function and communication, allowing your child’s body to move, heal, and develop at its best.
More Questions (& Answers)
First, come when there is a problem. If your child is experiencing any physical health problems, a pediatric chiropractor can determine if the problem is related to or worsened by a joint not moving properly or faulty communication between the body and the brain. With children, there is not usually a pain complaint related to joint dysfunction, so we need to be watchful for other clues of biomechanical perturbations. Because of the impact that spinal adjustments have of sensorimotor integration and autonomic function, the conditions that tend to improve with care expand far past the physical complaints. Gastrointestinal, behavioural, developmental, and immune conditions may also be ameliorated.
Second, come when you are interested in preventative care and addressing problems before they get out of hand. The everyday challenges that our children face - from passing through the birth canal to tumbling out of trees to sitting at a computer - can cause the joints to lock up, muscles to tighten, or the nervous system to compensate. Just like going to the dentist a couple times a year to have an expert oral health take a look inside your mouth, it is a good habit to check in with a chiropractor every few months even when everything is going great.
Children respond very quickly to chiropractic care (much faster than adults with years of abuse to their bodies). Most children will experience improvements in their problem and a return to health after merely a few treatments. The amount of treatment needed will depend on your child’s unique situation and complaint, but after your first appointment, the pediatric chiropractor will lay out a customized plan and let you know what to expect. No surprises here.
For wellness based care, visit frequency can range from anywhere between once every couple weeks to only a couple times a year. We do not have a cookie-cutter approach to care. Even your wellness care, should you choose to continue once the primary issue is resolved, will depend on your child's activity level and health status.
No. You don't have to do anything you don't want to do when it comes to your child's healthcare. And you do not have to continue taking your child to the chiropractor after their original condition is resolved, but you may want to. Many parents choose to bring their children in periodically for a check-up because they observe the benefits their child receives during chiropractic care and they want a proactive approach to healthcare.
Wellness-based chiropractic care is a healthy habit in support of your child's nervous system and physical body. You may notice improvements in physical capacity and energy (less clumsy, more confident), sensory processing and sensorimotor integration (better focus, attention, and emotional regulation at school), immune function (fewer colds and sickness), GI function (better bowel movements and less tummy aches), and an overall healthier kid.
We are always here to do one-off checkups after a bad tumble, car accident, or injury whenever you need us too. Concussion screens, sports injuries, and athletic support are all in our tool belt as well.
No, actually. All Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) receive basic paediatric training as part of their core curriculum during chiropractic college when they are earning their doctorates. Chiropractors have been treating infants and children since the beginning of the profession over 100 years ago with a great track record for safety and impact.
However, our AltaVie chiropractors have chosen to spend their time and money to take countless hours of advanced training in pediatric and pregnancy care. They do this because they care and they are passionate about elevating the standard of family care. They are certified in special techniques that cater to the special needs of these populations, from craniosacral therapy to Webster technique. All of our chiropractors are active members of the International Chiropractic Paediatric Association (ICPA). Think of it as the difference between seeing your family doctor versus a paediatrician. We have dedicated our time, energy, and lives to supporting children and elevating the standard of chiropractic care for children.
At AltaVie, all of our chiropractors have done advanced course work in infant and pediatric treatment techniques. We have a whole slew of treatment options to choose from and we will guide you through the best choices for your child's individual health status, complaint, and developmental stage.
A typical office visit may include a combination of gentle spinal adjustments, craniosacral therapy, extremity joint mobilizations, and neurosensory integration manoeuvres to help address any joint dysfunctions and restore optimal brain-body communication for your child. All treatments are modified and catered to a child's developmental stage and their specific needs each visit.
We also provide nutrition guidance, exercise rehab, and other homecare so that you can continue to good work started in the office and maintain the impacts for longer.
At AltaVie, our initial exams are 1-hour and our regular office visits are 15-minutes. You will not be rushed through and we can accomplish a lot in those minutes!
Chiropractors address the neuromusculoskeletal system (nerves, muscles, and bones). They are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of hundreds of conditions throughout the entire body, not just the spine. Problems within this neuromusculoskeletal system sometimes seem disconnected from the symptoms presenting, but as we resolve the physical issues, you will notice an improvement in the body’s ability to heal and self-regulate. These improvements are seen most dramatically in children and infants who may not be able to express their discomfort in any way other than crying, fussing, and outbursts. Your pediatric chiropractor will analyze and address any dysfunctions in your child’s neuromusculoskeletal system and explain how certain dysfunction may contribute to your child’s condition.
Here is a list of common childhood conditions that families have seen great impact from chiropractic care that you may not have thought of as chiropractic issues. Chiropractors do not necessarily treat or cure these conditions, but they have been shown to help in profound ways by treating the children suffering from them and enhancing their general health.
- Fussy Babies & Colic
- Nursing Difficulties & Reflux
- Plagiocephaly & Torticollis
- Poor Sleep
- Frequent Colds or Sickness
- Asthma & Allergies
- Growing Pains
- Sports Injuries
- Back & Neck Pain
Tension along the cranial bones can interfere with the sleep centre in the brain, preventing proper sleep patterns. Headaches, joint pain, and other discomforts can also affect sleep quality and make falling asleep more difficult. Restful sleep is an important part of healing and allows your body to recharge for the next day’s adventures. Releasing the locked joints will help your child settle into a more peaceful state of slumber.
We also will explore sleep habits and patterns, as well as nutritional and chemical influences on sleep quality.
Looking for more sleep tips? Read this blog.
A healthy immune system relies on many aspects of your physiology working together. Our bodies need restful sleep, good nutrition, proper hygiene, balance in the autonomic nervous system, and clear brain-body communication to facilitate healthy immune function. Chiropractic care and clinical nutrition can address many of these areas. We can promote better digestion and improve communication within the body so that your child gets the boost they need to stay healthy.
Check out this blog to learn more about how chiropractic care boosts the immune system.
A healthy newborn can be brought in for their first check-up as soon as you are ready to leave the house. There is no time that is too early (or too late). Considering the 9-month adventure you and your baby just had with the culmination of their entrance into this world, for an "uneventful" birth we recommend the first check-up between 2-4 weeks of age so that we can detect and remove any locked elements before they become a problem. This allows your baby to have a nice healthy early start.
If there were any problems during pregnancy, labour, or delivery or if you sense something is wrong, bring your baby in as soon as possible. Newborns can be safely treated from the day they are born. Some parents even arrange for their first appointment on the way home from the hospital. We have worked with preemies as little as 3lbs and our techniques are modified according to your baby's developmental stage.
Learn more about Baby's First Visit.
If you really want to maximize the benefits of chiropractic care for your child, you can start by taking care of mom while baby is still in the womb! Click here to learn more about chiropractic care during pregnancy.
Chiropractic care for children is both gentle and safe. Chiropractors are highly trained health experts who have been treating children for over a hundred years. In addition to the four-year doctorate degree focusing on studying anatomy, physiology, neurology, orthopaedics, and nutrition, a pediatric chiropractor has advanced post-graduate training specific to addressing the unique needs of childhood. The chiropractic techniques used when treating children vary from those used for adults and are so gentle that infants often fall asleep during their visit!
Medical Doctors and paediatricians are not usually taught about chiropractic care (especially for kids) in medical school and a generally not familiar with how chiropractic care works unless they have been in themselves. Ideally, your child should have both a paediatrician/family doctor and a pediatric chiropractor. Your paediatrician or GP will be available for crisis care and infectious diseases and to provide medications and referrals when necessary. Your pediatric chiropractor will focus on quality-of-life care and boosting the body’s natural ability to thrive.
Because chiropractic care is new to many medical practitioners, we are always available and happy to answer any of your paediatrician or GP’s questions and provide them with the latest research on pediatric chiropractic care. If you would like us to connect directly with anyone on your health team, please let us know and we will be sure to get the appropriate consent to do so. Don't worry; we play well with others. 🙂
Chiropractic care is different from medical care in focus and in treatment tools. Chiropractors focus on the neuromusculoskeletal system and optimizing your body’s ability to heal and thrive on its own. Medical care typically focuses on keeping you alive and managing severe symptoms. Medical Doctors (MD) primarily use pharmaceutical agents to effect chemical change and surgery to affect physical change, whereas Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) effect physical and neural change using primarily their hands and encourage chemical balance using nutrition and lifestyle modifications. The least invasive therapy should usually be approached first. Both medical and chiropractic care are important and they can collaborate together and complement each other for the best care for you and your family.