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For more information, contact:

John Ballam, DC

201 Davis Grove Circle, #106
Cary, NC 27519
Telephone: (919) 363-2277

Helping Kids Stay Balanced
in a Topsy-Turvy World

“Children’s health today—including their spinal health—reflects very different challenges from those faced by their parents or grandparents,” observes Dr. John Ballam of Legacy Chiropractic in Cary. “Overuse of technology, a more sedentary lifestyle, and poorer nutrition all contribute to those challenges.”

He jokes that kids these days are practically issued cell phones along with their birth certificates. On a more serious note, he cautions that “constant device use can pose destructive challenges to spinal development and overall health.”

“Tech-Neck” and Sitting: Serious Challenges
 to Children’s Development

Dr. Ballam provides regular chiropractic
care to his own children (pictured here).
The puppets he uses when examining
young children add an element of
fun—and comfort—to these exams

The forward head position optimal for viewing phones and tablets is not at all con-ducive to developing a healthy posture, the doctor explains. “Practitioners even have a term for this problem—it’s called ‘Tech-Neck.’ Even before children are done growing and have reached their full, mature height, they can have some pretty serious changes to the shape of their spine and their posture,” he warns. “Ligaments and muscles can literally grow around the shape of this posture that’s been created by our obsessive use of digital technology.

“Adding to these structural challenges, children too often are not getting the amount and type of activity they need. Kids should be moving, they should be running,” says Dr. Ballam, explaining how activity creates positive stress for healthy bone and muscle development. “Lack of movement both inhibits that process and contributes to more overweight and obese children. Children are heavier than they used to be and experts observe that this generation of youngsters is likely to be the first that doesn’t have the life expectancy they’re predicting for their parents.”

Free Posture Assessment for Children

“Chiropractic care for children starts with a baseline,” says Dr. Ballam. “Because children’s spines are growing, we want to be able to monitor how they’re growing, and if problems are developing along the way. For that reason, we offer a free consultation and a digital posture assessment for children to see if there are any underlying issues that may be of concern. Even if there are no problems warranting intervention, at least you'll have a good baseline.”

To schedule a free initial consultation and posture assessment, call:
(919) 363-2277

Bringing compromised posture and poor physical conditioning to another scenario—such as sports—can predispose children to injury. “Many younsters these days are going straight from the class-room and the digital technology posture onto the athletic field,” notes Dr. Ballam, “which is a set-up for a potential injury because their frame is not in a good, strong structure.”

Chiropractic Care
for Children

Dr. Ballam is passionate about the benefits of chiropractic care for children. “You don’t have to wait for your child to be injured or for symptoms to appear before enlisting the benefits of chiropractic care. We can use tools to see early indicators that your child could have risk factors.”

In his practice, Dr. Ballam employs a specific technique—the Gonstead Method—to identify and evaluate those indicators. “Detailed assessments are at the heart of this approach,” he explains. “These include palpating the spine at rest and in motion, observing and measuring posture, using digital and other imaging to help determine areas of stress, and assessing inflammation of the spine. The result is a clear picture of the condition of the spine and any problems.”

He recommends this type of baseline chiropractic check for every child. “If we find problems that need to be addressed, it’s so much easier to intervene and do some early corrections, rather than waiting for symptoms to develop.”

No Minimum Age for Misalignment

Dr. Ballam emphasizes the importance of checking even the youngest children. “Most people don’t think of chiropractic first when considering health care for a baby, but small misalignments can happen and the child can’t tell you why or even if they’re hurting.”

Jennifer Case with children Audry and Elijah.

With a very young child, he first checks for trauma from the birth process. “Imagine someone grabbing you by the neck and pulling you out the door,” Dr. Ballam says. “That’s the birth process, not even counting if there was a C-section or forceps or vacuum or other forces that increase stress in the delivery.”

Children who nurse on one side but not the other or are fussy and inconsolable may also have something out of place. In such cases, Dr. Ballam can perform a very gentle correction to help the baby shift back into a relaxed state for healing and growth.

Chiropractic Care
for the Whole Family

In his practice, Dr. Ballam often sees families like the Cases, who he has been treating for more than four years. Jennifer Case considers it well worth the 45-minute drive to his office, citing his skill and thorough-ness in addressing her own hip imbalances, migraines, and more. She marvels at his uncanny ability to pinpoint even the issues she forgot to mention to him.

Her husband also sees Dr. Ballam for help with hip issues and rheuma-toid arthritis, and the children go for regular monthly check-ups. Jennifer whole-heartedly recom-mends him to other families like hers. And she notes how Dr. Ballam’s influence even extends beyond the treatment room—during occasional tablet use by the children, Jennifer always asks, “are you using them like Dr. Ballam taught us?”

After infancy, Dr. Ballam prefers to check children at mile-stones to spot any symptoms or indicators of improper functioning. At each milestone—tummy time, picking the head up, sitting up, crawling, learning to walk or run—the physical stress on the body changes.

He might check if a child is crawling symmetrically or demon-strating any unusual patterns. Once they’re walking, “does one leg always toe in and they’re tripping over that foot?” Dr. Ballam asks. “Something could be off in the hips, or something might be missed. We need to take a look.”

With children older than five, Dr. Ballam prefers to check in once a month, or more as needed due to injury or special needs such as scoliosis. “Chiropractic is a great way to observe and help maintain the health of children,” he notes. Interestingly, proper neck align-ment can also help with childhood ailments as common as ear infections.

Although Dr. Ballam can identify and address a wide variety of issues, his own preferred posture is preventive rather than reactive. Working with children, he explains, “While they are getting checked once a month; that doesn’t mean they are being treated every visit. I’d rather take a proactive approach, and simply make sure everything’s ok.”