Strong spine, strong mind – not just for adults
Help your child right from the start
By Heather Shaw, D.C., Palmer Chiropractic Clinics
Did you know you’re born with only one curve in your back? By adulthood, you develop three major curves and they’re important for good health. If the curves are developed correctly, they provide shock absorption, stability and strength. The spine also protects your spinal cord, and proper curves take stress off the nervous system.
If you’ve ever experienced headaches, fatigue, or brain fog from looking down for extended periods of time, it’s because the reduced neck curve is putting stress on your nervous system. The following information will help you understand the process of spinal development so you can make decisions for a strong healthy spine for your child.
Children develop the first spinal curve in utero, and it’s shaped like the letter C. Within eight weeks, the neck curve begins to develop by the child lifting his or her head. Think of the weight of the head on this small neck, and you can imagine the workout going on for these untrained muscles. This workout is important because they’ll need these muscles to be strong throughout life, especially if a computer is in their future.
Crawling begins formation of the low back curve and continues to strengthen the neck curve. Studies show that this cross-crawl pattern stimulates the brain and nervous system, and ultimately benefits intelligence. Crawling also helps with coordination and prepares the hips to stand. While you might want to assist them as they learn to stand, resist the urge -- let them continue their nervous-system workout. Minimize the use of common devices like jumpers or walkers, which can strengthen leg muscles too fast and ultimately slow down the onset of walking. It’s important that more time be spent crawling than in those devices.
The low-back curve continues its development through standing and walking. While toddlers are learning to balance, standing and walking stimulates their brain development and strengthens the low back. Even as an adult, doing balance exercises or even crawling, if you dare, will strengthen your low back and stimulate your mind.
Allow your baby plenty of time to crawl, explore and develop at their own pace. Remember their brain is developing and giving them this time is important for your future genius/athlete/great person.
If you’re concerned about your child’s inability to crawl or lift their head, or if they appear awkward in these activities, like belly-crawling, a doctor of chiropractic may help you figure out the reason why. It’s important to correct it early and set your child up for life-long spinal health.
Locally, you can make an appointment at the Palmer Chiropractic Clinic in Port Orange.