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(FAQs) Chiropractic Care for Children

Considering Chiropractic Care for a Child

  • What age should a child see a chiropractor? A child can see a chiropractor at any age. It is safe to treat newborn babies, of course with many modifications to how care is rendered. At North Shore Spine and Sport, we have treated kids as young as three years old for various spine-related issues, but the majority of kids we treat have some kind of sports injury. As a result, they are a bit older.
  • Should a 3-year-old go to a chiropractor? Yes, if the 3-year-old has issues that can be treated with chiropractic care. At North Shore Spine and Sport, we have treated 3-year-olds for spine-related issues primarily.
  • How can I tell if my child needs chiropractic care? If your child has pain that does not improve within a reasonable period of time, they may benefit from an evaluation with a chiropractor to determine if their issue can be treated with chiropractic care. At North Shore Spine and Sport, our goal will be the minimally necessary amount of intervention to help your child heal as quickly as possible. As parents, we know first-hand how resilient kids are, so we try to help influence/guide your kid to healing without overwhelming them.
  • Why would a child need to go to a chiropractor? Generally, a child would go to a chiropractor because of persistent joint or muscle pain. At North Shore Spine and Sport, we treat kids with spine-related issues but also a wide variety of sports-related injuries like foot/ankle pains, knee pains, hip pain, and shoulder pains.
  • Is it safe to take a child to a chiropractor? Yes, chiropractic care is safe for children, but certainly with modifications to how treatment is rendered.
  • How often should kids go to the chiropractor? Kids should go to a chiropractor if/when they have an issue that warrants chiropractic care. At North Shore Spine and Sport, we tend to recommend care for a child if they have an issue that persists for more than a few days to a week, and/or if the child or parent knows intuitively that something is not feeling/healing right.
A chiropractor examines a child's back and spine in a clinic.

A chiropractor examines a child's back and spine in a clinic.

Chiropractic Techniques and Concepts

  • How do chiropractors adjust toddlers? Chiropractors can adjust toddlers using very gentle low-force methods.
  • Why do babies sleep after a chiropractic adjustment? Chiropractic care can cause “down-regulation” of the nervous system, which is to say, help the body enter into our inherent “rest and recovery” parasympathetic system which may make someone feel tired.
  • Is chiropractic for all ages? Yes, chiropractic care is safe for infants to the elderly, and everyone in between. At North Shore Spine and Sport, we have treated people of all ages and always with safety as the utmost concern.
    A pediatric chiropractic treatment on a child's back in a clinic. Scoliosis treatment.

    A chiropractor treating a child's back in a clinic. Scoliosis treatment.

    Common Issues Addressed by Chiropractors for Children

    • Can kids go to the chiropractor for back pain? Yes, it is absolutely one of the most common reasons a child sees a chiropractor. At North Shore Spine and Sport, we treat children with back pain on a regular basis. The majority of back pain circumstances for kids are easily and quickly treated.
    • Can a chiropractor help a child with anxiety? Chiropractic care is not a treatment for anxiety.
    • Can a chiropractor help a child with ADHD? Chiropractic care is not a treatment for ADHD.
    • Is chiropractic good for autism? Chiropractic care is not a treatment for autism.
    • What do pediatric chiropractors do? Chiropractors treat muscle and joint pain and injuries, regardless of age.
    A chiropractor performs an adjustment on the lower back of a young girl in a clinic.

    A children's chiropractor performs an adjustment on the lower back of a young girl in a clinic.

    North Shore Spine and Sport Pediatric Chiropractic Services

    At North Shore Spine and Sport, we regularly evaluate and treat youth patients due to persistent muscle or joint pains interfering with that kid’s usual activity. The first session will include a full health history and physical exam, and treatment will consist of some combination of hands-on manual therapy, joint manipulation, exercise instruction, and self-care strategies.

    our Chiropractic
    Approach for Kids

    Dr. Melander has often described his work as new-school rehab, which is to say, an amalgamation of current best practices regarding pain or injury management, hands-on manual therapy or strength/mobility training, and endless advocacy and support for his patients.

    In Dr. Melander’s opinion, the best providers in the field of musculoskeletal injury are able to draw from multiple disciplines to create the most efficient and impactful care strategy for their pediatric patients.  If your child is injured or hurting and you're unsure what to do, please reach out, it will be our greatest pleasure to care for your child.

    We serve Newburyport and surrounding North Shore communities, including Newbury, West Newbury, Rowley, Byfield, Georgetown, Amesbury, Salisbury, Ipswich, Seabrook NH, Hampton NH, and Rye NH.

    Sport-related Injuries

    A child can benefit from chiropractic care due to persistent joint or muscle pain

    Back Pain Relief

    Research shows manipulation can be helpful in certain varieties of back pain 

    Pain Relief

    The number one reason people see chiropractors all over the world

    Improve Joint
    Range of Motion

    Manipulation can help joints move better through restricted ranges

    Improve Recovery

    Manipulation can help improve injury recovery and keep your child active

    Decrease Muscle Tension

    Manipulation can reduce muscle tension due to connectivity of muscle and joint   

    Chiropractic FAQs

    We've compiled a list of common chiropractic questions to help you get all the answers you are looking for. If you have additional questions if our chiropractic and treatment services in North Shore would be a good fit for you or your child, please contact our team. 

    How do I know if I should see a chiropractor?

    Chiropractors are trained in the evaluation and management (IE: treatment) of issues affecting the neuromusculoskeletal system (muscles, joints, connective tissue, nerves).  Many people associate chiropractic care with the spine only, but this is an inaccurate reflection of many chiropractors in the 21st century who are experts in treating spinal issues AND extremity issues (arms and legs).  As a general rule of thumb, if you have a painful condition that does not get better given a few days of activity modification you may want to consult a professional like a chiropractor.  Your chiropractor should be able to evaluate your painful condition, offer you some perspective and guidance relative to the painful condition, and help you care for the painful condition if treatment is warranted.  Like any profession though, each chiropractor has different clinical experience and different post-graduate education that may lend their practice toward a focus on sports injuries or pregnancy/neonatal care or neurologic issues or nutritional issues to name just a few.  If you are considering seeing a chiropractor, make sure that their experience and skill set seems like a proper match for your complaint and your ultimate goals.

    How do I choose a good chiropractor?

    Choosing a good chiropractor does not have to be a complicated process.  To begin with, ask your friends or family if they know someone they trust and can vet for you.  Next, check online as most chiropractors should have fairly informative websites relative to their clinical interests and experience that may help indicate whether they are a good fit for your issue.  If you are still not sure who to see after taking those steps, call your prospective chiropractor’s office as either the staff or the chiropractor will be more than happy to answer any questions and tell you if your issue is something commonly treated in that office.  Many people also like to read online reviews and while some online reviews can be misleading, if the significant majority of a chiropractor’s reviews are super positive then chances are you can trust the expertise of that provider.  Lastly, and arguably the most important step in choosing a good chiropractor, remember that you are in total control of your healthcare decision making.  If you go to an initial or follow-up appointment and you are not absolutely confident in the assessment and plan your chiropractor has rendered, then seek a second opinion.

    What can a chiropractor fix?

    A chiropractor can help you fix a wide variety of painful conditions related to the neuromusculoskeletal system such as headaches, back/neck pain, shoulder/elbow/wrist/hand pains, hip/knee/ankle/foot pains to name just a few.  Injuries of actual orthopedic compromise like fractures are best handled by orthopedists, but chances are if your pain/injury is non-surgical in nature then a chiropractor may be a great option to help you.  The best chiropractors will explain what they can about your pain/injury, offer guidance and likely treatment as efficiently as possible (days to weeks, maybe months in extreme situations), and then remove themselves and let your brain/body do the rest.  A great deal of research these days indicates that in many healthcare interactions providers should try and limit their patient’s dependency on them, opting instead for interventions and language that fosters resiliency and self-efficacy (independence).

    What happens at your first chiropractic appointment?

    Your first chiropractic appointment should include a detailed discussion of your health history and presenting complaint(s), an examination of your complaint(s), a discussion regarding what is indicated by the examination relative to prognosis and treatment plan, and finally some form of treatment/intervention assuming time permits.  Many painful conditions can be evaluated thoroughly and completely in a matter of minutes and certain treatment interventions could yield immediate relief, while other conditions may require more complex evaluations and more lengthy treatment plans.  Above all, you should leave your first chiropractic appointment feeling confident that your chiropractor is the best option to help you with your problem and you should leave feeling confident that you are on the road to recovery.

    How often should you see a chiropractor?

    You should see a chiropractor as often as you want or need.  Perhaps the most common criticism of chiropractors is that chiropractors “need to see you for the rest of your life”, and while there are unfortunately examples of chiropractors who advocate for this kind of dependency, the significant majority of chiropractors today want to help you as quickly as possible with no long-term commitments of any kind.  The best chiropractor will see you the minimally necessary number of times to help you overcome your issue and suggest you follow-up if there are any residual issues or new complaints sometime in the future.  Many patients however recognize how good they feel after chiropractic care and therefore wish to see their chiropractor with some kind of recurring frequency (IE: once/month, twice/year, or more).  These examples though should be dictated by the patient based on their assessment of their body’s needs and absolutely not dictated by the chiropractor based on some kind of pseudoscientific reasoning.

    Does insurance pay for chiropractor?

    In many cases, yes, insurance will help pay for chiropractic care assuming the chiropractor is participating with your health insurer.  If your chiropractor is not participating with health insurance, then it is still possible you have an out-of-network benefit with your insurer and can seek reimbursement that way.

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