My 10-year-old has arthritis!?

Most, if not at all adult spinal problems start in childhood.  Wow!  Really?  Yes.  Wear and tear spinal damage (arthritis) can take years to develop, we all know this.  This is one reason why we always want to check infants and kids, and one of the main reasons my kids have been checked and adjusted regularly since birth.  In fact, preventing problems before they begin, is easy and just makes sense.


Here is what the research shows:  Dr. Francis Smith, a Scottish MD performed MRI studies on the spines of 154 ten-year-old’s.  He found that 14 of 154 (almost 10%) had spinal arthritis.  That’s right, 1 in 10 kids had early spinal arthritis without any symptoms! 1

A study published in 2015 showed that 37% of 20-year-olds had spinal arthritis without any symptoms!2   How is this possible?  Lack of motion in spinal joints (subluxation) cause the degenerative process to start.  I can bet in the future these numbers will be even higher due to our lifestyle in 2016 and beyond.

Improved motion of spinal joints and improved posture reduces risk of developing spinal arthritis, even in infants and children.  We see this clinically and the evidence is clear.  Many of the adults we see in our office have significant spinal damage that could have only begun when they were children.

Another study by Dr. Beiderman3 found that many infants from the birth process experience upper neck trauma – the most common factors causing suboccipital strain (upper neck area) were intrauterine malposition of the fetus, the use of forceps or vacuum extraction during the birth process, prolonged labor and multiple fetuses (twins, triplets, etc.), but even the “normal” birth process can be traumatic.

The resulting symptoms included restricted motion of the cervical spine, torticollis, cervical scoliosis, facial scoliosis, asymmetric muscle tone, retarded development of the hip joints, opisthotonos (retraction of the head and arching of the back, with infant unable to hold the head erect), deformities of the feet, restless sleep, not eating or drinking well, and slow development of motor skills.  Why wait until these symptoms manifest when they can often be avoided all together?

Stress on the spine and nervous system should be removed as soon as possible in order for infants and children to grow and be at their best – as the twig is bent, so grows the tree.  Healthy habits start young.  Get your kids checked today.

Be Well,

Dr. Jon Saunders




1) December 2003 research performed in Aberdeen, Scotland by Dr. Francis Smith: 89th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America

2) American Journal of Neuroradiology 2015 Apr;36(4):811-6.

3) Biedermann H. Kinematic imbalances due to suboccipital strain in newborns. J. Manual Med (1992) 6:151-156.

Chiropractic on Eagle

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