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Cracking Kids

Chiropractic care for a healthy pregnancy and healthy children

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More and more people are taking their health and the health of their family into their own hands. They are respecting their bodies' natural design and function, therefore seeking "alternative/complementary therapies." Why?

Because it's affordable and works. With changes in the Affordable Care Act, the state of Idaho (as well as 45 other states) chose to include chiropractic services as an essential benefit. Pregnant women are also recognizing the positive impact chiropractic has on their comfort levels and preparing for birth with swiftness and ease.

Chiropractic care in pregnancy is an important prenatal choice. Studies have indicated that chiropractic can assist in pre-pregnancy preparation with fertility support, as the spinal nerves travel from the spinal cord directly to the reproductive system. According to research from the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, if there is interference in the spine, it is possible that it has affected fertility. More couples are being encouraged to try the conservative and natural approach of chiropractic before investing a lot of time, money and energy into drug therapies and artificial options. This choice makes sense if we want to have a nervous system functioning at its full potential, prior to and during pregnancy.

Chiropractic care can also help maintain a healthy pregnancy by helping to control symptoms of nausea and inflammation; relieve back, neck and joint pain caused by the changes to the mother's body; reduce the time of labor and delivery; balance the pelvis and uterine sack, which allows for optimal room for the baby to move, develop and thrive; as well as even prevent a possible cesarean delivery.

It's hard for most women to grasp at times that pregnancy does not have to be painful. The Webster Technique, named for ICPA founder Dr. Larry Webster, is a specific chiropractic analysis technique that removes sacral subluxation--a Latin term meaning "less light expressing," and short-hand for an interference in the spinal cord--by balancing the pelvis and uterine sack, thus reducing the effects of sacroiliac joint dysfunction, which can often be the cause of a breech presentation. The technique cannot claim to turn breech babies, but I can tell you that I have had successful experiences with breech presentations turning vertex (the proper position for a healthy vaginal birth).

Postnatal pregnancy care is ideal as well--after holding the baby, nursing and carrying the car seat, mothers often feel tension and pain with these adaptations.

Chiropractic care for children starts during the mother's pregnancy, but doesn't end there--an increasing number of children are receiving chiropractic care. According to the American Chiropractic Association, chiropractic is the most common form of doctor-directed complementary or alternative medicine used by children. In an ICPA study, parents reported three unexpected results from chiropractic care: improved sleep, better attitude and behaviors, as well as increased immunity, resulting in fewer colds and flus. They also may find resolution from colic, cranky babies, torticollis, hearing impairments, ADD/ADHD, clogged tear ducts, ear infections, asthma, allergies and headaches, sensory-neural dysfunction, respiratory disorders and bedwetting--all this resulting in maximized brain and nerve development.

Kids who get adjusted are often the healthiest at their school, but resistance to the idea of children "getting cracked" is common (it should be noted that the amount of pressure applied on a baby's body during chiropractic is about 4 ounces--similar to the pressure you would apply to your eyeball safely).

Just like adults, children's nervous systems control and communicate their development. What's more, the most development we experience in our entire lives occurs in the first year of life, as we transition from helpless newborn to active toddler. Since significant spinal and cranial interference can occur at birth, many parents get their newborns checked right after birth to resolve any potential issues in the future. Of course, newborns go on to learn how to hold up their head, start sitting up and turn into crawling, then walking toddlers. These are all times in spinal development when spinal subluxation may become present and adversely affect proper nervous system communication between the rapidly growing brain and body.

As a child begins to participate in regular childhood activities like riding a bike or skating, and experiences traumas associated with these activities, small yet significant spinal misalignments may occur. If neglected, the injuries during this period of rapid growth may lead to more serious problems later in life.

Jennifer Dorn practices at BoDo Chiropractic, which specializes in pregnancy and pediatric care, and is certified in the Webster Technique. BoDo Chiropractic can be reached at 208-342-7136 or bodochiro.com.