Why Adjust Children?
Everyday I get asked the question. I always smile, because it was not too long ago that I would have asked the same question. Why do newborns need chiropractic care? In my office I have a great DVD that I loan out to skeptical parents. It shows "normal, natural births" and what occurs during what our society thinks is a normal birth.
The video images are horrific. So horrific, in fact, that many skeptical fathers take on the papa bear protection mode and decide then and there that he will not subject HIS baby to that trauma. It is sweet to see a parent's natural protective instinct take over. However, many parents need more information in order to make the critical decisions necessary to
ensure the best birth possible.
The reasons why a baby would need to be checked actually begin in the womb. I personally believe in chiropractic care before conception, but that is a subject for another page. Growing a human is hard work. It stressed mama's body to the max. It changes her physiology quickly and endlessly. If her pelvis is in line, the ligaments that suspend her growing uterus are relaxed and allow the fetus to grow, get nourishment and not be restricted in her movement. If the babe is not allowed to move and grove she can have some cranial growth restrictions. I see this happen frequently especially in breech babies and twins.
In addition to proper skull development, the baby may take on what we call Bad Fetal Lie. Many people are aware of what a breech baby is. Depending on your birth provider, there is a time during the pregnancy where we are concerned about whether or not a babe is head down. I have seen this time vary from provider to provider. Many times I get a phone call from a frantic mama who has been given only two weeks to get the baby to turn before their OB will take the baby via c-section. To prevent this from happening, I usually do Webster's Technique on all of my pregnant moms, no matter how far along they are.
Bad Fetal Lie does not stop with breech presentations. Towards the end of the pregnancy, I prefer the baby to be on the mom's left side. A posterior baby has a harder time getting through the birth canal and leads to back labor for mama. If the baby is having a hard time getting through her passage, there is a higher possibility that there will be some sort of intervention.
Intervention can vary from episiotomy, pitocin augmentation, vacuum extraction, forceps, and the OB tugging and turning the baby like a corkscrew pulling a cork out of a wine bottle. The traction used by many OBs to pull the baby from the vagina can range from 30-90 pounds of pressure. When I think of that amount of pressure being applied to a baby's delicate spine and nervous system, I cringe. As a side note, the amount of pressure a trained chiropractor uses to adjust an infant is about 6 ounces, the same pressure you can put on your eyeball and not feel any discomfort.
Babes go through much stress being born, no matter what way they come into the world. C-section deliveries are stressful on the baby's spine and nervous system as well. Many moms report a strong tugging and being lifted off of the operating table during the birth of their baby. Have you ever tried to lift a person dead weight style? How much pressure is being used to extract a baby if a mom is getting lifted off of the table? Many babies that are born c-section were wedged in the birth canal for one reason or another, which offers more resistance for the surgeon. They are not just lifted out of the mom's uterus, cradled in loving arms, like many people seem to envision.
No matter what way a baby comes out of the womb, her skull can suffer some trauma. Whether wedged in the birth canal during labor, the use of instruments to deliver, suffering through a pitocin fed labor, or birthed naturally and kindly at home, the baby's skull is designed to fold to allow passage. Typically, over a few days the skull should unfold naturally and no abnormalities remain. All too often though, some of the plates in the skull remain stagnant and the baby's head continues to stay misshapen. Combine the trauma of being born with our society's tendencies to place babies in a container all the time, cranial work is needed by many babies. If the skull remains misshaped, many parents turn to helmets for their babies. Many times these helmets can be avoided by bringing the baby to a chiropractor trained in cranial adjusting.
So the question is not why a newborn would need to be evaluated by a chiropractor; the question is why would you want to wait to bring your baby in to be checked? The longer these fixations (called Subluxations) remain, the more apt it is to see symptoms resulting from tissue damage. These symptoms can vary from colic, constipation, head butting, crying all of the time for no apparent reason, restriction in regards to turning the head, nursing problems, etc. The list goes on and on. The longer the interference is there, the more fixated it becomes.
Just think what most adults would feel like if these issues had been addressed right after birth? Many adult complaints can easily be explained by their birth process. A wise chiropractor once said, "Go ahead, leave your child at home, let her grow up to have the same issues you have." Get your baby checked today! Have further questions? Call my office and set up a no obligation consultation.
Kids and Chiropractic
Chiropractic care is an essential part of your child’s overall wellness. In the United States, more than 17 percent of all chiropractic patients are under the age of 18, according to the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Of that 17 percent, nearly 8 percent are five years or younger. While it may seem that children do not need chiropractic at a young age, starting them with preventative care early on in life will set them up for a lifetime of health and well-being.
Your Child’s Nervous System
The nervous system, which consists of your brain, spinal cord and nerves, controls everything in the body, including growth and development. Subluxations, also known as misalignments, in the spine can prevent proper communication from the brain to the body. These subluxations cause stress to the nervous system, which can lead to a decrease in function of the affected area.
Infants, children and adults can all experience subluxations in the spine. Infants and children can become subluxated from birth trauma, other minor or major traumas and developmental stress. During the first five years of life, the body produces more neural pathways than at any other time. It is vital this production is optimized through children’s chiropractic care, as the first few years are crucial to each child’s potential.
Even if your child is in excellent health, minor traumas from bumps, bruises, falls and spills accumulate over time and can result in pain, discomfort and/or health issues in their teen and adult years.
The chiropractic adjustment is safe for patients of all ages, including newborns. After an assessment of your child’s spine, the chiropractor will perform a gentle adjustment using either his or her hands or a small tool. This adjustment, alongside the use of chiropractic therapies, serves to remove the subluxation.
Commonly Seen Improvements
Over the years, chiropractic doctors have received feedback about the benefits of kids and chiropractic from parents and young patients reporting significant or unexpected improvements in:
Behavior and attitude
Immune system function
Additional symptoms and conditions patients have reported improvement on include ADD/ADHD, colic, torticollis, ear infections, bed-wetting, digestive problems, allergies, asthma, seizures and more.
Read more about newborns and chiropractic.
Make an appointment to talk to a chiropractic doctor about the benefits of children's chiropractic care.
Read on to learn more:
Why Should Children Have Chiropractic Care? International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, accessed April 2017
Safety and Effectiveness of Pediatric Chiropractic, American Chiropractic Association, April 2016
Chiropractic Care for Children [ABSTRACT], Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine Journal, April 2000
The safety and effectiveness of pediatric chiropractic [ABSTRACT], Explore (NY), Sep-Oct 2009
Efficacy of chiropractic manual therapy on infant colic [ABSTRACT], Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Oct 2012