Modifications of Chiropractic Care for Children

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Chiropractors who take on children as patients make adjustments to accommodate them. For one, the treatment rooms are often coated in a layer of toys to entertain the kids. On a more technical level, chiropractors adjust the forces in the treatment. They also may adjust recommendations based on a child’s age and unique situation. In this article, we’ll list some of the ways that a chiropractor adjusts the protocol to accommodate a child.

More Gentle Spinal Manipulation Therapy (SMT)

Most chiropractors recommend spinal manipulation therapy to treat both musculoskeletal and non-musculoskeletal pediatric issues. In this treatment, children’s spine are gently manipulated to correct subluxations, misalignments in the spine that are believed to cause issues. However, children’s spines are usually more pliable than an adults, so chiropractors often decrease both the force and the speed of the treatment. Most chiropractors follow recommendations of “safe limits” on the treatment’s force and speed. A 2016 study explains that the following limits are used in pediatric spinal manipulation therapy.

  • Low-force, low-speed therapies for children younger than 2 years
  • Moderate force with moderate speed in children aged 2 to 8 years
  • Moderate force with high speed up to 18 years

Chiropractors take into account the reactions of a child’s spine (which is more flexible that that of an adult) to spinal manipulation therapy.

Lower Frequency of X-rays

Chiropractors are aware of the negative effects of additional x-rays on children. When possible, chiropractors use existing x-rays to analyze the spine. Most chiropractors only request x-rays on children when they deem it necessary to understand the underlying condition. Minimizing the number of x-rays while still enabling an effective treatment are the two forces at play in a chiropractor’s wellness plan.

Other factors

Chiropractors develop a unique plan for each child. A chiropractic study recommendation states “…the decision to apply a specific grade of mobilization or manipulation should be based on the patient age, weight, height, sex, neurologic development, muscular control, patient preference, and the clinical confidence and experience of the practitioner.” The child’s age is not the only factor at play in the chiropractor’s development of his or her wellness plan. Patient preference and individual child development factors also play a part. A good chiropractor is also aware of his own limitations and works within the bounds of his knowledge.

This article outlines only some of the ways that a chiropractor works to adjust treatment for a child. Each patient is analyzed as a unique individual and receives a individualized wellness plan. To see how a wellness plan might look for your child, contact us at Atlanta Chiropractic and Wellness.

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