Introducing your child to chiropractic care can be a beneficial step in ensuring their overall health and well-being. Chiropractic care focuses on maintaining and improving spinal health, which is crucial for proper growth and development. However, parents often have concerns and questions about how to start this journey.

Understanding Chiropractic Care for Children

Chiropractic care involves adjusting the spine to correct misalignments, improve function, and alleviate discomfort. While many associate chiropractic care with adults, children benefit even more. Children’s spines are more flexible and adaptive, making them excellent candidates for chiropractic care, which can support their development and prevent potential issues. Adjustments for children are much more gentle and drastically different from the “cracking” noises sometimes created by adjusting adults.

Why Chiropractic Care for Children?

  1. Supports Healthy Growth: As children grow, their bodies change significantly. Regular chiropractic care can ensure their spine remains aligned during all developmental stages.
  2. Enhances Nervous System Function: The spine houses the central nervous system, which controls all bodily functions. Ensuring the spine is aligned correctly helps the nervous system function optimally.
  3. Prevents Future Issues: Early intervention can prevent the development of chronic issues later in life. Addressing minor misalignments now can save your child from discomfort and health problems in the future.

Preparing Your Child for Chiropractic Care

When to Begin Care

Chiropractic care benefits humans throughout their lives, from conception to its natural end. Optimizing the function of the mother during pregnancy can positively affect the baby’s health before it is born.


It is best to begin routine chiropractic care for your child when they are born. Infant care is gentle. It is common for infants to sleep through their visits with a chiropractor.

Pediatric chiropractors check the alignment and tone of each segment of the spine and cranium. They also check specific reflexes that should be present or absent during specific growth milestones (3 months, 6 months, 2 years, and the like).


As the child gets older and can speak, the chiropractor and parent will encourage the child to share when something makes them uncomfortable, if they have had pain in any part of their body, or if they fell or are doing any new activities.

The goal is to help your child develop a positive relationship with the chiropractor so they can share their experiences and learn to count on and trust the chiropractor’s natural healing support.

The Right (And Wrong) Mindset for Parents

Ok, so you didn’t bring your baby in for a few years, and now you realize they should be checked, and you are wondering how to approach this with your child.

I am going to make this abundantly clear. If you aren’t bringing your small child in because he “doesn’t want” to come to the chiropractor, the problem is not the child; the problem is in the parent’s view of chiropractic.

You may think you need to educate your child, but the truth is, it is more important to educate yourself on how important, easy, and inexpensive it is to help your child heal and live their best life.

Indeed, you would not tell your dentist that your child can’t come in because he “didn’t want to.” You wouldn’t let your child go without a seatbelt because “he didn’t want to.” In all likelihood, your child has grown up eager to go to the dentist and wear a seatbelt because you have shown them that it is extremely important. They will get nowhere arguing with you on these points.

And you will get nowhere arguing with me if you start the conversation about why your child isn’t getting checked. I know it is you.

If your response is, “Well, that’s different; teeth are important,” congratulations. The problem is your view of chiropractic. You, not the child, need to be educated.

Oral care is essential, but teeth aren’t the most expensive problem in Canada: Back pain is. Tooth pain doesn’t cause addiction and fuel the opioid epidemic; back pain does. 30% of children get back pain every year, and the responsibility for that back pain lies squarely on parents and, more importantly, my ability to educate parents.

It’s not your fault if you didn’t know.

When I say parents need to be educated, I am not saying this in a way that blames you. On the contrary, I am the one to blame for not educating you. With video tech and platforms like YouTube, educating you and parents in my community is undoubtedly a viable quest, even for me. I suppose this article is a start.

Children Love Getting Adjusted

Come with the mindset that children love to be adjusted (because they do). Chiropractic is gentle and easy for a young patient, and when they reach a certain age (usually around middle school age), they probably will like the cracking noise. They think it is cool.

Parents can often get weird about it because it is weird for them. Parents usually have worse problems and require more intense treatments. Your child usually just needs a little care at each visit, which is why it is the best time to come in. We can prevent problems from occurring.

How much education does your child need?

Your child needs about as much preparation as you would need to take them to a coffee shop. All you need to tell them is that you are going to the chiropractor, it won’t take long, and it is cool. If they have been to the chiropractor with you before, watching, you can let them know it will be way more gentle.

If they ask for an explanation, then use age-appropriate language to explain the process:

Common Fears (For Parents)

Parents fear the unknown, especially when it involves doctors and medical procedures.

Finding the Right Chiropractor

Look for Specialization in Pediatric Care

Not all chiropractors specialize in treating children. Look for a chiropractor with experience and training in pediatric care. The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) offers certifications for chiropractors specializing in children.

Check Credentials and Reviews

Ensure the chiropractor is licensed and has good reviews from other parents. Personal recommendations from friends or family can also be invaluable.

Schedule a Consultation

Before starting treatment, schedule a consultation to meet the chiropractor and discuss your child’s needs. This initial meeting can help build trust and allow you to ask questions.

The First Visit

What to Expect

The first visit typically involves thoroughly evaluating your child’s health history and a physical examination. The chiropractor will:

  1. Health History: Discuss your child’s medical history, including any injuries, illnesses, or developmental concerns.
  2. Physical Examination: Conduct a gentle physical examination to assess your child’s posture, range of motion, and spinal alignment.
  3. Scanning: All scans are non-invasive (no radiation comes from the instruments). Thermal and heart-rate variability scans are performed on children of all ages. A surface EMG, posture screen and arch scan are performed on patients over five years old.

Making Your Child Comfortable

To help your child feel at ease:

Common Chiropractic Techniques for Children

Chiropractors use various techniques to adjust the spine, many of which are specifically tailored for children:

  1. Manual Adjustments: Using their hands to apply a controlled force to a joint. This method is often gentle and precise. In small children, the force is slowly applied and held (called sustained contact). As a child gets to be about 11 years old, gentle HVLA (high-velocity low-amplitude) adjustments can be used, if everyone is comfortable.
  2. Activator Method: A small, hand-held instrument delivers a gentle impulse force to the spine. This technique is often used for its precision and gentleness, usually on older children.
  3. Drop Technique: When a thrust is applied, a section of the table (or a separate device) drops slightly, reducing the force needed for the adjustment.
  4. Logan Technique: This technique is highly gentle for assessing and releasing tension in the spinal cord’s dura.

These techniques ensure that adjustments are safe, comfortable, and effective for children.

Addressing the Cracking Noise

One common concern is the cracking noise sometimes associated with spinal adjustments. Here’s what you need to know:

Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Children

Regular chiropractic care offers numerous benefits for children, including:

  1. Improved Posture: Helps correct postural issues caused by poor habits, such as slouching or excessive use of electronic devices.
  2. Enhanced Athletic Performance: This program supports young athletes by improving flexibility, reducing the risk of injury, and enhancing overall performance.
  3. Relief from Common Childhood Ailments: Chiropractic can correct problems that cause common childhood issues, such as back pain, neck pain, and headaches. In babies, chiropractic can improve sleep, the ability to latch, and improve cranial alignment.
  4. Decreased Stress: Chiropractic care can help reduce the effects of stress by ensuring the nervous system functions optimally.
  5. Overall Well-being: Regular chiropractic care improves sleep and general well-being for many children.

Case Examples

To illustrate the benefits of chiropractic care, consider these cases:

  1. James, Age 1: James was born with plagiocephaly (misalignment of the skull). His parents were told by medical doctors he must wear a helmet to realign the skull. After four chiropractic visits, his cranial alignment normalized, and the helmet was unnecessary.
  2. Emma, Eight Months: Emma had an irregular crawling pattern. With three visits and parental instructions, her crawling pattern normalized.
  3. Jake, Age 12: Jake, an active soccer player, started seeing a chiropractor to improve his performance and reduce the risk of injury. Regular adjustments helped him maintain flexibility and reduced the frequency of muscle strains.
  4. Lily, Age 8: Lily had poor posture due to extended periods of sitting at school and using electronic devices. Chiropractic care helped correct her posture, reducing back pain and improving her overall posture.
  5. Robert, Age 10: Robert had behavioural problems at school. After six visits, he felt improvement in the way his back and neck felt. Looking back, he had become so used to headaches and neck pain that he thought it was normal. His performance at school improved.

Maintaining Spinal Health at Home

In addition to regular chiropractic visits, there are several ways to support your child’s spinal health at home:

  1. Encourage Physical Activity: Regular exercise and physical activity help maintain spinal flexibility and strength and coordination.
  2. Promote Good Posture: Teach your child to sit and stand with good posture. Limit screen time and encourage breaks to prevent slouching. Use our PostureScreen App.
  3. Provide a Healthy Diet: A balanced diet supports overall health, including the spine’s health.
  4. Ensure Proper Sleep: Ensure your child has a comfortable mattress and pillow that support good spinal alignment.


Introducing your child to chiropractic care is a proactive step towards ensuring their long-term health and well-being. Educating your child, finding the right chiropractor, and understanding the process can make the experience positive and beneficial. Chiropractic care can support your child’s growth, enhance their nervous system function, and prevent future health issues. With regular adjustments and a healthy lifestyle, your child can enjoy optimal spinal health and overall wellness.

Pathways Magazine

“Pathways” is a magazine published by the ICPA with a free online version. Its archives contain articles on many natural health topics focusing on the natural lifestyle and chiropractic for your child.

Additional Resources

For further questions or to schedule a consultation, please contact our office. Additionally, here are some reputable sources for more information on chiropractic care and spinal health:

By understanding the nature of chiropractic care and its benefits, you can confidently introduce your child to this valuable aspect of their healthcare routine.