Category Archives: children

The Use of Chiropractic During Childhood Development

The use of chiropractic techniques in the medical field was first introduced by Daniel David Palmer in 1895.  

The first use of the technique was conducted by Palmer on a janitor who became deaf after a condition in his back developed. After a misalignment was felt in the vertebra of the janitor, Palmer performed an adjustment and the result were an improvement in the janitor’s hearing.

In 1987, Palmer established the Palmer School of Cure, where the main objective was to use Chiropractic techniques to improve the health of patients. The goal of chiropractic techniques, also referred to as spinal manipulation, is to realign the spine and to correct any structural misalignments, which supports the body’s physical function.

Chiropractic usage has spread throughout the entire world since the first development of the technique, due to its many benefits to the human body.

In recent years, the techniques are not only practiced on adults, but also on many children in order to support childhood development and to avoid structural problems from occurring later in life.

A main supporting factor behind the use of chiropractic techniques among children is because many spinal problems found in adults began during an early stage of the person’s life; in some cases, as early as birth.

Why Do Kids Need Chiropractic?

Most misalignments (subluxations) occur in children’s spines due to some very common scenarios. In the normal birth process the doctor uses the head to pull the child out of the birth channel creating the potential for misalignment of the neck (chiropractic care is also advised for pregnant women).

Pregnant chiropractor Tacoma

Then during learning how to walk, falling off couches, playing sports, wrestling with siblings, a child undergoes thousands of events that have the potential to subluxate a spine. Since pain neurology is developing often these go unnoticed for years since symptoms are not occurring.

In 2015 a study was done by European Osteopaths that revealed between 91-94 of 100 infants evaluated 6 days to 6 weeks after the birth process had spinal misalignments. The study also noted that the longer the birth process, the more areas were misaligned.

Furthermore, results of a survey conducted among a total of 1,200 licensed Chiropractors within Canada provided evidence that the majority of practitioners are dealing with both adults and children under the age of 18 years. Among the participants who reported to practice Chiropractic on children, 71% claimed to have received informal training on the use of these techniques on children. In the United States all chiropractic colleges teach classes on pediatric chiropractic

Benefits During Childhood Development

The use of Chiropractic techniques is also observed in millions of children around the world. Many growing children have been able to benefit from these techniques and have been able to gain support for several musculoskeletal conditions.

The main benefit of these techniques among children is the fact that they can prevent birth defects from becoming problems later in life, as well as treat spinal misalignments caused by activities such as skating and bike riding during an early age, which will prevent these misalignments from becoming a more severe problem as the child grows up.

Girl bike chiropractic Tacoma

ICPA reports that several newborn health complaints have been linked to both cranial and spinal misalignments. These health complaints include, but are not limited to:

  • Chronic infections
  • Breathing problems
  • Colic
  • Allergic reactions
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Nursing difficulties

During early stages of childhood development, a child also needs to learn how to hold the head up, to sit, to crawl and then to walk. All of these activities can cause stress on the body, which could also result in spinal misalignments. This is also a stage where regular checkups by a Chiropractic doctor can be useful. Should any misalignments occur during these stages, the doctor would be able to correct them and prevent further conditions from developing in the near or far future.

How Chiropractic Has Helped Millions of Children

Boy basket child chiropractor

Growing Up Easier reports that the use of chiropractic techniques on children has many benefits. Apart from addressing health concerns, they report that chiropractic can also assist in spiritual, mind, emotional and social areas. Of course, these techniques can also assist with the overall wellness of the child’s body.

They also explain that chiropractic have not only been used, but also been effective in helping children cope with many conditions such as postural problems, seizures, recovery from injuries, asthma, ADHD, chronic illnesses, autism, birth trauma, colic, constipation, ear infections, fatigue and much, much more.

Other sources such as Dear Abby have reported on chiropractic’s success with bedwetting, thousands of happy parents have posted testimonials, and ICPA4Kids website has additional helpful information on chiropractic’s role in helping kids achieve better health

Conclusion

The use of chiropractic techniques dates back more than 100 years. While the technique was first performed on a janitor, it is now used by millions of individuals throughout the entire world. 

The use of chiropractic has been proven beneficial to both adults and children, as well as to pregnant women. With the use of these techniques, spinal misalignments are corrected and, especially in children, future problems that could’ve developed from these misalignments are avoided.

At Discover Life Chiropractic we use the latest technologies to evaluate pediatric spines and have trained in low force techniques to adjust children’s spines. In most cases x-rays aren’t necessary and we explain what we are doing to each child so they can feel less nervous.

In many cases after the first adjustment the children are the first one’s on the table and I have had many parents tell me that the child is the one that asks when they get to come back to the chiropractor. I hope that this brief overview helps you understand chiropractic’s role in children and that you’re most precious thing in life will be well taken care of at Discover Life Chiropractic.

References

http://www.acatoday.org/About/History-of-Chiropractic

http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/chiropracticadjustment/ basics/definition/prc-20013239

http://icpa4kids.org/Wellness-Articles/why-should-children-havechiropractic- care.html

http://icpa4kids.org/Wellness-Articles/the-webster-technique-atechnique- for-pregnant-women.html

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/chiropractic-careduring- pregnancy/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2794701/

http://icpa4kids.org/Wellness-Articles/why-should-children-havechiropractic- care.html

Benefits of Chiropractic Care in Forward-Neck Posture

You. Yes…. You!

There is a chance that you are tilting your neck forward right now while holding your phone/laptop and reading this blog post.

There is also a chance that you just realized it and you tried to straighten your neck. Good!

You are not the only one. We live in a revolutionized and digital world where technological devices like phones and laptops play a very important role in our daily lives. With them, people have created social media empires and established businesses that have totally changed the way we carry out conventional activities. Advanced studies have even revealed that over 50% of people would carry their phones first in cases of fire outbreaks.

Yet, despite its wide usage, there has been a growing concern about the effects associated with this practice, as research has continued to give evidence of the effects that it brings.

A person spends 2 to 4 hours every day on an average reading or texting with their phones, and this figure is even higher for youths. This invariably means that they are going to spend at least two hours tilting their neck forward to look at their screens, leading to 800- 1400 hours of cervical spine stress every year.

What is Forward Head Posture?

           As the name implies, Forward Head Posture (FHP) is the steady loss of normal posture due to the forward bending of the head, thereby increasing the pressure on the shoulders and the neck. Not only does it cause a lot of discomfort and pain, but it creates tissue damage over time. In the past, FHP wasn’t really a thing. The absence of the normal neck curve wasn’t a serious physical problem except if the patient has spondylosis.

But things may have gotten out of hand.

The muscles of the neck and back are forced to work extra hard to keep your head in a forward position. This creates stiffness and severe pain over time.

Several effects come with FHP. Some include:

  • Wear and tear of the tissues: When the head tilts forward, there is an increased weight on the shoulder by some pounds. This loss of the normal curve of the cervical spine causes wear and tear that results in stresses that can cause degeneration and could ultimately require surgery.

To be able to eliminate or reduce stress on the spine, the individual must maintain good posture, which is defined as the alignment of the ears with the shoulders. Proper posture also enhances the level of serotonin and testosterone and increases feelings of balance and power. You can guess that poor posture does the exact opposite, as it affects every human activity by negatively affecting the endocrine system.

  • Excessive pressure on the neck: Research has shown that every 15 degrees of forward-head tilting results in increased pressure on the neck and shoulders, adding an extra weight of about 27 pounds. So, if the average angle a person tilts when looking down at a phone is about 60 degrees, imagine the excessive weight that the neck bears every time it bends. This will ultimately lead to wear and tear of the joints, and eventually, spinal degeneration.  

Other symptoms of Forward-Head Posture (FHP) include:

  • Headaches
  • Fibromyalgia: a rheumatic condition that consists of muscular pain, stiffness, and tenderness at specific places
  • TMJ pain: TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, and it is otherwise referred to as the jaw joint. When TMJ is not properly placed or aligned, it can harm other joints and muscles.  
  • Depression
  • Tingling: This usually occurs in the upper limb
  • Fatigue
  • Negative behavioral habits amongst children
  • Aches and pain
  • Asthma: a respiratory condition that is characterized by difficulty in breathing.

And finally,

  • Hindered blood flow (which is considered the most dangerous)

How does proper posture aid the flow of blood?

Research has continuously provided evidence of how maintaining the right neck curve can increase the flow of blood. Looking at some of the strongest structures in the world, a major characteristic among them is that they consist of arcs. These arcs act as the force which sustains these structures (they include bridges and doorways) and their designs are the factors that determine its longevity. The same is true with the human body.

The structure of the human body consists of arcs, and the spine is considered the most important arc of them all. This spine is made up of several arcs that make it stronger and last longer. Whenever there is a loss in the normal spinal curves, it exposes the discs and bones to unwarranted degeneration. It also affects a person’s physical appearance. This happens over a long period, mostly due to improper posture.

The dangerous part about it is that loss of the spinal curves is linked to a reduction in vertebral artery hemodynamics. This means that there is a reduction in the amount of blood that flows to the brain and certain parts of the body. People with loss of neck curve usually experience disability, nerve tension, and a poor quality of life in general. The pressure also creates the foundation for the formation of bone spur and osteoarthritis as the neck muscles and tissues tend to work much harder to make up for the inadequacy.

So maybe the question on your mind is… How can I prevent, eliminate or reduce forward neck posture and its effects?

There are basically three ways:

  • Chiropractic care: This is one of the most powerful ways of treating FHP and back pain, as experienced medical practitioners continuously recommend it based on previous results. Chiropractors are considered the most effective medical practitioners when it comes to spine alignment and posture issues.

Chiropractors are mostly concerned with the musculoskeletal system.

That is, they deal with the pain that results from the misalignment of muscles, bones, and joints, or when the tendons and ligaments are not properly placed.

It doesn’t matter the kind of job a person does. Anybody can be affected by a slight disturbance in his/her musculoskeletal system.

  • Maintaining the right head posture: This is the most obvious one. By keeping the head properly aligned, you prevent or eliminate unnecessary stresses on the neck and shoulder. You can start by raising your phone a little bit when used in subsequent times.
  • Developing the right posture habits: This is extremely important. Maintaining proper posture aligns the bones and joints, prevents stress on the neck curve, reduces abnormal wear and tear of the discs and bones, and saves energy. A major sign of poor posture is back pain, and there are a lot of factors that can contribute to it such as obesity, pregnancy, stress, weak postural muscles, and even high heeled shoes.


To start, you must continuously be aware of your posture whether you are sitting, standing or lying down. When sitting, place both feet firmly on the floor, and avoid crossing your legs. When standing, relax your arms and pull your shoulders back with your knees slightly bent. When lying down, sleep with your back well stretched on the right mattress.

Okay. So how does it work?

Brilliant question.

Chiropractic care bases its system on the fact that a person’s total health is associated with the alignment of the spinal cord, which is a major component of the central nervous system (CNS), the system that processes pain.

The human body is made up in such a way that all parts are closely knitted together and connected. A misalignment in any part of the body can create several hazardous effects in other parts of the body, even parts that are not related.  The job of a chiropractor is to help patients to properly align their bodies through several spinal adjustments and allow the free movement of muscles and bones. When there is no restriction or obstruction in the musculoskeletal system, the pain reduces.

Chiropractors tend to solve the underlying problem rather than just touching the surface by healing only the symptoms. They pay attention to the nature of the spine by continuously observing the structure and motion of the spine.

What does a typical Tacoma chiropractic care appointment look like?

The beautiful thing about chiropractic care approach is that it influences the patient’s entire body. Chiropractors are specially trained to use certain non-invasive techniques to observe the body of a patient and the areas that need attention.

During the appointment, the patient may go through an examination, receive treatments that can align the body parts, or receive medical advice on the various lifestyle modifications that can be made to alleviate the pain (these may include posture, diet, etc.).

To enhance the effects of the chiropractic treatments, home or rehabilitative exercises may also be prescribed for the patient.

What are the benefits of chiropractic care?

The chiropractic care industry is consistently flourishing due to the several benefits associated with it. They include the following:

  • Chiropractic care is a holistic approach: Unlike some medical approaches that tend to solve only the symptoms or the affected areas, chiropractic care is a holistic approach. It not only aligns the spine and other areas properly, but it also helps the patient to evaluate their lifestyle choices, such as their diet, sleep, levels of physical activity, stress, etc. This way, they tend to influence the patient’s health way beyond the pain.
  • It is medicine-free: This is one of the reasons why chiropractic care is widely used amongst people. Most patients tend to familiarize themselves with drugs, whether they are prescribed or gotten over the counter. But chiropractic care provides drug-free pain relief, as it focuses more on sustaining a healthy body than treating the symptoms. Although there are various procedures that chiropractors use on their patients, none of it is as dangerous as surgery and only a few patients complain of side effects.
  • It is not dangerous: This is another top reason why chiropractic care is very popular. Despite the several techniques chiropractors use, none of them are as dangerous as undergoing surgery. In most cases, the patients get treated during a single appointment and can head back home in time for dinner!
  • It improves the patient’s posture: After all, what is the need for aligning the spine if the patient constantly maintains a wrong posture? Chiropractic care ensures that you maintain a proper posture, no matter the form you are in.
  • It promotes ergonomic ideas: In today’s world, we have been indoctrinated in the sitting culture. We sit at desks in our offices for long periods. Kids sit in class for long hours as well. We sit at every slightest opportunity and mostly with our heads tilted down towards our phones, and this is extremely harmful to our spinal health. Chiropractic care promotes ergonomic ideas by encouraging people to make small changes in their homes or offices to help them reduce the stresses on their neck curves.
  • Enhances mental health: It comes as no surprise that chiropractic care enhances the mental state of a person. Although much research hasn’t been done to link the effects chiropractic care has on mental health, it is assumed that since chiropractic care enhances the nervous system, it enhances the brain.

This approach focuses more on helping a person to achieve a balanced and healthier life, which includes eating the right foods and exercising often, which are key factors in maintaining mental health and clarity.

  • Flexible treatment plans: The beautiful thing about chiropractic care is that its treatments can be customized to suit the patient’s needs, unlike traditional medical procedures. If the patient is disabled or has a painful body part, the chiropractor knows exactly what to do in such cases. They create chiropractic adjustments plans that are unique to each patient
  • They are not just for FHP and back pains: The chiropractic care industry has gone beyond merely reducing neck and back pains. They now proffer effective solutions to health conditions such as ear infections, menstrual disorders, gastrointestinal infections, infertility problems, etc.
  • Chiropractic care saves you money: Healthcare is a luxury to a lot of people these days. With the uncertainty of the economy, who doesn’t want to save money? If you go through the normal medical procedure, you may end up going for several appointments, buying so many drugs and paying off a lot of bills. But by opting for chiropractic care, you tend to have fewer appointments, thereby spending way less than you are supposed to. Plus, you will be able to get a lot more information from a chiropractor than you normally would. Sounds like a fantastic idea!
  • It improves the quality (and quantity) of your sleep: There is a growing number of people experiencing sleeping disorders in our time than ever before. By reducing pain and aiding relaxation, chiropractic care has shown to help people sleep better by enhancing the quality, and invariably, the quantity of their sleep.
  • It’s the best pain treatment you’ll ever find: Research has shown that chiropractic care has proven to be more effective in relieving pain than conventional methods. Plus, it comes at low risk, as patients have no fear of invasive procedures or allergies.

What could be better than this? Contact us today to set up an appointment and start correcting Forward Head Posture.

The Tyranny of Heavy Backpacks – The Health Problems and the Solution

Heavy backpacks are one of the major problems for kids in schools today. Little kids have to drag around huge bags filled with bulky books, while teenagers just need a book or two to get through with their day. 90% of children say that back pain due to heavy bags was “bad” or “very bad” for them[1].See the problem?

These kids don’t have the strength to carry such bags and end up developing severe back problems. In this post, we’ll be discussing the problems that may rise due to heavy backpacks and follow it up with a completely natural solution. But, before we jump into the main subject, let’s talk a minor detour to talk about which backpacks qualify as a heavy one.

What Should Be the Size of Your Kid’s Backpack?

Basically, the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that the recommended weight should be less than 10% of the child’s own weight while the maximum amount is 20%. This means that if your child weighs 40 kg, ideally, their backpack should be 4 kg, but it could go on to 5 kg. But, anything above that means that you’re putting your child at risk of severe chronic pain at their current age and later in life as well.

What Health Problems Could Rise Because of Heavy Backpacks?

There are a variety of different problems, here’s just a few of them.

  • Kids that wear backpacks over a single shoulder, mainly because they think they look cool, are putting all that extra weight on just one arm. This makes that side lean more as compared to the other one and put themselves at a risk of straining their shoulder and neck.
  • Heavier backpacks will lead to bad posture. If your kid is wearing a backpack for even 15 minutes each day, they could potentially harm their spine and misalign their posture.
  • Backpacks with tight and small straps dig into your shoulders. While this may seem like something that doesn’t do more than create mere irritation, it could interfere with circulation and put unnecessary pressure on the nerves.
  • Other than the direct effects, a big backpack could injure your child indirectly too. For example, they could trip because of heavier bags while passing through narrow places like the aisle of a school bus.
  • Heavy backpacks can greatly affect a person’s balance. And, if your kid is put off balance, they will probably have to live with that impairment.

This is just a tip of the iceberg. If we carried on, we’d probably find a couple dozen stuff that goes wrong when a little kid carries around an enormous backpack. This probably emphasizes the importance of making your child’s bag lighter. Here’s a few things you could do to achieve your goal.

  • Advice your kids to wear both straps.
  • Use thick padding on the bags.
  • Ensure even distribution of weight.
  • Changing to a rolling backpack.
  • Teach your kid to put the backpack at a higher surface to easily wear/remove it.
  • Secure the straps. A simple sewing machine will do the job just fine.
  • Make sure that the bag isn’t loose. Don’t let it lie below the lower back.
  • Keep a close eye on the kid’s daily lessons and only let them carry books that they will need that day. Try your best to eliminate all the unnecessary weight.
  • Teach your child to organize the backpack in such a way that the heaviest books are at the very back so the weight doesn’t pull your kid backwards.
  • A chest belt will secure the bag and will make the content feel lighter.

But, if you already notice signs of improper postures and several of the other effects listed above, don’t worry. There’s a really easy to solution to ensure that the effects don’t last for very long. And, the answers you’re looking for is something called chiropractic care.

Chiropractic Care for Kids

Yes, chiropractic care is also useful for kids. You might have seen seniors visiting chiropractors to improve their movement, but some kids also need this care to prevent future problems. There are chiropractors specially trained to treat kids, so don’t worry about the therapy hurting your kid instead of helping him.

What Can Chiropractic Care Do For My Kid?

It’s pretty straightforward, if your kid has a misaligned posture, or pretty much any problem because of a heavy backpack, a chiropractor will be able to fix them. You won’t just be getting rid of your child’s pains, you’ll be improving their quality of life. And, if you continue with chiropractic care throughout their life, you’ll be automatically making them healthier for when they step into the later parts of their life. Just to sum up the conversation, here’s all you need to know about how chiropractic care can improve your kid’s life.

  • Concentration: Is your child having trouble concentrating? The most probable reason is their bag interfering with the nervous system in the neck region. This impairs a person’s ability to concentrate and in the near future, this condition will be diagnosed as a case of ADHD. Chiropractic care paired with a healthy diet can repair this issue.
  • Proper Growth: Early structural and postural problems can cause lasting problems such as scoliosis. The structural issues damages the nerves in such a way that the body can’t grow normally, leading to stunted or heightened growth. Appropriate care will heal the child’s impaired structure and allow them to grow as nature intended for them to.
  • Sleep: Most kids struggle with sleeping problems. But, do you realize that sleeping problems are actually a reaction of your body to the stress on your nervous system? By relieving some of that stress through chiropractic, your child will actually have a much regular sleeping pattern.

Closing Thoughts

At the end, we’d like to say that even if your child isn’t showing a symptom per se, that doesn’t mean they won’t benefit from chiropractic care. Chiropractors are actually a proactive solution that’ll knock down a huge amount of the problems before they even have a chance to develop. Just book a few sessions for your child, we guarantee they’ll feel better immediately.

[1] https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/news/20040813/heavy-backpacks-can-hurt-student-backs