Oh No! – Are You Going to Crack My Baby?
The media and most pediatricians do not educate parents on chiropractic care for babies. Let’s be honest – most people don’t understand the need or benefits of chiropractic for adults, much less children or infants. Medical doctors are not typically trained to determine if a subluxation in a joint is present, or that it is even a problem if it does exist. Every joint in our body has a certain “spring” or motion to it. If this motion becomes restricted in one or more directions (which we call a subluxation), it can cause problems both in the short and long term. It is Dr. Lisa’s firm belief that all babies should be evaluated by a pediatric chiropractor that is trained in assessing tiny spines, muscles and connective tissue as soon after birth as possible to determine if they have any subluxations or other issues.
The unborn baby’s position in the womb can be the first cause of a spinal subluxation. If you experienced rib, pelvic or back pain during your pregnancy, these are indicators that the baby may not have been optimally positioned. If labor did not begin on its own or started and stalled or your water broke early on in labor, these are other signs that the baby was not optimally positioned (even if they were “head down”). If the baby is in the proper position, then the baby’s head will trigger the body to begin dilating at the proper time and labor will progress as the baby continues to move down unimpeded with each contraction. It doesn’t take much malpositioning to hinder this process and cause issues during delivery. Which brings us to the second – and often the biggest - culprit for causing subluxations in a baby’s spine: the delivery process. It has been reported that an estimated 60-90 lbs of force is used on an infant’s neck during a normal delivery. Is there any wonder how this trauma can cause spine and nervous system damage?
So what are some of the signs of a spinal subluxation in a baby?
- Difficulty nursing
- Decreased bowel movements
- Head rotated or tilted to one side
- Failure to thrive
- Spitting up/Reflux
- Ear infections
- Sleeping problems
- Breathing issues
- Digestive issues
- Immune issues
- Asymmetrical movements
Let’s face it – the nervous system controls everything in the body. If the spine or pelvis is not moving as it should be and restricted (subluxated), then there can be dysfunction at the level of the spine or pelvis, as well as the nerves in those areas and wherever they go to in the body/whatever they control. Even if the body compensates and symptoms go away, if the problem is not properly corrected, then issues will arise down the road. They can show up as crawling issues, asthma, ADD/ADHD and growing pains, to name a few.
So let’s get those nasty subluxations corrected! Remember – most of a young child’s bones are cartilage and not fully developed bone yet. So working with these structures is done with a very light touch. An adjustment is a pressure applied in a specific direction to restore the proper motion that is restricted in that subluxated area. There are many different techniques that can be utilized to do an adjustment but they all are accomplishing the same thing – trying to correct that abnormal motion. An adjustment for a baby, especially a newborn, consists of either a gentle pressure and hold to the subluxated region or a very light fingertip pulse. Most parents that are sitting right next to me do not even know I’m doing an adjustment. It just looks like I’m holding the baby. It’s that subtle. So no – I will not be twisting your baby’s neck nor doing anything that actually looks like an adult adjustment.
This is a very simplified version and shows more symptoms pertinent to an adult. Each area typically has a number of different nerves controlling different aspects of sensation and function.