You may not realize the variety of ways a simple neck injury can impact your child’s life. Anything from allergies to digestive issues to behavior problems can be blamed on an injury to the head or neck. Why is this the case?
When either the C1 (atlas) or C2 (axis) vertebra — the top two bones of the neck — becomes misaligned it can result in what is called body imbalance. What causes these bones to move out of place, especially in children? Really, any mild blow to the head or neck can cause this, such as a car accident, trips and falls, or sporting injuries. Even childbirth itself can move the atlas out of place due to the huge amount of pressure put on the head and neck of the baby as it moves down the birth canal. If it was a difficult birth and called for extreme measures like the use of forceps or vacuum extraction, these can be causes as well.
The C1 is a doughnut-shaped bone that supports the skull. Your spinal cord and your brainstem come out from the brain and run through the center of the C1. Your spinal cord is made up of trillions of nerve fibers (the nervous system) that travel through the small opening in the C1. Eventually, these fibers branch off to bring signals to every part of your body from your brain. When the C1 becomes misaligned, it can hinder or disrupt vital nerve signals to your body and brain. This leads to muscle and joint pain, improper immune system function, and a malfunction of organs. In children, it can lead to a number of issues, including such things as ADHD and Tourette’s syndrome, along with migraines, irritability, and even bedwetting. Let’s look at a few such examples.
Neck Injuries and Problems in Children
Dr. Erin Elster is an upper cervical chiropractor and researcher. The following are pediatric case studies that involve upper cervical chiropractic adjustments that she documented.
- An 8-year-old girl complained of daily headaches, a constant runny nose, frequent ear infections, and daily neck pain. She had had these allergies since birth. As a baby, she had colic. Her mother described her behavior since she was born as “irritable.” Upon examination, it was discovered that her neck and spine were extremely sensitive to touch.
After her first adjustment, her headaches and neck pain went away. The second adjustment resulted in the disappearance of her sinus and ear infections. She needed no further care and has not had a return of symptoms.
- An 8-year-old boy had a hard fall and hit his head on the school playground. He felt tingling in his arms and legs and was diagnosed with a spinal cord injury by his primary care doctor. He began having loss of bowel and bladder control, causing him to have to rush to the bathroom several times throughout the day to avoid accidents. The problem with his bowels continued for 6 months, and his mother decided to seek care from an upper cervical chiropractor.
An injury was discovered in his upper neck during the initial evaluation. The severe blow to his head caused his skull to displace slightly from his upper neck, causing the spinal cord injury and subsequent bowel problem. His first adjustment resulted in the correction of his bowel malfunction.
- A 9-year-old boy started having health problems as soon as he was born. His birth was assisted by forceps. In addition, he fell down stairs at the age of one. He had multiple ear infections and pneumonia every year. He was diagnosed with asthma at age 2. By age 7, he had been diagnosed with ADHD and Tourette’s syndrome. The tics from Tourette’s happened throughout his whole body, including his eyes, voice, toes, flinching of his side, and lifting his arms over his head. At age 8, he was diagnosed with depression and insomnia. He also complained now of neck pain and had headaches 3 times a week.
During his initial evaluation from an upper cervical chiropractor, a neck injury was discovered. After his first adjustment — just two days later — his mother reported noticing a difference in his attitude and personality. He was much happier. He had no headaches, neck pain, wheezing, his tics were only half as bad, and he slept through the night.
One month later, he still reported no headaches or neck pain, no asthma or wheezing, all his tics were completely gone except for an occasional verbal tic, and he was sleeping much better. His personality and behavior issues were much improved, as was his attention during school and interaction with other kids.
Six weeks after his initial adjustment, all his symptoms were absent. He was said to have become a completely different, happier, and healthier child.
Neck Pain in Children Calgary AB
The Upper Cervical Chiropractic Connection
The first thing you may be wondering is if this type of chiropractic care is safe for your child. The answer is yes. In fact, we recommend bringing newborn babies in to get an examination as soon as possible after birth. This will help eliminate any possible issues before they interfere with your child’s life. Keeping the brainstem working at its optimum should be a top priority in all of our lives.
Upper cervical chiropractors do not have to resort to cracking or popping the neck or spine. Rather, our adjustments are very gentle and safe. We encourage the bones to move back into place naturally, resulting in an adjustment that lasts longer and fewer visits to our office. There are numerous examples of children being helped through this type of care. The above are only a few. Feel free to talk to us about any concerns you may have regarding your child’s care.