Pediatric Care Newport Beach CA

If you are considering improving your child’s health through chiropractic care, you are probably wondering two things:

  1. Can pediatric chiropractic care help my child?
  2. How does pediatric chiropractic care even work? 

Well, you’re not alone! Many moms, dads, and caregivers are looking for hope and answers, backed by science, to help them with all the stress and struggles confronting their kids and families.

Let’s look at why kids struggle in the first place. 

Everyday childhood traumas affect the spine and nervous system.  Bumps, falls, and roughhousing often come to mind when we think about our kids’ physical stress. Physical stressors actually start much earlier. Research shows stressors begin during the prenatal and birth process.  

Besides physical stress, our kids live in a different world than when we grew up. They are a busier, more complex generation with packed schedules, hours of social media and screen time, and a diet lacking vital nutrients and minerals. Stress is coming from every direction, which is overwhelming for developing kids. 

The more “stressors” that build up, the harder it is for their little bodies to adapt and overcome, leaving our kid’s nervous system stuck in the flight-or-fight mode (sympathetic) instead of rest, digest, growth, and development mode (parasympathetic). 

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Why is chiropractic care good for kids?

Children with properly aligned spines tend to have better posture and overall health. Kids under chiropractic care do better in sports, perform better in school, and are sick less often. Chiropractic not only helps align the spine but helps to clear neural pathways for an optimized nervous system which is vital to healthy living.

Colic

How can you tell if your baby has colic?
  • Inconsolable crying and screaming
  • Extending or pulling up their legs to their tummy
  • Passing gas
  • Enlarged or distended stomach
  • Arched back 

1 in 6 babies is affected by colic, and numerous studies and personal experiences have proven the efficacy of chiropractic care for colic. This makes for a much happier baby, which benefits the whole family. An inconsolable baby affects the entire household, including other children and grandparents, because no one gets to rest.

What is the main cause of colic?

It may be due to a digestive problem because the nervous system might have some interference. It can also be caused by something the nursing mother eats or something in the baby’s formula.

Breastfeeding Problems

Breastfeeding is instinctive but sometimes comes with difficulties like latching onto the breast. A misshaped head due to birth is one reason breastfeeding might be difficult. They may not be able to open their mouth wide enough or they may have a TMJ problem due to a traumatic birth. Our chiropractors have specific training in cranial and TMJ work that can make breastfeeding easier for both baby and mother. 

Torticollis, an abnormal head tilt, can also pose breastfeeding issues if the baby can’t get into the proper position for a good latch. Gentle chiropractic adjustments can restore normal posture and range of motion to the child’s cervical spine/neck area. 

Another common issue that could cause problems with breastfeeding is a tongue tie or lip tie. As chiropractors, we are trained to recognize these conditions and refer them to the proper professional if needed.

Reflux

Infant reflux is when a baby spits up. This occurs when food moves back up from a baby’s stomach. These are some of the common signs your baby has reflux:

  1. Spitting up
  2. Refusal to eat and difficulty eating or swallowing
  3. Irritability during feeding
  4. Wet burps or hiccups
  5. Failure to gain weight
  6. Abnormal arching
  7. Frequent coughing
  8. Gagging or choking
  9. Chest pain or heartburn
  10. Disturbed sleep

If reflux is caused by vertebral misalignment, the chiropractors at Priestley Family Chiropractic will gently and gradually correct the alignment. The proper spinal structure can help the upper valve of the baby’s stomach to gain more control by improving nerve function.

Constipation

Signs of constipation:

  • Fewer stools than their regular pattern (daily)
  • Straining more than usual to have a bowel movement
  • A change in the stool’s appearance: small, hard, pebbles
  • Abdomen (belly) is bloated or swollen with gas
  • Painful cramps

5-28% of children suffer from constipation. 

Many factors can cause constipation, but the most common trigger is when a child decides to hold their bowel movements. Children do this for several reasons, ranging from a preference for diapers to not wanting to interrupt play or being uncomfortable with using a restroom outside of their home. If a child ignores body clues, the stool can harden and become painful to pass, making the child even more reluctant to go. Other causes include not drinking enough fluids, switching to solid foods, or changing from breast milk to formula. 

In some cases, constipation may be caused by nerve interference to the intestines. The doctors at Priestley Family Chiropractic are highly trained to locate and connect nerve interference, which is why we have such great success rates in helping children with constipation. It is not uncommon for the results to be immediate. 

The common treatment for constipation is suppositories or laxatives. This is not a good solution because the child’s body becomes used to them in order to go to the bathroom, which is not natural or sustainable. 

Ear Infections

Over 80% of kids get an ear infection before age 3, which is so common because they have shorter eustachian tubes.  Ear infections often occur when a child has a cold, sinus infection, or allergies, and fluid builds up in the eustachian tube. 

How can I tell If my baby has an ear infection?
  • Tugging at ears
  • General malaise
  • Difficulties sleeping
  • Lack of appetite
  • Unexplained crying
  • Fever
  • Fluid from ears
  • Hearing difficulties

Pediatric chiropractic care can dramatically reduce ear infections through several techniques without medication. Ear congestion happens when there is a blockage in the eustachian tube. This tube drains fluid from a child’s middle ear by funneling it down their throat, using muscles and joints in their neck, which are controlled by the nerves coming from the same area. When that communication route is blocked, these muscles cannot function correctly and do not let the eustachian tube drain. This fluid build-up is what can cause an ear infection. 

The doctors at Priestley Family Chiropractic have simple and effective ways to treat ear infections with a baby-friendly, drug-free approach. 

Spinal adjustments are one way to treat ear infections. A gentle spinal adjustment can help direct drainage of the eustachian tube.  Another chiropractic method to relieve pressure in the ears is a gentle technique performed with manual therapy inside the mouth to help open up and promote drainage of the eustachian tube.  Specific ear adjustments by hand cause it to “pop” and release the pressure and tension in the ear immediately. 

At Priestley Family Chiropractic, we do cranial-sacral techniques to address the sinus and skull. This adjustment will promote drainage and reduce pressure. Results are generally immediate!

Chiropractic For Toddlers

Think of the spine as not just a collection of bones, muscles, and ligaments, but instead as an entire neurological “organ.” This organ is the critical communication highway between the brain and body. Kids can adapt easily to their surroundings when the brain and body communicate well. 

As a child is learning to walk, they fall about 1-20 times a day. This can move the spine out of the proper position, causing nerve interference and lowering the child’s state of health. Checking and adjusting children, when necessary, will also improve their balance. This will enable your child to reach his or her fullest health potential.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is chiropractic care safe for a child?

Chiropractic care for kids is different from that for adults. At Priestley Family Chiropractic, we tailor our chiropractic adjustments to your child’s age and weight.  Their adjustments require no more pressure than you would use to test the ripeness of a tomato. Children seem to innately enjoy their chiropractic care and look forward to their visits. It’s essential to find a well-trained, reputable pediatric chiropractor. 

At what age should a child start seeing a chiropractor?

We believe a child should have a spinal checkup within an hour of birth.  The pulling, forcing, and twisting of a baby from the birth canal are standard practices in the birthing process. Cesarean section, forceps, suction extraction, or eager hands can do unseen damage. Even “natural” birthing methods can cause subluxations. With vital neurological signals compromised, your child’s health may be impaired from his or her very first breath. We have sophisticated technology to determine if your child’s nervous system is compromised. Allow the doctors of Priestley Family Chiropractic to perform gentle but effective adjustments on your child’s body to restore normal body functions. When we address these issues early on, you can ensure your child’s body thrives.

When should you take your child to a chiropractor in Newport Beach?

At Priestley Family Chiropractic, we believe a child should be checked as soon as possible after the birthing process to ensure your baby will develop optimally. The birthing process – even in the best case – can cause trauma to the newborn that can interfere with the nervous system, affecting your child’s health. This may present as trouble breastfeeding, reflux, colic, constipation, or excessive crying. As the child gets older, this might lead to issues with crawling, walking, speech and motor coordination, ear infections, autism, and ADHD. Chiropractic adjustments for pediatric patients focus mainly on increasing the function of the nervous system. 

What are the signs my child should see a chiropractor?

If you have a concern there is an issue with your child, trust your instinct.  Young babies are usually flexible and resilient. Throughout childhood, kids take a lot of falls and bumps without much difficulty. These micro-traumas can cause misalignments of the spine that can affect your child’s health. Here are some of the signs that chiropractic care can be an effective pediatric treatment option:

  • Incoordination
  • Speech delays
  • Excessive crying
  • Constipation
  • Complaints of continued or recurring neck or back pain
  • Limited head or neck mobility
  • Poor posture, uneven shoulders
  • Irregular sleep patterns
  • Bedwetting

Should a child see a chiropractor for ear infections before putting tubes in their ear?

Yes, definitely! Ear infections are a common childhood issue that infants go through. This happens when fluid builds up in the ear’s eustachian tubes and fails to drain, leading to ear pain or infection. Chiropractic care can help prevent minor injuries on the infant’s nerves, mitigating their chances of developing painful ear infections. At Priestley Family Chiropractic, we can achieve this by dilating the muscles in the ears to drain the eustachian tube, relieve pressure, and unblock fluid. 

Is pediatric chiropractic care the same as chiropractic care for adults

Not quite! Chiropractors treat patients of all ages, from newborns to the elderly, to restore proper nerve flow from the brain to the body and back again. A pediatric chiropractor is trained to fit their chiropractic knowledge to the needs of younger, smaller patients. The adjustments are very gentle in delivery and sometimes utilize no more pressure than what is applied to test the ripeness of a tomato. Adult patients usually require a greater force to move the spinal bones in a better position to relieve pressure from the spinal nerves and the spinal cord.