It may be difficult to imagine that a child would need chiropractic care. They seldom complain of chronic pain the way adults do and their bodies appear to be made of rubber in the way they bounce back from injury. The truth is, children's bodies are under a lot of stress while they are in a state of development and keeping them healthy requires maintenance.
Stress and trauma to the body and spine commonly begin with the birthing process. Infant’s spines can easily become misaligned from the intense pressure involved in both natural and Cesarean births. Unfortunately, other than crying, they have no way of communicating their pain, and it's source, to us. Throughout infancy they may sleep in awkward positions, and occasionally take a tumble. As children, they grow into toddlers who strain, and twist, and fall, while learning to crawl and walk. Luckily, they are very resilient and can take a lot of impact, but it is not uncommon for these injuries to develop into patterns of movement that will pull a child's bones out of alignment over time.
As kids, they may start to develop bad posture. Sitting in front of a computer or TV can have serious repercussions on the spine. Playing contact sports, wearing heavy backpacks (most likely the wrong way), and even sitting in desks can all cause issues. As teenagers, they begin to deal with the stress of more daily responsibilities, like becoming part of the work force, and use their bodies to perform physical labor such as painting houses, serving tables, and the like.
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities throughout development for a child's body, and particularly their spine, to become out of alignment which will affect other aspects of their healthy nervous system function and development.
During pregnancy, a woman’s body is undergoing a number of different changes to accommodate the growing baby. As the baby grows, a mother’s center of gravity shifts to the front of her pelvis, resulting in added stress and discomfort in the lower back and the various joints of the pelvis. At the peak of pregnancy, resulting from the associated weight gain, the curve in the lower back (lordotic curve) can increase to the point of causing serious impact on the vertebral joints, the sacrum, and the hip joints.
The nerves that travel to all other parts of the body have their origin in the spine. When the spine is compressed, these nerves can become irritated causing the pain to radiate to other areas of the body. Sciatica is a condition commonly stimulated by pregnancy, involving pain that radiates from the lower back all the way down the legs.
If a previous issue exists with the alignment of the spine, and there has been a history of lower back problems, pregnancy will often aggravate the condition. Pregnancy can cause the spine to become misaligned to the point that it does not simply go back into place once the pregnancy is complete. This can make the tasks that become necessary once the child is born, such as carrying a baby on your front or back, breast-feeding, and bending over to lift and pick things up, painfully difficult.
Chiropractic practitioners can provide safe and effective personalized care throughout your pregnancy and in the postpartum period. A thorough examination will determine the best treatment to address your discomfort and prepare the body for the height of pregnancy and childbirth. There are specialized adjustment methods to accommodate pregnancy. These treatments may reduce the need for pain medications throughout the delivery as well as help to reduce labor time. Follow up treatments can assist in realigning the body after the pregnancy and speed up the transition to a healthy post-pregnancy body.