The idea of chiropractic for children, especially for infants is a foreign one for many parents. “Is it beneficial?,” “Is it safe?” These are reasonable questions for a loving parent looking out for the best interest of their child. From my personal education, experience, and observation I can say with confidence that yes, chiropractic care truly is for everyone, and babies are no exception. The Scientific research Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, and Family Health, the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics, and the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association exist for this very reason.
As an example just last week I had the privilege to care for one of the youngest chiropractic patients we’ve ever had in our clinic- a beautiful 3-week old newborn baby girl who was having difficult digestion and discomfort after eating, and had a very small appetite as a result. It turns out she had a difficult c-section birth and after being born tended to have her head cocked to one side. While her mother held her, I examined little Chiara’s spine and found a number of misalignments in her lower back (an area that directly supplies nerve flow to the digestive tract!) as well as the upper neck.
Working with infants is entirely different than adults, and this is where sometimes parents feel nervous about chiropractic care for their children. In the case of Chiara’s neck though, all that was required was light fingertip pressure on the right side of her upper neck (no more pressure than a person could handle on their own eyeball for example) until the C1 vertebrae slid back into alignment. In the low back, I used our precision instrument adjuster turned down to its very lightest setting in order to produce a very low-intensity tapping pressure into the low back to release the lumbar vertebrae (babies love how it feels!). I immediately felt noticeably improved motion in both the neck and low back as a result, and Chiara also happened to sleep through the entire process.
When I called her mother the next day to see how things went, the wonderful result of Chiara’s first chiropractic adjustment was that her appetite had returned in a big way and was breastfeeding like never before. She didn’t show the same discomfort after eating, and her head was not cocked to the side to the same degree- a fantastic change after only one simple, safe, non-invasive chiropractic adjustment.
Other infants and young children have had similar positive results at our clinic from issues such as general irritability, difficulty sleeping, awkward sleeping postures, pain upon touching the back or extremities, difficulty using an arm, and difficulty strange crawling, walking or tendency to ‘scoot’.
When should I bring my child to see a chiropractor?
Babies don’t have the ability to verbalize their discomfort except through cries (which could mean many things). Some cues you should look for are:
– Difficulty feeding or difficulty turning the head to breastfeed
– Irritability after feeding as well as general irritability and excessive crying
– Sensitivities on any part of the body, especially the back and extremities
– Difficulty sleeping/restless sleep
– Awkward postures and difficulty using the limbs
– Difficulty walking, crawling, or tendency to ‘scoot’
– Ear infections
– Constant unexplained sickness/infections
– After a c-section or difficult delivery
– For a spinal wellness checkup!
Not all spinal issues present with symptoms and some can be hidden under the surface. Getting your baby’s spine checked is one of the best things you can do to help ensure your baby has the best advantage to grow and develop strong. Children also typically respond faster to care than adults due to less accumulated damage and stress throughout their young lives. This is why I love working with infants- a healthy spine means a healthier nervous system and a stronger, healthier baby as a result! Contact us to learn more at 250 590 7319!