Structural Issues

What Are Common Structural Issues Seen in Children Today?

Often overlooked in children’s chronic illnesses, but nonetheless important, are the structural issues including the muscles, skeleton, and connective tissues within the body.

Some common structural issues seen in children today include:

  • Tip-toe walking
  • Floppiness
  • Low muscle tone
  • Gait problems
  • Clumsiness
  • Coordination issues
  • Torticollis
  • Scoliosis
  • Hypermobility
  • Pronation (foot rolls inward)
  • Supination (foot rolls outward)
  • In-toeing or out-toeing
  • Muscle spasms or cramps

If the brain is not in sync, then this imbalance will be reflected structurally in the body.

This imbalance may affect the spinal cord and the nervous system, which ultimately impacts the motor development of the child.

It is not uncommon to see a child with a neurodevelopmental disorder such as autism with other issues such as:

  • An odd gait
  • Curvature of the spine (scoliosis)
  • A large head
  • Out-of-sync body language
  • Crossed or misaligned eyes (strabismus)
  • Compromised structural integrity of the brain

Structural issues are not always evident in the early years of a child’s life, but can become more obvious with time as growth and development have a profound impact on behavior and learning.

What Your Doctor May Tell You About Structural Issues

The truth is your pediatrician may likely not tell you very much, if anything at all.

Conventionally trained medical doctors are often not trained to treat structural issues and will often refer out to specialists such as orthopedic doctors, occupational therapists, or others.

Often, there is very little recognition of the connection between your child’s structural issues and other issues such as:

  • Digestion and assimilation of food
  • Appropriate communication
  • Appropriate gross-motor skills
  • Appropriate fine-motor skills
  • Behavioral issues
  • Cognitive issues

Another Way to Think About Your Child’s Structural Issues

While it may not be recognized by your pediatrician, there is a profound link between structural issues and function in the human body.

If something is out of alignment structurally, chances are that something will be out of alignment biochemically, developmentally and otherwise.

There are a number of physicians and specialists who are trained to look at how structural issues might impact other functions in the body such as digestion, immune function, brain development and more.

These specialists include:

  • Osteopathic physicians
  • Chiropractic physicians
  • Naturopathic physicians
  • Craniosacral therapists

Structural therapies can restore the body’s structural integrity.

Practitioners trained in structural modalities know how to integrate very gently the body’s internal organs, fluids, bones, and connective tissue.

The focus is to balance the relationship among the different structural body parts within the child.

Addressing structural issues is another way of integrating the body and the brain so they both function with maximum potential to benefit the child.

Structural Issues Checklist to Start

Learn about retained primitive reflexes:

Most, if not all, children with neurodevelopmental disorders including learning disabilities, have retained primitive reflexes.

Find a therapist that is trained in integrating primitive reflexes, which can cause imbalances in the way your child’s brain performs.

See a chiropractic neurologist at a Brain Balance Center:

The Brain Balance program can help balance the right and left brain hemispheres and make neural connections to extinguish primitive reflexes.

See a sensory-integration occupational therapist (OT):

These OTs address a variety of sensory issues with a child using hands-on equipment.

This type of therapy calms down the nervous system to help integrate the senses and retained reflexes.

See a chiropractor:

A chiropractor can perform spinal cord adjustments, which can improve communication in the nervous system.

See an osteopath or craniosacral practitioner:

Osteopathy and craniosacral therapy can reestablish central nervous system functioning. These practitioners use approaches rich in vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile input and may also do oral motor therapy.

See a behavioral/developmental optometrist:

A developmental optometrist can check for convergence and tracking problems with your child’s vision. He or she can correct these issues with vision therapy, lens and prisms. Doing so can improve hand-eye coordination and school performance.

Find a therapist doing Brain Gym:

A Brain Gym practitioner can have your child do exercises for sensorimotor coordination, self-calming and self-management.

See a homeopath or naturopath:

These practitioners can diagnose and treat gastrointestinal disorders naturally so that the child’s immune, sensory, neurological and nervous systems develop without being compromised.

See a well-trained acupuncturist:

Acupuncture can help lower stress and anxiety associated with sensory processing.

See a structural body worker:

Your child may need to see a practitioner trained in a structural body working method such as the Feldenkrais method or the Anat Baniel Method.

Sensory therapies and tools:

  • Super brain yoga
  • Rock climbing
  • Gymnastics
  • Weighted vests, blanket and belts
  • HANDLE therapy
  • Sensory Learning
  • Tool Chest
  • Squeeze Machine
  • Music therapy
  • Sensory gym
  • Deep pressure brushing therapy
  • Sensory tactile toys
  • Aquatic therapy


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