Pediatric Chiropractor in Vaughan Discusses How Chiropractic Can Benefit Children with Sensory Processing Disorders
If your child has been diagnosed with a Sensory Processing Disorder, then read on …
Over the last 16 years, I have seen many children benefit tremendously from chiropractic care. As a pediatric chiropractor, I have especially seen immense health improvements in children who have been diagnosed with a Sensory Processing Disorder (SPDs) such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADD/ADHD, and other learning and neurodevelopmental disabilities. Some of the changes parents have seen in their child is more focus at school and when doing homework, that their skills and grades improve, their attention improves, they are more rested, and less irritable.
I want to make something clear. As a chiropractor, I don’t treat these conditions. Said another way, chiropractic is NOT a treatment for Sensory Processing Disorders, NOT a treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADD/ADHD, and other learning and neurodevelopmental disabilities. However, all these conditions have something in common and this what makes chiropractic unique and beneficial in the care of children with SPDs.
What do they have in common?
Sensory Processing Disorders All Involve a Nervous System Dysfunction and/or a Neurosensory Integration Problem
This is what’s makes chiropractic beneficial for children with SPDs. The chiropractor assesses for and corrects for any interference and imbalances in nervous system function. This interference or imbalance often times is caused by abnormal shifts or misalignments of the spine, called spinal misalignments or subluxations.
Spinal misalignments in children are common and can result from, but not limited to:
- Birth trauma
- Carrying backpacks
- Bad posture
- Using electronic handheld devices like tablets and smartphones.
For These Reasons Alone, Chiropractors Recommend Spinal and Postural Check Ups for All Children
When spinal misalignments are corrected, the child’s nervous system begins to function much better. This leads to better overall health and optimal development for the child. Why? Because the nervous system is the master body system that controls all body functions, all healing, and all repair.
An Optimal Spine Means Optimal Health and Optimal Neurologic Development
I know that as a parent you always want what’s best for your child. I also know that if you have a child with Sensory Processing Disorders, you have tried or are currently trying many other treatment methods or therapies, and possibly even drugs. If you haven’t investigated chiropractic yet, this may be the missing piece of your child’s health care puzzle.
Here Are the 3 Top Reasons Why Children with Sensory Processing Disorders Should Get a Chiropractic Check Up:
- Chiropractic helps to balance the integration of 2 often missed senses: 1) vestibular input and 2) proprioception input. The vestibular system is the conductor of all other sensory input and when it’s off balance, it causes a major neurosensory integration problem in the child. Proprioception is the body’s sense of position in space. Adequate and normal proprioception input into the brain is essential for optimal neurosensory integration. The body’s largest concentration of proprioceptors are in the spine, especially in the upper neck area. Interestingly, the upper neck is most common area of spinal misalignments in children. The most common reason for spinal misalignments in the upper neck is trauma from birth, especially when forceps or vacuum extraction instruments are used. When I assess children with Sensory Processing Disorders, I often find that their vestibular sense and their proprioception sense are both off balance. I also have seen these two sense improve after chiropractic care.
Spinal Misalignments Cause Injury and Interference to the Spinal Cord
Neurophysiologist Irvin Korr said “the spinal cord is the organizer of disease processes”.1 A spine that has an optimal alignment free of interference will allow for better vestibular input and proprioception input to the child’s brain. A chiropractic check up will detect spinal misalignments in the spine and in the upper neck area. Once detected, specific and gentle chiropractic adjustments can be applied to make corrections and improve nervous system function.
- Chiropractic adjustments to the spine improves brain function. Roger Sperry, a Nobel Prize winner on brain research said that “90% of the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated by movement of the spine”.
When Spinal Misalignments or Subluxations Are Present, the Brain is Getting Less Stimulation and Nutrition
Another study by Dina Lelic, Dr. Heidi Haavik, et al, found that adjustment to misaligned areas of the spine altered somatosensory processing in the brain, particularly the prefrontal cortex.2 The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that is most responsible enabling coordination and control of a variety of neural systems. This is particularly important in the planning of tasks when achieving a goal and for focusing attention on relevant information while not being distracted by other irrelevant information. Imagine the benefit this type of brain stimulation would have in a child with a neurosensory problem, attention problem, or learning disability.
This is why a child with a sensory processing problem must be checked for spinal misalignments by a chiropractor. The correction of spinal misalignments helps stimulate nervous system function and brain function, which is highly needed in children with sensory processing disorders.
- Chiropractic helps balance the stress response. Yes, children also experience stress. There are more health problems today due the negative impact of stress than any other decade or century in human history. This applies to children as well. Stress comes from physical sources (eg. falls, accidents, computer use, handheld devices use), from chemical sources (eg. toxins in food, air, and water, household cleaners, drugs, pollution), and from emotional sources (eg. family/relationship troubles, bullying, school, emotional traumas, worrying, fear).
Regardless of Where Stress Comes from, Stress Will Always Negatively Impact the Body and Health
How? Because stress releases the stress hormone, called cortisol, and this initiates the stress response (flight or flight) in the body. The long term effects of cortisol on the body systems leads to damage and disease processes. Spinal adjustments by a chiropractor in key areas of the spine help to tone down the sympathetic nervous system which is the “flight or flight” part of the nervous system. This leads to overall improved health, improved mood, and better ability to handle future stress.
There you have it. These are the 3 top reasons why children with Sensory Processing Disorders should get a chiropractic check up.
Children of All Ages Can Benefit from Chiropractic Care
Children with Sensory Processing Disorders can see significant quality of life improvements as a result of chiropractic care. The starting point is a chiropractic check up with the key focus on checking for subluxations (spinal misalignments), correcting subluxations, and balancing the function of the nervous system. Look for a pediatric chiropractor in your city and ask how chiropractic can help improve your child’s health and quality of life.
- “The spinal cord as organizer of disease processes” Korr IM. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 1976 Sep;76(1):35-45.
- “Manipulation of Dysfunctional Spinal Joints Affects Sensorimotor Integration in the Prefrontal Cortex: A Brain Source Localization Study”,Lelic D, Niazi IK, Holt K, Jochumsen M, Dremstrup K, Yielder P, Murphy B, Drewes AM, Haavik H.,
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Dr. Walter Salubro is a family wellness chiropractor, the owner of Back To Health Chiropractic Centre in Maple, Ontario, and the author of Back to Health by Choice. He grew up in Toronto, Ontario, and moved to Vaughan, Ontario, with his family at the age of fifteen.
Dr. Salubro graduated from York University in 1996 and from the National College of Chiropractic in 1999. He has been practicing chiropractic and serving his community of Maple and Vaughan for over fifteen years.
Dr. Salubro provides chiropractic care to people of all age groups. He is trained in applying specific chiropractic techniques that are just as suitable for children as they are for adults. In addition to offering specific spinal adjustments and posture corrective techniques, Dr. Salubro offers an extensive lineup of health seminars, exercise classes, and a run/walk club to his patients. Dr. Salubro is an avid runner, having completed multiple marathons and half marathons.
Dr. Walter Salubro is dedicated to providing exceptional chiropractic care for all his patients. He caters to the care of infants and pregnant mothers. Dr. Salubro is certified from the Academy of Chiropractic Family Practice and the Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics (CACCP). Dr. Walter Salubro is Webster Technique Certified, which is certified and recognized by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA).