The question that I ask myself everytime I see a new patient is, “How long ago did this problem start?” The realisation quickly comes that the only way to know would to have been checking on that person from the day they were born. The sooner we start checking your spine and addressing issues as they arise (not 10 to 20 years later) the greater the life long health benefits that come about. Inevitably, this philosophy leads to working with children ensuring the maintenance of good spinal alignment during the early formative years and setting them up for the years ahead.
Did you know that a child has adult upright posture by age 4?
That is right, by the age of 4 your brain has established what it believes to be proper upright posture. By this time the curvatures of the spine should have matured and the ongoing process of learning to co-ordinate all the muscles and joints for healthy movement continues. Many of the spinal and postural problems we see in later life are actually set in place before the age of which is why children’s chiropractic is so important. There are many reasons for this phase of development to go wrong the most common being:
1) Poor handling of babies (particularly common throughout the Western world)
2) Knocks, bumps and falls and the issues with alignment that arise secondary to these
3) Birth trauma particularly associated with interventions such as forced extractions and C section deliveries.
4) The increasingly pre-mature use of technologies such as iPads and smartphones
5) Excessive time spend sitting, especially associated with screen time – TV and other technologies
While each of these points warrants a discussion of their own (to be addressed in more detail in future blogs) common to all is the stress they place on the spine altering its proper alignment and function. Many of the practices we have in the Western World are so common they have become NORMALISED. As far as normal healthy development goes, there is nothing normal about the cumulative effects each of these five areas have on the health of a child’s developing spine and nervous system.
So if we can take a leap and accept that the stresses and strains the developing spine is exposed to on a daily basis in the modern world are common NOT normal, then we need to have some a process in place to set the balance right and keep it that way. It is in this way that regular chiropractic spinal check-ups for children and adjustments if required play a most important role in their healthy development.
Our goal at Better Health has always been to keep people healthy, active and vital, not treat merely in the presence of disease, injury and dysfunction.
Children’s Chiropractic Spinal Screenings are FREE at Better health.
If you have children under the age of 13 years who have not had their first chiropractic spinal check, please book them in and ensure they are on the road to life long good health. While this is not a full and comprehensive exam it will highlight if there are any concerns that need further investigation. Best still, we will have that most important point of reference should things show up in the future.
Yours in Better Health,
Dr. Andrew Richards (Chiropractor)