Dr. Hurley talks about Chiropractic for toddlers


Hey everyone! In my previous post I talked about adjustments for those tiny little newborns. Today I want to talk about those feisty little toddlers!

Anyone who has been around toddlers would agree, those little guys are into everything. Learning to walk and climb and use their bodies in new ways is hard work and is kind of traumatic! Think about all those falls and bumped heads! It’s not hard to imagine why toddlers need their spines checked.

I get so excited thinking about how the world would be different if every little human could begin life with a balanced spine and nervous system! I dream of a world where every child goes to regular chiropractic check ups, as common as check ups with the pediatrician.


My goal as a Chiropractor is to find a bone that may be “stuck” and restore motion and balance. When we balance the spine, the nervous system can also function better.

This is why parents often see improvement in some of these issues after an adjustment:


  1. Constipation. The digestive system is powered by the nervous system! The nerves that run the stomach and intestines come from the lower spine. An adjustment to the low back can reset those nerves and get that kiddo pooping again! I am also trained in a technique called Logan Basic. This gentle technique works on a ligament of the sacrum where there are many parasympathetic ganglia, also known as the “rest and digest” part of the nervous system. Think about how often toddlers are falling on their butt! This can lock up the sacrum and lumbar spine and may be the cause of your toddler’s constipation.


  1. Ear infections. Ear infections are sometimes thought of as a common childhood occurrence. Just because they are common does not mean they are normal! Oftentimes after a gentle adjustment of the neck, some cranial work on their little skulls, or even “ear adjustments” the eustachian tubes are able to drain on their own and ear infections can clear themselves up. 


  1. Sinus congestion. Hearing your little one struggling to breathe when congested is heartbreaking as a parent. There are several methods to help like a sinus rinse (not a nasal spray, ask me for more details), some essential oils, and a vaporizer or humidifier. Chiropractic adjustments to the cervical spine, cranials, and even techniques to work on the sinuses themselves can help the sinuses to drain, usually right away!


The overall benefit of adjustments on the immune system is also powerful! Parents typically notice their kids get sick less often when they are regularly adjusted. 


Adjustments for toddlers are quite a different experience than when I am working with a baby! Toddlers are always on the move, and so as a Pediatric Chiropractor, I am moving right along with them! I have adjusted toddlers while they were standing and coloring, sitting on the floor playing with toys, cuddled on mom’s lap, or laying in dad’s arms. My first goal is for every child to have a positive experience in my office! We have a fun room especially for adjusting kids. 


First, I will talk with the parents to get the child’s birth and medical history while we let them play in the kids room. I explain to the child and the parent what I am going to do before starting any examination or adjustment. For very shy or nervous children, sometimes we will choose to simply let the child play the first time in the office, and they return on another day for the adjustment. I always take things at the individual child’s pace. I never force them when they don’t want to participate. When we take the time to create a positive experience on these first visits, they begin to look forward to getting adjusted. 


I will create a care plan based on the individual child’s history, my exam findings, and how their spine responds to adjustments. Children typically respond very quickly and don’t need as frequent adjustments to achieve the same results as we do as stressed and tense adults!


Once their spine is balanced and they are holding the adjustments well, I recommend check ups once a month. This is great for babies and children. I do not recommend waiting until there is an issue to bring your toddler back! The beauty of chiropractic care is creating health. Imagine life for the next generation of people that grow up with balanced spines and optimal nervous system function!