People often ask us how old their babies need to be to be checked out by a chiropractor. Even more people are surprised to learn that chiropractic techniques can help relieve common babyhood problems like latching difficulties, unexplained colic, crying or sleeping difficulty. To thoroughly answer that question we wanted to share an excerpt from Pathways magazine (April 17, 2015) where Dr. Madison Snevily did an excellent job explaining what scenarios warrant bringing babies to visit the chiropractor:
“Wait! What?! What was that you said you wanted to do to my tiny, precious, new born?” says the darling new mother sitting across from me- she is holding her child to her chest as if the entire defensive line of the Seahawk football team was bearing down upon her.
“I said I wanted to adjust her.” Blank stare… I smile, “No, not an attitude adjustment, we’ll leave that for say, oh another thirteen years or so. What I want to do is check her spine for possible misalignments that may have lasting effects on her developing nervous system.”
She continues to hold the infant as closely as possible, doubt and fear racing across her face.
Although these types of patients are rare- usually most of our children have parents who are under care and understand the benefits of chiropractic for all ages- we do occasionally run into the ones like this mom. If you feel like you, as a parent, would feel the same way as the mother mentioned above, or if you’re still sitting there wondering if you should Google what a chiropractor is- this post is for you!
— The baby was born. Ok that’s a little drastic but let me explain: An estimated 60-90 lbs of force is applied to a baby’s neck during “normal” delivery! Even the safest of births can potentially lead to misalignments of the baby’s spine. The expertise of the chiropractor is in checking the baby’s spine for these misalignments that impair nervous system function therefore affecting overall body function.
— Latching difficulties. Oh here is a big one! This is easily the number one reason I see infants. The atlas is the topmost bone of the cervical spine (the neck). When it is misaligned the baby will often only turn his/her head one way, thus making it difficult to latch on one side compared to the other- moms that have experienced this know how little fun that can become. Also, there is a neurological connection between the atlas and the jaw, resulting in poor latching if the atlas is misaligned.
— Spitting up all over the place. Been changing clothes every five seconds? Worried about your baby getting enough nutrients or thinking you might as well pump into the washing machine directly? Another common complaint that chiropractors can usually help with. The area of the spine where the diaphragm attaches also happens to be a transitional part of the spine and a whole lot more goes on here. If this area becomes restricted, the diaphragm can become restricted in its normal movements affecting the esophagus, which passes through it to the stomach. Basically its like this: little tube, little tube gets constricted, anything going through little tube has a harder time (i.e. food). *Side note: Please don’t forget to ask your chiropractor about common food allergies- also a very common cause of spitting up.
— Baby is NOT sleeping well. Oh I am sooo sorry, that’s not fun. L Babies and children are very good at telling us they are not comfortable or happy- they cry. Physical discomfort caused by spinal misalignments can make them very uncomfortable. Especially ones that restrict their movements and cause dural tension to their spinal cord.
There you go, the four major reasons I see little ones. I could really go on and on but there are a couple important things I want to mention before you exit out of this page. Chiropractic care does not cure diseases; it helps remove differentiation to the nervous system so this master control system of the body can do its job. Adjusting a baby’s spine is very different from a grown-up; it is very gentle with only light pressure applied. Just like an adult adjustment, it is very safe but should be performed by a chiropractor with experience in pediatric chiropractic care.”
Thanks to Pathways magazine for being an excellent resource for parents who want to learn more about how to raise healthy babies and children. Article can be found at: http://blog.pathwaystofamilywellness.org/pathways/four-possible-signs-your-baby-should-be-seen-by-a-chiropractor/#sthash.5Q0484q5.3dxYsVQQ.dpuf
“Happy Baby” photo courtesy of Jeremy Salmon, found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeremysalmon/4659606160/in/photolist-86KGzf-jjQ53Y-x1M9Q-9upvuX-abBXT2-9upvwM-GaACd-4GBf6t-5GQzSw-abBXBM-dc6dS4-8cs2JW-pw7soQ-nezHEm-7cuymw-dVz2Me-pdfL4r-5NVPC-8HYQJx-74C6on-8jo2n6-GGeR9Y-5ZHjBE-7Tys5Y-66hFwh-6guCCz-4RQ91H-5MHqL5-M9ALK-9e43mr-f2uaoi-C65H8-sLyD7-en6ird-9112cU-qZuw5W-mMnf3-a5qHB-2xN4E9-8VAnc6-26HdZm-rYhzP-5y8QwD-69jEr3-gth1f-o7RSkT-e8iAje-6fNuYF-dpsMnN-Pr5TY