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Parents, don’t swing kids by their arms

It’s easy and fun: You’re playing with your child, and to add to the fun, you grab their arms and swing them around. You child squeals in delight!

As kids, we loved it. As parents or siblings or aunts and uncles, we’ve all done it. But there’s a better way to swing your kids.

Trainer Kelly Starrett at Mobility MOD in San Francisco explains:

“The message is simple: If you feel the need to swing your kids around by the arms, make sure that they are holding onto you – not the other way around.  Your kid’s grip strength or lack thereof is a protective feedback mechanism that keeps the tissues at the wrist, elbow and shoulders safe.  If you circumvent this circuit breaker, you potentially risk some gnarly downstream repercussions.”

Starrett explains the mechanics in this video:

Parents, don't swing your kids by the arms

So if you still want to roughhouse with the kids, pick them up by the armpits and swing them, not their arms.

“You guard your precious shoulder capacities. Why would you challenge your kids’ tissues in the name of cheap fun?” Starrett says.

“Besides, you can still swing your kids around by the armpits till they vomit.  The tissues of their upper limbs will thank you.”

Akridge & Akridge Chiropractic can provide chiropractic adjustments for children as well adults. We use gentle, soothing methods to patiently realign bones and joints and keep youths flexible. Call us at 402-884-4774 to set up an appointment for your child.


Recognizing the signs of scoliosis

Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine of more than 10 degrees. It can begin at any age. However, it most often appears between the ages of 10 and 15, and it most commonly affects girls, according to Dr. Larry Wyatt of the American Chiropractic Association.

It’s easy for chiropractors and other health care professionals to check for scoliosis using the Adams test. Your child will be asked to bend forward until the spine is horizontal. If scoliosis is present, one side of the back may appear higher than the other.

Adams test and x-ray show scoliosis
The Adams test (left) and x-ray show scoliosis in a teenage girl.

According to the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS), “it is a very sensitive test for scoliosis; it is therefore the most frequent screening test for scoliosis.”

The SRS also lists these other signs of scoliosis:

  • One shoulder may be higher than the other.
  • One shoulder blade may be higher or more prominent than the other.
  • With the arms hanging loosely at the side, there may be more space between the arm and the body on one side.
  • One hip may appear to be higher or more prominent than the other.
  • The head may not be exactly centered over the pelvis.
  • The waist may be flattened on one side; skin creases may be present on one side of the waist.

“Fortunately, most patients with scoliosis have curves of less than 20 degrees,” says Dr. Wyatt. “These are usually not detectable to the untrained eye and are not a cause for concern, provided there are no signs of further progression.”

Three treatment options are available for scoliosis, Dr. Wyatt says. They include careful observation, bracing and surgery.

“Careful observation is the most common ‘treatment,’ as most mild scolioses do not progress and cause few, if any, physical problems,” he said. “Bracing is generally reserved for children whose skeletons are still growing and who have curves between 25 and 45 degrees.”

Surgery may be necessary if the curve is greater than 45 degrees, or if the scoliosis is affecting the function of vital organs such as the heart or lungs.

Akridge & Akridge Chiropractic can check your child for signs of scoliosis. We can also take x-rays in our office if signs indicate this is necessary.

To schedule an appointment or if you have questions, please call our office at 402-884-4774.

Why children need chiropractic care

Many people think chiropractic care is for adults who’ve developed back pain or other problems over the years. But even the youngest of infants can benefit from chiropractic.

In her article “Why Should Children Have Chiropractic Care?”, Jeannie Ohm, D.C.,  explains that the birthing process can put stress on an infant’s developing spine and nervous system. This stress can contribute to a number of common health problems for newborns, such as colic, breathing problems, nursing difficulties, sleep disturbances, allergic reactions and chronic infections.

As newborns grown and learn to sit up, crawl stand and walk, gentle adjustments will help toddlers recover from the bumps and tumbles that accompany their new steps.

Dr. Ohm notes that treatments are adapted to manage children’s needs. “Chiropractic adjusting procedures are modified to fit a child’s size, weight, and unique spinal condition. They are both gentle and specific to the child’s developing spinal structures,” she said.

Drs. Craig and Lacey Akridge can adjust your children with the gentle touch needed to keep them healthy and happy. Please call us at 402-884-4774 if you have any questions, or to set up appointments for the whole family.