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Guest Blogger: Dr. Tyler Kong, Mississauga Chiropractor - Health & Healing Family Chiropractic

Many people are surprised when I talk about chiropractic care for babies. Some may even cringe at the thought of a chiropractor adjusting a baby because they’re thinking: “Is chiropractic safe for babies?” or “Do babies get adjusted the same way as adults?”

 

Have you ever seen a new born get checked by a chiropractor? Here's Dr. Matthew Posa from The Healthy Family Chiropractic in Milton

These are valid questions. In short, YES chiropractic is safe for babies/newborns with chiropractors who have been trained in pediatric chiropractic techniques. And NO, babies do not get adjusted the same way as adults. A baby’s joints are more cartilaginous than bony and only require about the same amount of pressure as you would use to check the ripeness of a tomato. The birth process can be traumatic for an infant so I’m a strong believer in ALL babies getting checked by a chiropractor. In many cases, infant spinal misalignments may not present any visible symptoms until later on in life. However, there are 3 visible signs that babies may show to indicate they need to get checked by a chiropractor:

1. Colic

There are many new parents who have a baby who is colicky. This can be a very difficult time for many parents because of the feeling of helplessness. The causes of colic can be from gassiness to abdominal pains to reflux. In essence, the newborn is experiencing some type of symptom and the only way they know how to express their pain is by crying.

A chiropractor can determine if a spinal misalignment is causing the newborn to be in a state of discomfort. Trained chiropractors can detect spinal misalignments with a thorough examination and correct the misalignment with a safe and gentle adjustment to the spine. A study has shown that spinal adjustments can decrease the number of hours a baby is colic by 2.7 hours per day compared to the medicated group which decreased colic by 1 hour per day.(1) The authors of the study also add that as the study went on, the chiropractic group continued to see improvements. Another study with 316 colicky infants showed that through chiropractic care, 94% of them had improvement.(2) More recently, this study concluded, “chiropractic manual therapy improved crying behavior in infants with colic”.(3)

2. Favours turning head to the left or the right

If your newborn prefers to keep their head turned to either the left or the right, it is a clear sign that the infant has a misalignment in their upper neck area. One tell-tale sign of this is if the newborn favours one breast over the other while breastfeeding. While this child may not have any overt symptoms such as being colicky, it is wise to ensure this child has his or her spine checked from a preventative standpoint to correct any underlying problem that may arise in the future.

3. Reflux

Reflux among newborns is not uncommon, but consistent and constant reflux should be addressed because the underlying problem may be due to a spinal misalignment. A spinal misalignment may cause dysfunction of the esophageal muscles leading to reflux and in more serious cases GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Some signs and symptoms of GERD include interrupted sleep, excessive gas, vomiting, excessive crying, and difficulty breastfeeding. In a recent case study, the authors conclude: “pediatric patients suffering from gastrointestinal disorder such as GERD may benefit from clinical adjustments to sites of vertebral subluxations.”(4)

As a father of two beautiful girls, who both got their first chiropractic adjustments within hours of being born, the spinal health of infants and children is particularly close to my heart. While these are just 3 visible signs your baby needs to get checked by a chiropractor trained in pediatric techniques, I can’t stress enough that ALL babies will benefit from getting checked.

Contact The Healthy Family Chiropractic at 905-864-1516 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like more information on chiropractic for children or if you would like to find a pediatric chiropractor in your area.

REFERENCES:

1. The short-term effect of spinal manipulation in the treatment of infantile colic: A randomized controlled clinical trial with a blinded observer. Wiberg, Jesper M.M. et al. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics , Volume 22 , Issue 8 , 517 - 522.

2. Infantile- colic treated by chiropractors: a prospective study of 316 cases. Klougart N1, Nilsson NJacobsen J.J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1989 Aug;12(4):281-8.

3. Efficacy of Chiropractic Manual Therapy on Infant Colic: A Pragmatic Single-Blind, Randomized Controlled Trial. Miller, Joyce E. et al. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics , Volume 35 , Issue 8 , 600 - 607.

4. Chiropractic care of a pediatric patient with symptoms associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease, fuss-cry-irritability with sleep disorder syndrome and irritable infant syndrome of musculoskeletal origin. Joel Alcantara, BSc, DC1 and Renata Anderson, DC. J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2008 Dec; 52(4): 248–255.

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