Why a Growing Number of Parents are Choosing Chiropractic

Chiropractors for kids: Could working on a child’s back help more than just aches and pains?

Some D.C. area parents say yes!

31-year-old Marietta Watts is concerned her five-month-old baby, Hugh, is going to develop asthma and allergies. So right after he was born, she took him to the chiropractor.

“His dad does have asthma, did have asthma as a child and I had allergies as a child as well, so. It could be hereditary but if we can prevent it, we will,“ she said.

Watts is part of a growing number of parents taking their children to chiropractors. A recent National Institutes of Health report found that three percent of American children were cared for by a chiropractor, making it the 2nd most common type of alternative medicine for children.

“Parents should bring their kids regardless if there’s something wrong or not,“ said Natasha Smith, who is a chiropractor.

Natasha Smith says manipulating a child’s spine or giving “adjustments” can help with more than just back problems. She believes it can cure chronic ear infections, allergies, colds, even bed wetting and problems with sleep.

“Our main goal, our main function is to remove any nervous interference that affects the body’s ability to heal. So with all of our patients, that is our goal. We are just assessing the spine, feeling for any type of misalignments,“ Natasha Smith said.

She also says when the nerves along the spine become compressed, that can cause problems in other parts of the body, even other organs.

“Once you remove that spinal misalignment that’s putting pressure at the nerve, the nerve is then able to function better, so as a result of the nerve functioning better, you’re able to supply those muscles, organs in the body better and therefore overall, feel a lot better,“ she said.

While a 2007 safety review found that injuries were rare, some medical experts worry that one wrong move could seriously injure a child.

“The biggest concern that I have is that some chiropractors, probably all chiropractors are trained to do high velocity movements, but I think that some chiropractors have used them on children and that’s very, very dangerous,“ Dr. Sally Evans, a pediatrician, said.

Dr. Sally Evans from Children’s National Medical Center says since a child’s ligaments are more flexible, some types of sudden, quick movements could cause spinal cord injuries.

But Smith says, she’s very gentle when it comes to working with children. The amount of pressure she applies to the back is similar to how a person would feel a ripe tomato.

“I believe that if there is a way that you can treat a child or treat a person non conventionally, in the sense of using medicine, why not try it?,“ she said.

Doctors say that if you are going to bring your child to the chiropractor, make sure that the person is board certified.

There are some chiropractors who specialize in working with children.

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