Teenagers play a lot of sports, carry heavy backpacks and stare down at phones, books and computers. Their posture and spine can suffer as a result. Chiropractors can work with teenagers to help improve their posture and to make sure their body is in good alignment and the nerves are healthy to promote growth and proper development.
What will a chiropractor check for during an exam on a teenager?
Dr. Karyn Marshall: Well, it’s not unlike a chiropractic exam on an adult but we would look at the unique circumstances for teenagers or that particular teenager. So we’re looking at their posture; we’re looking at what sports they play so we can look at their alignment and look at their structure and see if there is anything that might be causing problems. They don’t have to be coming to us with a problem. They can also be coming to us just to be checked for misalignment, checked for posture to prevent problems down the line but most children today, most teens today, have stressful lives. Their postures are out of alignment. They’re playing lots of sports. They’re studying hard. They’re looking at a computer. They’re looking at their phones, and all of those things can lead to problems down the road that we would want to check out.
How will a healthy spine affect the growth and development of teenagers?
Dr. Karyn Marshall: Well, the spine is part of the nervous system, and the nervous system controls everything in the body, so even minor misalignment of the spine can cause damaging effects on the body, so we want to make sure that that teenager is in good alignment and that their nerves are free, and healthy, and unobstructed, unirritated, and because the nervous system will affect growth and development.
Can a chiropractor help teenagers with their posture from slouching and looking down at their devices?
Dr. Karyn Marshall: Absolutely. Simply by getting adjusted, we’re putting that posture into better alignment. We also do posture training, and look at backpacks, showing teenagers the effects of staring down at a phone all day and the effects on their posture, and trying to retrain them to learn better ways to be looking at their phones or carrying their backpacks, or looking at a computer screen, because that is something that they all do all day long, and we want to correct it so it doesn’t cause problems.
You just mentioned backpacks. Teenagers generally carry heavy backpacks for school. What damage is this causing their bodies?
Dr. Karyn Marshall: Well, think about just the effect of poor posture like slouching and looking at their devices, and that can create problems. Now you add a heavy-weighted backpack to that bad posture and you’re going to start to see degenerative arthritic changes happening in someone as young as a teenager, which usually that doesn’t happen until someone is older, so you start to see things like herniated discs and other types of injuries at earlier ages.
How can a chiropractor prepare teenagers for sports and help them recover from sports injuries?
Dr. Karyn Marshall: Well, what we can do is make sure that their body is in good alignment and that their muscles are balanced, and flexible, and that they don’t have any areas of imbalance. And by checking that, we’re making sure that they’re working out those muscles on a balanced frame, and that will allow them to help them to prevent injuries. But if they’re coming to us with an injury, what we’re going to do is some detective work and try and figure out exactly what led to that injury. Were there imbalances to begin with? Were there muscular imbalances? Were there skeletal imbalances that we can correct to help them be better athletes.
If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Marshall or Dr. Cronk visit www.championchiro.com or call 732-741-1000 to schedule an appointment.