Can kids have structural problems? 

This is a question that I am often asked, especially when someone sees children in our practice. Just take a look around a school - heavy book bags, constant computer time, video games, and hundreds of childhood falls.

Reliance on labour-saving gadgets such as cars, escalators and remote controls, and the development of technologies, such as the internet, has taken away many natural ways of getting exercise making the current generation of children probably the most sedentary in history.

A survey of NZ secondary school students found that:

Photo( greg westfall )

·      Only 10% met the current recommendation of 60 minutes of physical activity a day.

·      28% of students watched television for 3 or more hours each day.

·      35% of students went on the internet for 3 or more hours each day.

It is not all bad news, there are some promising signs we might be turning this around:

·      The proportion of students watching more than 1 hour of TV each day dropped from 73% in 2007 to 65% in 2012.

This positive trend is great to see, but we know that there is still a long way to go. Does all this have an effect on your child’s spine? You better believe it.

Many people understand that when their child is active, whether it be in solitary, physical activity such as biking or golf or in team sports such as soccer or rugby, he/she may be creating Structural Shifts in their spines.

A Structural Shift refers to the condition in which there is a change from the NORMAL structure of your spine, creating nerve pressure and obstructing the communication between your brain and body. Structural Shifts generally have no symptoms (due to a large portion of your Nerve System not being Sensory/Feeling nerves) and therefore, necessitate specific objective tests that indicate Structural Issues in the spine. Similarly with Cholesterol, how does it feel to have high Cholesterol? Answer, you cannot feel it, so you go and have an Objective test, a blood test that can indicate if you have High Cholesterol.

Certainly physical forces such as twisting, hitting and falling as well as sustained muscle activity in general can cause Structural Shifts. However, inactivity can also be a culprit of this condition that clearly reduces the body’s potential to function optimally.

When muscles are not used regularly and strengthened, they may be unable to perform their jobs as well as they should. This is particularly true when a child is carrying extra weight. Just because your child spends most of his time in his studies, watching television, playing Nintendo or surfing the net does not mean that the Structure of the spine can’t shift. 

They most certainly can and do.

Unfortunately, because a Structural Shift is rarely associated with a symptom, children and adults alike do not know that they have them. Similar to a Structural Issue in a house can eventually develop into a crack in the wall, a Structural Shift in the Spine can of course eventually develop into a symptomatic one. 

We determine the presence of these shifts by means of our Structural Examination. Our complete Structural Examination includes 3 objective diagnostic tests, and is very clear on the degree of any Structural Shifts that we may discover. This allows us to make a reasonable determination as to how long it is going to take to improve/correct your Structural condition, and then create a plan that is customised to your, or your child’s, individual needs. 

Correcting Structural Shifts in the spine clears up the communication between your brain and your body, leading to better function, less accidents and a healthier you.  

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...Dr. Ryno