“As the twig is bent, so grows the tree”
For me, this summer consisted of lots of yard work, including moving and planting trees. A number of the trees that my husband and I had planted in the last couple years were leaning and growing a bit crooked, so we staked them, attempting to pull them straight. Every couple of weeks, we had to once again pull the rope tighter, slightly pulling the tree a little straighter again. Anyone who has done yard work knows and understands that removing and/or reducing any interference that affects the growth of young trees helps to reduce the chance of crooked trees when they are mature.
This is a great parallel to the growing spines and bodies of infants, children and teenagers. If we can remove interference in the brain-body pathways, which chiropractors call vertebral subluxations, then we ensure optimal function of the nervous system and the growing body! Essentially we want them to grow with their joints and their spine in the best possible alignment. Our bodies are amazing at adapting to the restrictions in our spine with compensatory patterns. These compensation patterns may include a head tilt to one side, a high shoulder and/or perhaps a hip that is rotated forward causing a slight limp in a person’s gait. The longer an individual lives with these compensation patterns, the more ingrained they become. Hence it usually takes adults much long to improve compared to children. This is one reason I love taking care of children – they respond beautifully to chiropractic care as they commonly have less damage and less deep-rooted patterns of compensation. We are able to align the spine, removing interference that may affect the growth of their spine while they are young, so that they may grow and mature with proper alignment.
A big question that most parents have is, how would my child’s spine go out of alignment?
One of the first vertebral subluxations may occur during birth or in those first couple months when the infant’s head is still poorly supported by their neck. As they grow it is easy to see how their pelvis becomes misaligned when they begin to pull themselves up to standing and start to walk – how many hundreds of times do they fall down onto their bottom? Then they begin jumping, most often off of something, and start to ride a bike/skateboard/scooter – which usually involves multiple crashes. Parents of teenagers, have you noticed your child’s posture while on the computer, playing video games or on their phone? Their head is protruding forward, they usually are slouching and their shoulders are rounded forward…essentially their posture is terrible – what a strain on the spine, surrounding muscles, ligaments and tissues!
With infants, children and teenagers, we want to be as proactive as possible. They are growing and changing so quickly, interference should be removed before symptoms occur. It is an appropriate time to bring your child in when: they meet a milestone and more importantly when they are not meeting milestones, when they start a new activity or sport, after long periods of time in the car, after being bounced around on rides at the fair, and after any falls or accidents. Talk to your chiropractor about what proactive care looks like for your child.
Have questions? We would be happy to answer them, please call for a free consultation.