Contrary to what you may believe, sometimes being a baby can be a hard thing! With the rapid growing process and changes in nutritional requirements, having a healthy infancy stage is important for development. Chiropractic care benefits babies through adjusting and giving nutritional advice to parents. Research has shown chiropractic care to reduce or eliminate symptoms in many conditions that are common during infancy. By assessing the baby’s condition prior to treatment, a chiropractor will also determine if your baby is meeting their milestones. They can also determine if a referral to another healthcare professional is necessary.
How Can a Young Infant’s Spine Be Traumatized?
While an infant’s spine normally develops perfectly by the end of pregnancy, it is what occurs around the time of birth and in the months thereafter that can upset the normal functioning of the spine. Specifically, Spinal segments can be pushed out of place or jammed by the position of the baby in the womb, or can suffer similar problems during labor from the trauma of the trip through the birth canal, or from the birthing process itself. Medical research has identified the fact that many problems early in a child’s life can come from birth trauma.
Spinal problems can also occur as a result of the frequent falls suffered by young infants in the first months of life. A fall from a bed, a sudden stop in an automobile, or any significant unsupported movement of the head and neck in an infant can induce excessive movement in the spine causing vertebral subluxations. At the other end of the spine, the act of learning to walk, and the number of simple falls encountered in this way, can induce trauma to the lower spinal segments and to the large sacroiliac joints of the pelvis. Young children learning to walk also fall and hit their heads. These apparently innocent, frequently occurring events can also create spinal subluxations.
That is why at Santa Clara Custom Chiropractic, we offer a Well Baby Check to any of our pregnant moms who have been under care during their pregnancy as early detection can make all the difference for the developing child.
It is also very important to have ongoing Well Baby Checks by a chiropractor when your baby reaches such important developmental milestones such as holding their head up unaided, sitting up, rolling over, crawling, cruising and walking, etc.
How Can Parents Recognize Childhood Spinal Problems?
Unless a child has an obvious problem, it can be difficult for parents to recognize when a child has spinal subluxations and needs to be evaluated. Just as it is difficult for someone other than a dentist to evaluated if a child has cavities, similarly it is not always easy for someone other than a chiropractor to determine if your child has a spinal problem. There are some signs parents can look for, however, which can be indicators of a child with a spinal problem.
Common indicators of spinal problems may include:
- Child’s head consistently being tilted to one side
- Restricted head or neck motion to one side
- Erratic sleeping patterns with the child sleeping only one – two hours at a time
- Feeding difficulties in a young infant including a young infant preferring to breastfeed only on one side.
Correction made early to the developing spine has been shown to be safe as 85% of Americans see chiropractic care for their children and it has been demonstrated to be safe and effective in correcting spinal distortions as well as aiding the body in healing a number of conditions such as colic, irritability, ear infections, ADHD, enhanced immunity as well as others.
5 Frequently Asked Question about Pediatric Chiropractic:
Is chiropractic care safe for babies?
The first thing every parent wants to know is whether chiropractic care is safe for their child. The short answer is yes! Most people think that chiropractors only treat adults with low back pain, but chiropractors also treat newborns, infants, and toddlers!
How do chiropractors adjust babies?
Adjustments may differ depending on what condition a baby may have, however, adjustments will always be gentle and pain-free. Infant chiropractic care can be compared to massaging and stretching unlike the higher forcer “cracking” technique that is used on adults. Occasionally a low-force tool called an Activator may be used to correct any restrictions a baby may have.
How much pressure will the chiropractor use?
Gentle pressure is used by the chiropractor to assess, fix any restrictions, or release any tense muscles the baby may have. Chiropractors primarily use their fingertips or thumb tips for any treatment your baby may need.
Will there be a cracking sound?
Unlike chiropractic treatment for adults, there is no cracking or popping involved in the chiropractic treatment of babies. Treatment performed by chiropractors on babies are very low force and often go unnoticed by the baby!
Will my baby cry during treatment?
Your baby may cry during treatment but fear not! The baby is not crying out of pain. Your baby may cry due to the new environment or that something new is happening.
How does chiropractic care help babies?
What can chiropractic do for your child? Is it only for highly dramatic health conditions? Is it only for when my child is hurting?
Not at all. Chiropractic care has been shown to be helpful in a number of issues. Example of conditions that can be reduced or eliminated with chiropractic care include:
Colicky babies are unhappy babies. Babies with colic can cry inconsolably for no apparent reason causing themselves and their parents’ sleepless nights. Adjustments coupled with nutritional advice can help relieve the symptoms of colic.
Torticollis is a medical name for tight muscles of the neck. If you notice your baby is favoring looking to one side or is unable to get into a good position for breast feeding, they may be experiencing torticollis. A chiropractor may use gentle massage work to the babies’ neck muscles to release any tension.
Feeding issues or latching issues can arise from decreased movement or restrictions of the babies’ shoulders, neck, or jaw, or specifically the baby’s temporomandibular joint (TMJ). By chiropractors correcting these restrictions, babies will have an easier time latching or bottle feeding!
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) may entail excessive spitting up, persistent coughing, fussiness, eating issues, or crying around feeding time. This can be quite uncomfortable for the baby and can lead to other digestive issues. Adjustments to the baby’s spine can help relieve the pain of reflux or GERD.
Constipation is a common issue that parents will seek chiropractic treatment for. Digestive issues in babies can be relieved through chiropractic care. Some babies even defecate right after their first treatment!
Unfortunately, many ear infections can be uncomfortable and often recurring in babies. Some ear infections go away on their own, but some may require extra help. Chiropractic care benefit babies’ ears by improving the drainage of their ears and further reduce the recurrence of ear infections without the use of antibiotics!
Babies with sleeping issues mean many sleepless nights for parents as well! Chiropractic treatment increases relaxation while decreasing conditions that may be causing your baby to not be able to sleep at night.
How often should a baby see a chiropractor?
After an assessment performed by the chiropractor, the doctor will determine how often and what treatment is best for your baby. Chiropractors can see healthy babies as well! Our office offers preventative care and regular milestone check-ups as well. Remember, chiropractic treatment can benefit babies and a happy baby means a happy parent!
How to make an appointment
If you have any questions on how chiropractic care benefits babies or on a specific condition your baby may have, please feel free to contact us at Santa Clara Custom Chiropractic or schedule an appointment by visiting www.santaclaracustomchiro.com or by calling (408) 248-8700.
After scheduling your appointment, intake forms will be conveniently emailed to you to complete prior to your initial evaluation. These forms will include questions about your motor vehicle accident so our chiropractors can get a clear picture on how to get you back to your pain-free life again.