There are few things as upsetting as seeing your child in pain or suffering and not knowing what is causing it. If your child is experiencing unexplained discomfort, it could be the result of misalignment of the spinal vertebrae. 

While most of us think of back and spine challenges as a problem for adults, children can also experience what is known as subluxation, a loss of normal alignment or position in the spinal bone, causing the associated nerve to become irritated. Children as young as infants are vulnerable to subluxation. 

This can result in a whole host of symptoms in young people. This article will examine what causes subluxation in children, what the symptoms are, and how chiropractors can help. 


Cause of subluxation in children 



It shouldn’t be surprising to learn that simply being born can cause subluxation in babies. Moving through the birth canal can stress a baby’s spine, especially its neck. This process can push an infant’s small spinal bones out of alignment, causing nerves to become stretched or irritated. Forceps deliveries are an especially common cause of subluxation during birth. 

Physical trauma 

Both big and small traumas can cause subluxation in children and teens. As toddlers learn to walk, it is inevitable that they will stumble, trip, and fall. As they move into preschool and then adolescence, they will continue to participate in activities that can put stress on the spine, such as bike riding and other leisure activities and athletics. School-aged children spend hours upon hours seated in front of computer screens, which can lead to poor posture and musculoskeletal pain. Even carrying heavy backpacks can cause subluxation.  


Diets high in sugar, corn syrup, refined carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, and preservatives can be damaging to the nervous system. Toxins can also permeate children’s bodies through air pollution, cleaning supplies, and even the plastic in which food is packaged or stored. 

Mental stress 

Children and adolescents are as vulnerable to stress as adults. Teens especially may be subject to pressure due to academic expectations, bullying, or peer pressure. Stress causes the body to tighten, increasing the risk of muscle fatigue, which means it is more difficult to hold the spine in alignment. 


Symptoms of subluxation in children and infants 

 It may seem counterintuitive, but the primary symptoms of subluxation in infants, children, and teens are not actually spinal pain. 

Here are some signs of subluxation in infants: 

  •       Colic
  •       Headaches
  •       Recurrent earaches
  •       Inability to crawl 
  •       Poor gait 
  •       Head tilt 
  •       Sleeping difficulty 
  •       Developmental delays

Symptoms of subluxation in children and teens include: 

  •       Failure to thrive
  •       Fatigue and lethargy
  •       Difficulty concentrating or ADHD, stemming from a nerve dysfunction in the brainstem, caused by misalignments of the spine
  •       Lowered immune system and recurrent infections, caused by compression and irritation of nerve pathways that affect the body’s organs and muscles
  •       Nerve interference can cause a hyperactive immune system, resulting in environmental sensitivities and allergies


How a chiropractor can help children, infants, and teens with subluxation 

 It’s never too early (or too late) to bring your infant or children to a chiropractor if you are noticing symptoms that don’t appear to have an underlying cause. Chiropractic adjustments are safe for children and can be modified to fit each child’s size, age, and condition. 

 The doctors at South Orange Chiropractic Center are committed to helping adults and children improve their health and productivity. No parent should have to watch their child suffer! Using our state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment equipment, we will help your infant, child, or teen feel better as quickly as possible. Contact us today to find out how we can help!