by Caroline von Fluegge-Chen
As a parent, your biggest hope is your children remain healthy and well-adjusted so that they may express their full potential in life. However, have you ever considered the impact a balanced spine and nerve system has on proper physical growth, mental development, sports performance and stress management?
Back pain is pervasive among American adults, but now a new and disturbing trend is emerging. Young children are complaining of back pain much earlier than previous generations and the use of overweight backpacks is a contributing factor according to the American Chiropractic Association, The American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Physical Therapy Association. In fact, the US Consumer Safety Commission reports that backpack-related injuries sent more than 7,000 people to the emergency room in 2001 alone. A backpack should weigh no more than 10% of a child’s body weight, yet kids are hauling packs loaded with books, musical instruments, and sports equipment easily weighing 35-50 lbs. To make matters worse, slouching behind school desks or in front of computers for hours, injuries from horsing around and sports accidents, plus a lack of physical activity compound the problem.
As a result, many children are already suffering from chronic pain in the hands, back, neck and shoulders as well as repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. When the spine is distorted by heavy loads, vertebrae may misalign leading to pinched nerves, sprained tendons, spastic muscles, physical compensations, and difficulty with breathing. Fast forward a few decades: Your children may wind up experiencing the same debilitating and degenerative conditions that you are currently trying to suppress with drugs or surgery. Is there a better way?
A healthy spine contributes to a child’s sports performance by improving balance, coordination, range of motion, reflexes, and recovery time. A nerve system that is not stressed by bad posture and spinal injuries is like having a well-functioning internet system that allows a child to focus better, think clearly, sleep soundly, learn faster, feel balanced, and fight sickness efficiently. The spine and the nerve system need to work correctly for your child to move properly, develop normally, and handle physical and emotional stress with ease.
As an expert in pediatric chiropractic, spinal biomechanics and neurology, I invite you to schedule a thorough spinal check-up for your children today. Preventive healthcare starts in childhood to maximize the potential for life.