The Spinal Column: So…Here's how it works for kids!

Today I thought I would describe what a visit to a Chiropractor is like for your child. I am hoping this will help some parents feel comfortable about their children seeing a Chiropractor, especially if your child has any of the ailments I have spoken of in the Spinal Column previously. Asthmas, Allergies, Ear Infection, difficulty with bowel movements etc.

I have phone calls from all over the area from readers asking what is involved in a typical pediatric chiropractic examination and what they should expect.

So here are the details.

The first thing you’ll notice in our office as you enter is that we expect children. There is a waiting area for kids with toys and activities to help them feel comfortable right away. They usually run right to it while their parents’ head to the reception desk. There the parent will receive, as in any health care profession, the dreaded forms. We try to keep them to a minimum by not asking you for your name and address and birth date on 4 different forms. (My wife, Lisa, is our office manager and that is a pet peeve of hers. No Redundancy!) The forms are very important actually. In our office we ask about the mom’s pregnancy, labor, and delivery. We also ask about medical intervention such as ultrasound, epidurals, C-section or vacuum extraction.

We ask these questions because these procedures can lead to what is termed traumatic birth syndrome. The vast majority of chiropractic health problems found in children and adults, who may not be noticeable for years, can be traced to bones out of proper position from a difficult delivery and can affect the function of an infant’s nervous system.

When you have finished with the forms we offer you a brief tour of the office. We know it helps adults who have never been to a chiropractor to lessen their fear/ curiosity about what voo-doo lies behind chiropractic doors. We have found it also helps kids relax and enjoy as well.

Now, onto the consultation with the doctor…that’s me. This is where we have a chance to talk. I use this aspect of the visit to gain as much information as I need to have an idea of what is causing your child’s health problem. The emphasis is not so much on the symptoms the child may have, but on what is causing them.

Many children are not generally happy seeing yet another doctor. I tend to approach this visit very light hearted and friendly with them. I take the time to talk to them. To listen when they talk to me. I reassure the child that there are no needles or pills here. I can tell you with certainty….. that makes them very happy, instantly.

I use a small spinal model to illustrate what a subluxation does to their body. There is a flashing light that shows when the bones are in the right place. “It turns the power on”. I say and then ask, “What do you think is better, power on or power off?”

I always get the right answer.

Now they are on board with what needs to be done to help them be healthy again. They get it!

The consultation is followed by an examination for which we have child friendly gowns. There is an assortment, Pooh, Fairies, Fire Trucks…. but no redundancy.

I try to have the parent follow through the exam with me. I often have a parent feel the spine where there is a misalignment. I show them the visual signs of subluxation that I see. It is very important for a parent to feel and see what I feel and see. Then you really know what is going on with your child.

I point out the signs of a possible curvature starting, the manner in which the pelvis works when the child walks and how that affects the function of the knees, feet and overall balance.

A number of neurological tests are performed. I love how the kids really enjoy this part. It entails leg lifting, balance, strength testing. They find it all very fun! These tests are done to let me know the how the nervous system is functioning and to detect any malfunctions.

The next step is sophisticated computer scan, though; to the child it is a tickle as the instrument runs down their spine taking measurements. This information is very valuable to me in determining how imbalance may be affecting the child’s health.

Depending on the age of your child and the results of various tests, an x-ray examination may be performed to provide further information on the nature of the subluxation (bones that have moved out of their proper position) and possible damage it may have caused.

That’s it. The examination is thorough and precise. The kids usually enjoy their time in our office.

I hope this has helped some parents to feel at ease about looking to chiropractic for the health of their children, because Chiropractic care is soooo important for children.

If there is a bone out of it’s correct position in your child’s spine, the bone will press on the nerves that run between the spinal bones, and it will disrupt the communication that nerve is try to convey to a specific organ or gland or cells. This disruption can cause the organ to operate at less than it’s potential or incorrectly. Maybe it’s a nerve going to the ears and now the ear is confused and not able drain properly. The symptom would be an ear infection or recurring ear infections. Just imagine all the organs and glands in your child’s body and how they may be affected if some nerve is being squeezed off????

It is really important to me that all kids be checked by a chiropractor.

My goal is to reach kids as early as possible (I adjust newborns: delivery is difficult on your baby’s neck and spine) so that we can get their spines in line and prevent illness and disease that would be caused by a nervous system not doing it’s job correctly.

It’s so important that as a Summer Kick Off…we are offering a Spinal Exam to all kids who bring in their passing Report Card. It’s that important to me.

As always, please feel free to call me if I can answer any questions for you. I mean it. If you have a question and you are not sure if Chiropractic can help you, just call. I can talk to you about it.

That’s it for now.

See you next week.

Dr. Jim

Dr Jim Schaffer of Kimberton Chiropractic located in Phoenixville can be reached at 484-921-4936. Or www.kimbertonchiropractic.com

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