Children are continually growing and because of that, their bone health and structural alignment are particularly important. Alignment is defined as how the head, shoulders, spine, hips, knees and ankles relate to one another. Besides nutrition, genetics, and hormones – behavior also has a strong influence over proper bone alignment of adolescents. Correct alignment of the body puts less stress on the spine and aids good posture.
The article 7 Things a Chiropractor Won’t Let His Kids Do highlights some of the most common behaviors children do that can be potentially harmful to their body’s structural alignment. The most common action that children (and adults) do mindlessly is cracking their neck and back. We are always telling patients not to do this themselves because there’s no real way to control what they are doing and while it might feel better, there’s a good chance they are actually making it worse and training their muscles to do the wrong thing.
Another “don’t” on this list says to avoid letting your children play football. While football is a contact sport that enhances children’s risk of injury our Dr. Rudolfo suggests not specializing children in ANY particular sport early on. He recommends letting kids get into every sport they can. Not only does it expose them to a lot more and let them choose what they like, but it also makes it less likely to cause a lot of repetitive motion strains and in general keep things balanced.
Sleeping on your stomach and texting with your head down are other subjects this article addresses. Both of these can be boiled down to “staying in one position for too long.” Poor sleeping positions can be an especially hard habit to break, so it is best when you can reinforce it in childhood. Also consider switching out pillows. A low one may be an easy adjustment to the back, but barring that, one designed for side sleepers is usually best as a transition.