Child And Pregnancy Care
Chiropractic care is for all ages. Many factors contribute to your child’s health, including daily exercise, a good diet and a healthy spine. The spine protects your child’s delicate nervous system. Chiropractors have consistently seen the positive effect that spinal adjustments have with infants and children for a variety of conditions, including back pain, headaches, colic, asthma, recurrent ear infections, constipation and the list goes on. As research unfolds, studies are confirming these benefits. For example, in 1999, a research report published in the prestigious Journal of Manipulation and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) concluded that “spinal manipulation is effective in relieving infantile colic” (see the FAQ section for more information about this study!)
Just think about all of the stresses to your child’s spine as he/she grows, learns to walk, plays sports, sits all day at school or even while slouching in the couch playing video games! The Ontario Chiropractic Association advocates spinal check ups for a child one to two times per year, and for infants, the important developmental stages of holding up the head, sitting, crawling and walking are critical times for the spine to be checked for proper functioning and development of the normal spinal curves. Chiropractors are trained to detect areas of the spine that are not functioning properly (vertebral subluxations), and modify treatment for the age and smaller frame of the infant or child. An instrument, called an ACTIVATORTM , can also be used to make the adjustment. Just as the dentist is important in maintaining teeth that are healthy and cavity free, the chiropractor can help keep your child’s spine in great shape! And just as brushing between visits is important, taking care of your spine with good posture, good backpacks and regular exercise is essential.
There are also many studies that discuss the benefits of chiropractic care for the pregnant woman. Chiropractic can help alleviate many of the aches and pains associated with pregnancy. Ensuring good alignment of the spine and pelvis has helped many women have an easier delivery with fewer complications. Dr. Trim is also trained in the “Webster In-Utero Constraint Breech Technique”. By performing specific adjustments to the pelvis to restore alignment with release of the uterine ligament(s), babies in breech position will often turn around in the pelvis to allow for a normal vaginal delivery. The key is to have the spine and pelvis in good alignment so the body can do what it needs to do! Massage Therapy is a wonderful relaxation tool, as well as a safe treatment for pregnancy related complaints.
Occasionally there are children that come to our Clinic with significant health problems, such as learning difficulties, recurrent ear infections and colds, chronic asthma, food allergies, and other related problems. These children may need to receive care from the naturopath, often in addition to the chiropractic care. The naturopath then can look at the child’s overall health and lifestyle to ensure a return to good health. As herbal remedies can be potentially harmful for a child or for a pregnant woman, professional guidance is always recommended before taking a supplement of any kind.
As an added note, each of the massage therapists at the Momentum Healing Arts Centre is trained in infant massage. This is a wonderful way to connect with your baby and provide him/her with stimulation for healthy growth.
Please see the Frequently Asked Questions section for more information and answers to the most common questions regarding children and alternative care.
Older Adult Care
You’ve worked hard all of your life to enjoy the “Golden Years”, so don’t let chronic aches and pains slow you down or limit the activities that you have always wanted to do! Chiropractic is a safe and healthy way to maintain your mobility and help take away some of the pain of arthritis, muscle aches, back pain, and joint pain.
Hydraulic tables make it easier to get up on the tables for your chiropractic adjustment. The treatment is modified for every patient to ensure comfort. If there is the risk of osteoporosis or replaced hip or knee joints, one of the preferred methods of treatment uses the ACTIVATORTM adjusting instrument, which is a spring loaded device instead of using manual adjustments.
By restoring better alignment to the spine and its joints, there can be a significant reduction in joint stiffness and immobility, pain, and swelling. Even spines that have severe deformity and significant arthritic change can benefit from chiropractic care, especially when combined with massage therapy or acupuncture. Every patient’s health concern is unique, therefore the treatment must also be unique.
One of the more common complaints as a person gets older is the sluggishness of their digestive system. Naturopathic medicine is an effective, natural way to deal with many of the complaints that we experience as our bodies grow older. There are many natural, safe ways to deal with everything from digestive complaints and joint pain to lowering blood pressure without the side effects of medication!
The chiropractors at Momentum Healing Arts Centre believe that posture is a very important indicator of good health. The aging process is a perfect example. People who have osteoporosis and osteoarthritis of the spine tend to be bent forward.
Many of the body positions that we have adapted with modern technology force the spine out of its natural shape, causing abnormal joint movement, muscle weakness and imbalance and a loss of joint nutrition. The result is a spine that breaks down faster with the everyday wear and tear to eventually become stiff, sore and even arthritic. Chronic computer use is a prime example. Sitting all day, with the head leaning forward over the keyboard, trapping a phone between your ear and shoulder, and driving all day are key contributors to poor posture and forward head carriage. Sports, such as cycling, also force the head in a forward position.
Forward head carriage occurs when the neck has lost its normal lordotic or C-curve. This can be seen on an x-ray, or can be checked by looking at a person’s posture from the side. Draw an imaginary line from the person’s earlobe to the shoulder. The line should fall directly through the middle of the shoulder. Too often the line is way ahead of the shoulder, indicating the loss of the normal curve. This means the weight of the head is being supported by the last few vertebrae of the neck, instead of the whole spine. The result is early arthritic change of the lower neck. This is one of the major causes of head, neck and upper back discomfort, pain, stiffness, fatigue and lack of neck motion.
School Posture And Backpack Education Program
One of the other services that the Momentum Healing Arts Centre provides is Backpack Education Program for school-aged children. The program is about 90 minutes in length. The students are educated on backpack use, backpack safety and proper lifting. A general spinal screening is also done to detect early spinal curves. An information package is sent home with each student.
Back Pain Is Not Just For Adults
Did you know that 3,300 children ages 5-14 were treated in 1998 in American Emergency Rooms for injuries related to back packs? Did you also know that in one recent study, 66% of students reported having muscle soreness caused by wearing backpacks? Did you also know that 80% of the general public will experience back pain during their lives? Back pain doesn’t happen by itself. The key is finding the causes early and then preventing them.
As The Twig Is Bent, So Grows The Tree!
A child will have many physical stresses to overcome in their short lives. Stresses can even start as early as the birth process and continue all through the school years into adulthood. Learning to walk, learning to ride a bike, playing competitive sports, accidents, and even carrying backpacks can stress the spine and cause postural curves. Some may even develop scoliosis, which is a permanent curvature of the spine.
The kids that have early postural changes are often the ones that will grow up to be the adults that experience low back pain, headaches, neck pain and other common musculoskeletal complaints. One recent study (White et al. 2000) found that one quarter of kids were carrying more than 20% of their body weight. That’s comparable to a 120lb woman carrying more than 24lbs, or a 180lb man carrying more than 36lbs with them throughout the day! Another recent study (Whitfield et al. 2001) showed that the younger the student the greater the proportional weight they were carrying! Another study (Grimmer et al. 2000) has shown that girls are more likely to report low back pain and another study by the same author (1999) shows that there is a measurable change in posture while wearing back packs that changes with gender and age of the child wearing the back pack.
A study published in the Spine journal in 2001 was the first of its kind to show that children who participated in a spinal health and posture awareness program had less incidence of back pain several years later. These results are very exciting. If children can develop better postural habits and be aware of the risk factors for spinal stress, they will be at a much lower risk level for spinal stress and back pain, which is the number one cause of disability in our workforce. But more importantly, this program may help prevent our kids from developing lifelong painful spinal and muscular conditions.
The other goal of this program is to introduce chiropractic to families and the importance of spinal check ups during the growing years. The Ontario Chiropractic Association recommends a posture and spinal check up a minimum of one to two times per year, depending on the activity level and spinal stresses for each child.
The Posture And Backpack Education Program can be arranged for your child’s school by calling our office. These educational programs are conducted for schools at no charge.