If your child becomes restless when sitting at the dinner table or when they are at their desk doing homework, you may become worried. Before jumping to the conclusion that they have an attention problem, find out if they have upper back and neck pain. If you have an active child, they may have strained their neck muscles, which can become painful when they sit still with the neck in one position for long periods. A visit to a pediatric chiropractor for an evaluation will discover if strained muscles are the real issue. If that is the case, here are some ways the chiropractor can help your child settle down and be free of pain.
One thing the chiropractor will look for is a slight misalignment of the first two vertebrae in the spinal column. Called a subluxation, when these bones are not aligned properly, they can irritate the muscles and nerves that run along the spine. The irritated nerves produce pain in the neck and upper back, as well as headaches.
The chiropractor will move the child's upper spine around to realign the two vertebrae. Once the vertebrae are back in their normal positions, the tension on the muscles goes away, inflammation in the neck goes down and the irritation of the nerves is reduced.
Active Release Technique
When the muscles become tired in your child's neck, they contract and become stiff. The chiropractor will feel along the neck and upper back for these tense muscles. Once identified, they will be massaged gently in the direction of their normal movement. This causes the muscles to relax and stretch back out. The circulation in the area improves and inflammation is reduced. The pain goes away as the tense muscles relax.
The chiropractor may recommend physical therapy for your child's neck and upper back. This is not only used to relax muscles in the area but will increase the strength of the muscles. Stronger neck and back muscles will help to prevent future injury to the muscles from overuse and reduce the risk of neck pain and headaches that may keep your child from focusing on their school work or other activities.
The chiropractor will show you exercises that you can do with your child at home to strengthen their neck and back muscles. This will help your child maintain muscle tone in that portion of their body while they are developing.
For more information, talk with a local chiropractic office that has experience with working with kids, like Wave Of Life Chiropractic.