When a child is brought in to see us, there are three main things we look for… the Three T’s:
1 – Trauma
When we ask parents to think of any physical trauma their child has gone through, the usual answer is ‘none’. We tend to think of trauma as dramatic incidents, blood and hospital visits. When it comes to chiropractic, that’s not what we consider trauma. Little traumas can impact the structure of the developing child just as dramatically as big ones. Often parents don’t consider some of the following, but we as chiropractors do.
So as family chiropractors, where do we see trauma occurring?
- For some babies, the trauma can relate to circumstances prior to birth or during the birth process. This can involve the mother’s pelvis, and her compensation and fixation patterns, as well as the handling of the birth process, or clumsy handling of the newborn.
- As chiropractors, our ears prick up when we hear ‘our kid fell off this’, ‘got smacked in the face with this’, ‘ran into a door’, ‘fell off the seesaw in the park’. Small repetitive traumas often happen as the child starts to walk, falling on their bum 25 times an hour, or when learning to ride a scooter, bike, or roller blades. It is natural and normal for kids to fall, and get scrapes and bumps as they are learning to navigate the world. As they grow, they will fall numerous times in numerous different ways. But as chiropractors we want to ensure that these small traumas aren’t contributing to bigger problems.
- Car seats are not conducive to good spinal health. They keep the child curled up, which is stressful for their systems. For this reason, babies shouldn’t be left in them for too long. It is better to wake baby up in order to move them to a better seat or cot, rather than leave them in the car seat when the journey is over.
- Problems can be causes by poor baby carriers, which don’t properly support the very young spine, and put excess pressure on the sacrum and hips.
2 – Toxins
The chemical section of health is huge in today’s world. In our opinion, it’s clear kids are growing up in a more toxic environment that the last generation and the one before that. Whether it’s environmental toxins or digital toxins, kids are exposed to far more nowadays. Here are some of the toxins we will look out for:
- Chemicals used around the home, such as cleaning products, bleach, fragrance diffusers etc.
- Smoking at home. Even if you don’t smoke in the presence of your child, or don’t smoke any more, residues are left over in furniture and soft furnishing etc.
- Food intolerances cause inflammatory reactions due to underdeveloped gut barriers. This could be from formula foods for babies, or gluten and dairy intolerance in the older child.
- Lots of antibiotic use at a young age. This changes the gut biome by killing off the friendly bugs in the gut. We commonly find that a good quality probiotic hasn’t been used after this exposure.
- Meds from the Mum, prescription meds or recreational toxins.
3 – Thoughts
Thoughts and stress can have an impact on a newborn. This could be stress coming through to the baby from the mother or family members. If the birth has been particularly stressful, or there was a last minute change of plan, then this would have activated the flight or fight response (sympathetic pattern). This can again be stressful for the newborn.
In the older child stress comes in many forms. It could be academically, emotionally through friendship groups, family break ups or the power of social media. The child will respond in a very similar way as adults, activating their sympathetic nervous system. This is a protective mechanism that should be used short term. It isn’t a state that you should live in for very long.
Think about how we get when we are stressed – increased muscle tension, headaches, low mood, emotional, fuzzy head, poor, not feeling rested, not concentrating at work, feeling antisocial, low appetite / comfort eating, and the list goes on. It is no different for children.
The Chiro Kid Flow
We use these three Ts to identify the cause of the child’s issues, and work to address them.
1. The cause. This is usually found in the history, hiding in the 3Ts somewhere!
2. The effect. This effects what happens in the spine, and the compensations the body makes for it.
3. The result. This leads to the altered neurology and symptoms the child experiences .
If you would like to know more about chiropractic, and its benefits for children, get in touch.