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Chiropractic for Kids

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To Be Healthy, Kids Need Plenty of Exercise and Good Nutrition

There is a raging epidemic of obesity among America's youth. The number of American adolescents who are obese has risen an astounding 300% in the last 40 years.

Fortunately, in almost all cases, obesity is a lifestyle disorder. What this means is that most of the time, children who have become obese have done so due to behaviors they learned from their family, friends, and advertising media.

To ensure your child maintains a healthy weight, it is critical that they eat a proper diet and get plenty of exercise throughout the day.  For a healthy diet:

  • Eliminate all trans fats (including almost all fast foods).
  • Eliminate sweet drinks and encourage water-drinking instead.
  • Eat plenty of vegetables a some whole fruits each day.
  • Avoid processed food as much as possible, and keep junk food out of your home.
  • Serve pastured and organic meat and poultry if possible.
  • Don't push your child to clean their plates.  Instead help them to recognize when they are full and to stop eating as soon as they've had enough.
Children need a minimum of an hour of daily physical activity, which can include outdoor play, dance, calisthenics, gymnastics, and sporting activities.  Make sure your kids are getting an appropriate amount of exercise each day!

Grownups aren't the only ones who benefit by being checked by their chiropractor.  Kids do too!  Most kids probably don't need to have their blood pressure and glucose levels checked regularly.  Having these simple procedures done during their annual physical is usually enough for the majority of children. On the other hand, because kids are normally very active, more frequent chiropractic check-ups are usually a good idea.

Because most of us were never introduced to chiropractic care until we were adults - we had to play catch-up for a certain length of time before we really started to feel truly healthy again.  If we were one of the luckier ones who began chiropractic care as a younger adult, it probably didn't take too long to restore good health. If we were older, then the process probably took significantly more time.

If chiropractic care is valuable for you, imagine how valuable it is for your children. Kids are natural explorers - they run, jump, climb things, fall down, and generally bounce around a lot. Fortunately, kids are resilient - their quick recovery ability is one of the great benefits of being very young.

Occasionally though, one of these activity-related injuries negatively impacts a child's spine. It may not have been anything that was obvious, and nothing hurts, but there still may be subtle injuries to spinal ligaments and muscles that will have a long-term effect on spinal nerve function.1,2

Proper functioning of the spinal nerves is dependent upon the mechanical integrity of the spine itself.  If spinal ligaments and muscles are irritated or inflamed, spinal nerve function is compromised to a certain extent. In a child, the short-term and long-term effects may include muscle pain and stiffness, reduced range of motion in the low back or neck, frequent headaches, colds, asthma, allergies, and gastrointestinal problems.

Of course, when it comes to protecting your and your family's health, it's always much easier to prevent a problem before it begins, rather than treat the problem after it occurs. Prevention also costs much less over the long-run.

We all want our kids to be as healthy and well as possible. We want them to play full-out, having a lot of fun and engaging in all sorts of athletic activities.  Regular spinal check-ups are as important for ensuring your child's optimal health as their annual physical exam.

Your Millar chiropractor is a spinal health expert. He or she will be happy to help you ensure your child's continued good health.



1Fecteau D, et al: The effect of concentrating periods of physical activity on the risk of injury in organized sports in a pediatric population. Clin J Sport Med 18(5):410-414, 2008
2Spinks AB, McClure RJ: Quantifying the risk of sports injury: a systematic review of activity-specific rates for children under 16 years of age. Br J Sports Med 41(9):548-557, 2007

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