Pediatric Chiropractic & Pregnancy Chiropractic
As children grow in the first years of life, the spinal column is developing at a very rapid rate. These tremendous growth and developmental changes make a complete chiropractic examination so important in the early stages of your child’s life.
In adults, severe spinal injuries are often associated with car accidents, falls, work injuries, or lifting excess weight. For many children, minor spinal injuries occur from everyday life. Tasks such as carrying a book bag, riding a bike, falling off the bed, rough play, fighting between siblings, jumping, and running can all cause minor spinal injuries. Unfortunately, injuries from this type of active play rarely leave visible signs of trauma. Instead, by scheduling regular spinal checkups, quick intervention can be done to prevent health problems that may occur in the future.
Pediatric chiropractic care is also often used as a preventative measure. Childhood conditions that may be prevented or improved by chiropractic care include: respiratory problems, sleep disturbances, headaches, spine pain, decreased immune system, colic, headaches, and bed wetting. Many parents also see the benefit of chiropractic care used to care for children affected by behavioral or developmental disorders such as AD/HD. After care, children reportedly display improved behavior, less sensory integration problems, greater flexibility and reduced pain. Those suffering from chronic conditions may be able to use chiropractic care as a means of replacing surgery or long-term medication use.
On the first visit, the child and parents will have a consultation to discuss the reason for their visit and the goals for your family. A complete medical history will also be compiled to help the Dr. Sara develop an individualized treatment plan. Then, she will perform a physical examination to determine if misalignment has occurred, neurological test and x-rays may also be performed, if necessary. If treatment is needed Dr. Sara Howard will complete a gentle treatment modified to fit the child’s size and condition. Parents may be relieved to know that children are likely to require less treatments than adults as their spines are more mobile.
Doctors of chiropractic are qualified professionals who are licensed in all 50 states. Those who focus on children and families, like Dr. Sara Howard typically complete specialized training in pediatric spinal problems. She is certified from the Academy of Family Practice in Pediatric and Pregnancy through the ICPA and Webster Technique Certified
10 reasons parents take their children to see a chiropractor:
- To encourage good brain and nerve development.
- To encourage good spinal posture
- To support their child’s overall health and wellbeing.
- To help strengthen their child’s immunity
- To assist with colic and irritability.
- To help with asthma, breathing difficulties and allergies.
- To help alleviate digestive problems
- To help improve their child’s ability to concentrate.
- To assist with behavioral disorders.
- To assist with bed-wetting and sleep issues
During pregnancy, there are several physiological and biomechanical changes that occur in your body in preparation for creating the environment for the developing baby. The protruding abdomen and increased back curve, center of gravity changes, pelvic changes, and postural adaptations can all lead to spinal and pelvic joint misalignments.
When the pelvis is misaligned it may not only cause pain and discomfort, but more importantly reduce the amount of room available for the developing baby leading to a condition called intrauterine constraint. A misaligned pelvis may also make it difficult for the baby to assume the best possible position for delivery. This can affect the mother’s ability to have a natural, safe, non-invasive birth. Breech and posterior positions can interfere with the natural ease of labor and lead to interventions such as C-sections.
Chiropractic care during pregnancy can provide the following benefits for women who are pregnant.
- Maintaining a healthier pregnancy
- Reducing the time of labor and delivery
- Relieving back, neck or joint pain
- Prevent a potential cesarean delivery
The late Larry Webster, D.C., Founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA), developed a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment technique which enables chiropractors to establish balance in the expecting mother’s pelvis and reduce undue stress to her uterus and supporting ligaments. When the pelvis is balanced it has been clinically shown to allow for optimal fetal positioning. The technique is known as the Webster Technique.
It is considered normal for a baby to present breech until the third trimester. Most birth practitioners are not concerned with breech presentations until a patient is 37 weeks along. Approximately 4% of all pregnancies result in a breech presentation.
“The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported in the July/August 2002 issue an 82% success rate of babies turning vertex when doctors of chiropractic used the Webster Technique.” Further, the results from the study suggest that it may be beneficial to perform the Webster Technique as soon as the 8th month of pregnancy when a woman has a breech presentation. 
Currently, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) recommends that women receive chiropractic care throughout pregnancy to establish pelvic balance and optimize the room a baby has for development throughout pregnancy. With a balanced pelvis, babies have a greater chance of moving into the correct position for birth, and the crisis and worry associated with breech and posterior presentations may be avoided altogether. Optimal baby positioning at the time of birth also eliminates the potential for dystocia (difficult labor) and therefore results in easier and safer deliveries for both the mother and baby.” 
For more information on pregnancy and chiropractic care please visit: www.icpa4kids.org or call Dr. Sara Howard at 309-691-9355 for a free consultation.
1 Chiropractic care during pregnancy. http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/chiropracticcare.html. The American Pregnancy Association. 08-Oct 2009