February 19, 2016 by Dr. Elsje Meyer.

What is chiropractic?

Focus –
Chiropractic focuses on the nervous system, muscles and joints. Chiropractic treatment harnesses the body’s natural healing capabilities.

Chiropractors obtain a Masters degree in Chiropractic and complete an internship. They register with the Chiropractic Association of South Africa, as well as with the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa.

What does a chiropractor do?
Chiropractors use their hands to stretch and adjust joints, ensuring that joints and muscles move well. Extra therapies like ultrasound and electrotherapies are sometimes used to speed up recovery and relieve pain.

Maintain Balance –
In addition to treating you, your chiropractor will give you advice about your diet, exercise and home therapies. Besides informing you, this helps to improve your health and prevent further injuries. Advice on diet and your home environment can be of immense help when your baby or toddler is struggling with discomfort, sleeplessness or behavioural difficulties.

Who can see a chiropractor and should I?
Young and old, everyone can see a chiropractor. The techniques chiropractors use are gentle enough for the smallest babies and fragile bones, yet specific and effective in treating a great variety of conditions.

Chiropractic care may be of value to everyone – whether you are in pain, have an old injury or simply feel that your body should be able to perform better, make a booking with your chiropractor for personalized advice. Chiropractors are given extensive training in baby and toddler care.

Most Common –
Conditions commonly treated Back pain, headaches and neck pain are the most common reasons why people see their chiropractor.

Many other conditions can be effectively managed by your chiropractor, including sprained ankles, elbow, shoulder and knee injuries.  Chiropractic can be helpful in certain cases of infant colic, re flux and bed-wetting, as well as assisting in correcting crawling or walking difficulties.

Chiropractic for children.

Chiropractic for Children
Just like adults, children experience pain due to too little or too much movement, forces exerted on their spines during birth, and inevitable tumbles. Babies and toddlers cannot tell us about their discomfort. They sometimes don’t know how to express what they experience. Chiropractic may play a role in contributing to the health and well-being of your little ones. It is recommended to have your baby checked at six weeks of age for shoulder and hip injuries. It is also at this stage that your baby might start to experience colic or reflux. A chiropractic consultation could be of great value to both mom and child.

Many parents ask me if their child might need chiropractic and how they would know if their child needs a chiropractic adjustment. The easiest way to find out is to ask your chiropractor to examine your child’s spine and to explain to you where they find fixations in your child.

What do chiropractors look for in people’s spines? Chiropractors determine when a joint doesn’t move as well as it is designed to move. Joints have a certain springiness and suppleness that is necessary for normal motion and for strong muscle contraction. When a joint cannot move in certain directions, the nervous system perceives this as an injury, and starts to shut muscles down around the joint as a self-protective mechanism. This is called a fixation.

Fixations in the spine occur at any age due to a number of factors, including physical stress (too much or too little movement), chemical stress and mental stress. The body tries to deal with this stress by clamping down certain muscles. This interrupts the natural flow of information and functioning of the nerves involved in these joints. The nerves are not only affected downstream, i.e. to cause pain in the shoulder or leg, but also upstream. A nerve that is overstimulated overstimulates the brain, and the brain tries to regulate this influx of negative information. This nerve interference is most commonly seen as being muscular, but the nerves that supply the body’s vital organs exit from these same points in the spine, and are also affected.

Chiropractic adjustments are judiciously applied to joints that are fixated to remove this interference in the normal function of the nerves, both upstream and downstream. For this reason, chiropractic care has an effect on symptoms like pain, and also on the well being of the nervous system and vital functions of a child’s body.  Parents seek chiropractic care for many complaints. Parents commonly consult chiropractors for:

  • Respiratory Tract symptoms
  • Ear/Nose/Throat Dysfunction
  • Allergies or Skin conditions
  • Gastrointestinal Complaints
  • Well-being and neutral development 

Children have incredible healing capacity. It is incredible to witness a child’s self-healing capacity and how well their bodies heal and respond to gentle treatment and healthy habits. Never underestimate the value that a good meal, a good night’s rest and a good laugh can add to your child’s life. A healthy child needs little more than the basics to make their bodies and minds develop into the best they can be.