Minneapolis-area Chiropractic Clinic: Kelly ChiropracticGwendolyn E. Kelly-Kohnke, DC
8421 Wayzata Blvd. Suite 220
Golden Valley, MN 55426
Phone: (763) 231-0143
Certified Chiropractic Sports Practitioner®

Chiropractor Dr. Gwen KellyChild Care and Chiropractic

Help your child avoid the W-sit!

By Dr. Gwendolyn E. Kelly-Kohnke, DC
Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician®
Kelly Chiropractic, PA

Note: this article was written August 2008 for use at Mini-Hops Gymnastics.

The coaching team here at Mini-Hops is aware of how important it is to have children avoid W-sitting.  Children at Mini-Hops are reminded not to use the W-sit.  But, since your child’s coach can’t correct the problem outside of the gym, your help is needed!

The W-sit is a position similar to kneeling.  Children will sit with their knees together, but the feet are off to each side and the buttocks touches the ground.  Your child may prefer the W-sit due to the developmental stage he or she is in, or due to muscle and joint imbalances he/she already has.  Sometimes, however, your child has just picked up a bad habit.  If you Google “child W-sit”, you can find several good pictures of this position. 

This position should be avoided by all people.  It can cause muscular imbalance and joint laxity. It causes problems with the feet/ankles, knees, hips, pelvis, and lower back.  W-sitting can increase the likelihood of hip dislocation, major knee injuries, and sway back. It can also cause twisting (torsion) of the bones in the lower leg (tibia) and thigh (femur).  Most children who continually use the W-sit will eventually walk with knock knees (genu valgus), and with their toes in.  All of the above issues will make it harder for your child to progress safely in gymnastics.

While W-sitting should be avoided, there is no need to panic.  There needs to be prolonged W-sitting over a period of time before major changes start to happen.  Like any habit, once a child starts W-sitting, it is hard to get him/her to stop.  So, preventing it from happening is ideal.

Children who are W-sitting just need a simple explanation such as “W-sitting is bad for our knees, so we don’t ever sit like that”.  Then it’s up to parents, coaches, and teachers to give reminders anytime we see the W-sit being used.  Showing your child other ways to sit properly is also helpful for them.  Cross legged, kneeling, and any version of sitting with the feet in front of them is acceptable.  Catching them and reminding them as often as possible is extremely important in breaking the W-sit habit.

If a child has problems that are caused from W-sitting, or problems that cause the child to prefer W-sitting, those problems can be corrected.  Exercises and stretches, chiropractic adjustments, and medical braces are a few options considered when trying to correct a problem.

Mini-Hops coaches are working hard to make sure there is no W-sitting in the gym.  And they are asking for your help to prevent it outside of the gym.  Then, no problems will arise as your child grows, and there will be no need for any interventions.



What is Colic?

Colic has several definitions and many people think of different things when they think of colic. Colic is basically described as a child who cries often and for prolonged periods of time. There are many people who are baffled by this problem, and don’t know what to do.


What can a parent do about colic?

Holding the baby, rocking the baby, warm baths and tummy rubs seem to be helpful. But what do you do if this is not working? Many people have resorted to drugs that have little impact. Others decide that it is natural, nothing can be done, and parents must go without sleep until it resolves. Chiropractic care, however, does seem to be effective.


How can my chiropractor help with colic?

Chiropractic manipulation has proven to be helpful in reducing the amount of time a baby spends crying. Subluxations have an impact on the nervous system and can cause the child to be uncomfortable or irritable. You can also ask your Chiropractor about nutritional solutions. Many babies have slight food sensitivities to certain foods, either eaten directly or received through the mother’s breast milk. Dairy products tend to be a common problem, although any food could be the culprit. Chiropractic care can be extremely beneficial to a baby with colic.

A chiropractic adjustment to and infant is very different than a chiropractic adjustment to an adult or small child.  It can be as simple as a light rubbing touch, in the right direction to correct the problem, over the joint or area that needs to be corrected.

Acupressure, especially when used with chiropractic care can also help infantile colic.


What causes ear infections?

There are several possible causes of ear infections in children. Bacteria can cause ear infections, and often, this is the only cause that children get treated for. Antibiotics can be helpful only if the cause of the ear infection is bacterial. Viruses can cause infection in the ear, but they do not respond to antibacterial medications.  Abnormal drainage of fluid from the middle ear through the Eustachian tube (ear tube) can cause ear pain. Children have a more horizontal Eustachian tube than adults do, and it is also shorter than an adult’s Eustachian tube. This difference makes children more prone to blockage of the tube, which can be a cause of the problem. Improper lymph drainage and muscle tension can also contribute to the irritation experienced because of an earache.


Can Chiropractic care help my child’s ear aches?

According to most of the studies, chiropractic care cannot claim to help ear infections because the evidence is anecdotal. Because chiropractic is hands on in nature, it is hard if not impossible to create a good double blind study. Chiropractic has a wide array, however, of case studies that show excellent results of helping children with ear infections. Adjustments can be given to a child as indicated by a complete exam. These adjustments will help the nervous system to function properly. When the nervous system functions more optimally, the body’s defense mechanisms are able to work better. This will help many problems, especially ear infections. The opening of the Eustachian tube into the mouth can be massaged to encourage drainage. There are also techniques used to drain lymph as well as relax muscle tension. Chiropractors will also use their skills to assess and monitor the need for referral to an MD for antibiotic treatment, because it is important to treat the bacterial ear infections with antibiotics if that is what is needed. Chiropractic care can be extremely helpful in resolving your child’s earaches.  

As with Colic, acupressure can also be helpful especially when used along with chiropractic care.  Acupuncture can be used on children, but a lot of times it is easier to use acupressure.  Acupressure does not require us to keep the child somewhat still, and is often as effective as using needles.  Dr. Gwen can follow your child around while they are playing and work on the points that can be helpful.



Ear Infections
Cockburn, D.C. (2000). Chiropractic Medicine and Ear Infections. Retrieved 1-23-01 from http://www.parenthoodweb.com/parent_cfmfiles/pros.cfm/672

Fysh, D.C. Evaluation and treatment of Children with Earache. Retrieved 1-23-01 from http://www.chiroweb.com/archives.11/12/23.html

Schmidt, Dr. Michael A. (1996). Healing Childhood Ear Infections Prevention, Home Care, and Alternative Treatment. Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books and Homeopathic Educational Services.

Anrig D.C., and Plaugher D.C. (1998), Pediatric Chiropractic, Maryland: Williams & Wilkins. (pp605-606)

Greene, M.D., F.A.P.P. Dr. Greene’s House Calls Pediatric Wisdom for the Information Age. Retrieved 3/6/01 from wysiwyg://22//http://www.drgreene.com

The ChiroACCESS Staff. Chiropractic Treatment for Infantile Colic. Retrieved 3/6/01 from http://www.chiroaccess.com


Kelly Chiropractic serves patients from the Twin Cities - Minneapolis area including Bloomington, Edina, Minnetonka, Eden Prairie, St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Wayzata, Plymouth, Maple Grove, Brooklyn Park, St. Paul, Anoka, Shakopee, Hastings, Eagan, Burnsville, Crystal, Golden Valley, New Hope, Robbinsdale, Hennepin County, Anoka County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, and Wright County.

Thank you for visiting the Kelly Chiropractic, P. A. web page. Please note that the information located on our site is not intended to provide specific chiropractic advice. You should consult with a chiropractic doctor and not rely on any information contained herein regarding your specific condition. We welcome the receipt of electronic mail. Please be advised, however, that the act of sending electronic mail to this office or to Dr. Gwendolyn E. Kelly-Kohnke, DC does not alone create a physician-patient relationship. We will neither accept requests for chiropractic advice or treatment nor offer specific chiropractic advice over the internet.  The information here is presented for general information purposes only and is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice.