Most new parents routinely take their infants to the pediatrician for well checks but what many people don't know is how important chiropractic can be for an infant’s wellness. It can help with a variety of issues, big and small. The focus of chiropractic care is to ensure that the nervous system is functioning at its best; and by doing so, all other systems of the body – the cardiovascular system, the immune system, the digestive system – also function at their best, setting the stage for health now and as they grow.
How do chiropractic adjustments accomplish this? By keeping the spine subluxation -free! A misalignment or lack of motion in the spine, also called a subluxation, can cause interference to the function of the nervous system. If the nervous system isn’t functioning at its best, then the systems in its control are not, either. By removing subluxations through a gentle, specific chiropractic adjustment – using the same amount of pressure that you would use to check the ripeness of a piece of fruit – the nervous system is able to function at its best and symptoms resolve (or never occur in the first place!)
How would a baby get a subluxation? Stress on the spine can cause a subluxation at any age. They can occur when learning to crawl or walk, rolling on the floor, or even during the birth process.
The birthing process is extremely stressful on an infant’s tiny body. During vaginal delivery, a doctor grabs the baby’s head and twists it around in a figure eight motion to receive the shoulders, creating significant stress on the spine. Although different, significant trauma can also occur during a C-section, with the doctor lifting the baby by the head to remove them from the uterus. Regardless of method, the birth process can be rough on little spines!
Spinal stress and brain stem traumas that occur during birth often go undiagnosed and can leave a baby with lasting neurological effects. Birth traumas to the spine and cranium can cause headaches, vestibular problems, auditory troubles, visual disturbances and more. All infants should be checked for subluxation (lack of motion or misalignment of the vertebrae) as a good start to a healthy life!
“My daughter had her first adjustment at 9 days old. At three months old, we noticed that she had Torticollis, where her head was tilted to the right side and her neck was stiff. This made feeding challenging because she was uncomfortable on that side. Torticollis can develop due to positioning in the womb or during childbirth. Left untreated, it can cause a flat head if the baby favors laying on one side. After one very gentle adjustment with Dr. Dan her range of movement was immediately better. Her neck was no longer tight and the head tilt was gone just days later. I was thrilled with the results."
Another issue that some parents face is “colic” - when an infant is irritable or fussy without an obvious underlying cause. Colic is generally associated with stomach cramping, gas and bloating. These types of digestive issues can stem from interference to the nerves that innervate the stomach and digestive tract.
This interference is most likely the result of a misalignment or lack of motion (subluxation) in the mid thoracic or sacro-lumbar region of the spine. A subluxation could put stress on these nerves that would cause the digestive distress and irritation that creates the symptom colic.
Through specific, gentle adjustments the misalignment or lack of motion can be corrected. With the cause of the irritation removed, the symptom (like colic) should also subside.
Charlotte, one month old, suffered from colic, gas and fussiness. Her mother was very happy to find chiropractic care. “After one visit I have seen amazing results. Now she goes to the bathroom regularly. My baby is so happy! Also, her sinuses cleared up – no more sniffles!” As a parent, finding a solution that is natural, gentle and effective is the perfect fit.
Chiropractic can also help infants with a variety of other issues, including ear infections, sleeping troubles, difficulty breastfeeding, and frequent colds and congestion.
Being a new parent can be overwhelming. We all only want what’s best for our children. A properly functioning nervous system can set infants up for a happy and healthy childhood. If you have any questions Dr. Dan is always available to talk. Or, if you would like to talk with other mom’s with children who are under chiropractic care we are also available!