Chiropractic Care for Children and Adolescents – Part 3

In the first and second article in this series we covered when and why you might want to consider chiropractic care for children as young as seven, and what kinds of childhood injuries might benefit from chiropractic care. Today, we’ll review some problems that teenagers and young adults might encounter.

Growing Bones

Teenagers are still growing. Depending on their genetics and environment, they can have growth spurts even after they are considered adults when they turn 18. These times of rapid growth put a lot of pressure on muscles to keep up with the support the spine needs, and if there is an imbalance in spinal support, life-long problems can begin to develop. If your teenager is experiencing growing pains or generalized back, neck or shoulder pain, come see us for an evaluation.

Here are some common problems that your teens may encounter for which you should consider seeking chiropractic treatment.

Overextension Injuries

Officially known as Facet Tropism, this facet joint condition can be caused by, or aggravated by activities including basketball. Any sport or activity that puts a significant amount of strain on and may hyperextend the lumbar spine can be the culprit. Pain is caused by the inflammation that occurs. In addition to physical therapy to strengthen the muscles supporting the spine, regular adjustments with a chiropractor can be very helpful. With proper treatment, the condition should be resolved.

If your teenager is under the care of a physician or physical therapist for this type of condition, consider having your chiropractor collaborate with them. An integrated approach to treatment is likely to deliver the best results.


This abnormal curvature of the spine most often presents itself during adolescence and teen years. The onset, unfortunately, can be very quick, occurring during a particularly rapid growth spurt. It is important to identify and treat the problem as soon as possible because, while it is unlikely the condition will worsen after bone growth is complete, it can be very difficult or impossible to reverse at that point as well.

It is very important to evaluate the impact of any treatment every three to four months. Typically, spinal curvature of 20 degrees or less is treated with physical therapy and manual spinal manipulation. However, once that 20-degree mark is passed, it is likely more significant measures are needed, including the use of a brace that forces the spine to straighten.

Illnesses and Injuries

Several illnesses, chronic conditions and injuries can have long-term impacts on spinal health, even after a teenager is otherwise fully recovered. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Infections such as Osteomyelitis or Meningitis

  • Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Knee, hip or neck injuries suffered in car accidents

  • Bicycle accidents

If you are wondering if chiropractic care might help your teenager, give us a call and come into our convenient Evansville office for a consultation. We’ll answer all of your questions and put together a comprehensive care plan. If we don’t think your child is a candidate for chiropractic care, we’ll do our best to refer you to another medical professional who may be able to help. Our goal is always to make sure you and your family receive the best care possible.

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