Injuries from accidents or sports can shift the spine out of alignment which impacts the nervous system and body function. Chiropractors can correct misalignments in young children’s spines which will prepare their bodies for healthy growth and development.
Let’s start with babies. What are some reasons parents would take their infant to a chiropractor and how would you examine and potentially treat an infant?
Dr. Scott Gardner: There are several reasons parents would take their infant to a chiropractor. One would be something called torticollis, where the neck is tight on one side and the movement of the head is limited. The second would be if they had colic-like symptoms. The third would be digestive disturbance. The fourth, in my opinion is most important, and that’s really preventative wellness, so that we can get the child on the road of good spinal health. We have a saying, “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.” The sooner we can catch any kind of postural imbalances, the quicker we can correct them and the better their growth and development will be.
The examination would consist of visual tests and palpation or feeling the spine for misaligned vertebrae. The treatment would involve light pressure to gently realign the spine.
As toddlers learn to walk and climb, they will fall countless times. Sometimes children sustain real injuries and other times they just get right back up. How does the chiropractor examine a toddler and know if there’s any damage to the spine or joints at such a young age, and what is involved in the visit with the chiropractor?
Dr. Scott Gardner: The evaluation of a toddler is similar to that of an infant. We start with a visual examination for abnormalities in posture. We watch the way they walk and interact, and then we will do a palpation or the feeling of the spine and muscles to check for alignment and symmetry. We will then use a gentle touch to realign the spine.
When children start playing sports, they will get injured with broken bones, sprained ankles, or sustain repetitive stress injuries to their joints. In addition to regular medical and orthopedic care, in what ways can a chiropractor help a student athlete recover from sports-related injuries?
Dr. Scott Gardner: Chiropractic care is important for athletes of all ages. Regular chiropractic care can promote healing because of the effects on the nervous system. Again, we know that the nervous system is the master control system for the whole body. The healthier the nervous system is, then typically the healthier the individual will become. We can also address any kind of joint dysfunction with extremity adjustments and muscle stretching and strengthening exercises.
In addition to treating injuries, could you explain how chiropractic care helps children’s overall growth and development, and helps the body prevent injuries and other potential medical issues?
Dr. Scott Gardner: Chiropractic care is vital for overall health. We focus on developing and maintaining normal posture. Nowadays with the use of technology, there’s even greater stress on the spine and nervous system. Now, again, I’ll say that quote, “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.” We really need to address posture at every stage of development.
If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Scott Gardner visit www.gardnerfamilychiro.com or call 973-614-9256 to schedule an appointment.