Last month we talked about older adults and chiropractic care but often patients are shocked to see so many infants and children in our office.
We have cared for children from 3 hours old (yes, 3 hours old), to age 18.
For infants one trauma most people don’t think about in our culture is the stress on the baby’s neck from the birth process.
There can be 30 pounds of stress put on an infant’s cervical spine during delivery. The neck is stretched and torqued. When we see newborns, the most common problem is misalignment of the first two vertebrae. This can cause a myriad of conditions such as ear infections, sleeping difficulties, inability to nurse, and many others.
Frequently we see babies with torticollis, which is caused by neck muscles spasmed in a torqued position due to the birthing process (click to see WebMD’s definition). Torticollis can continue to cause neck muscle spasms after birth.
Here is a case I will never forget. The new patient was a baby boy who was 18 months old.
When I entered in the exam room, the baby was clearly distraught: he was screaming and crying. His mother was exhausted.
She told me he never slept for more than 20 minutes at a time, and when he wasn’t sleeping he was crying until he exhausted himself again.
The parents had taken him to Children’s Hospital. Numerous exams were done, including CT scans and MRIs. The results showed nothing was wrong and the mother was told it was her parenting style.
She said I was her last hope and if I couldn’t help she was going to kill herself. WOW! That is pressure.
Upon my examination, it was obvious that this little boy’s upper neck was out of alignment. The mother confirmed it had been a long birth process.
Adjusting an infant is a very light touch. I adjusted his upper vertebrae and the family left.
I had planned to call and check on the baby that evening, but at 5:00 pm the mom called. She called to ask me what she should do… I asked her what the problem was and she said the baby had fallen asleep on the way home from the office (9:00 AM) and was still asleep at 5 pm!
She wondered if she should wake him up!
Overjoyed I said, “No! He needs sleep more than food- let him sleep!”
I asked her if she had gotten any sleep – she said she also slept 6 hours that day! She said that she would bring in all of her children to become patients.
It’s important to know how gentle a chiropractic treatment is for baby’s and children.
Their bones are not formed completely and are of course very pliable. We barely touch or move much. It’s like a gentle massage. One of my other patients came in long after her children were grown, but she had a similar story that she calls a “chiropractic miracle“. Her 2 year old son was scheduled to get tubes put in his ears for his chronic ear infections, but someone told her to try chiropractic first. She was very skeptical. Her son had a very difficult birth. After some very light adjustments from a chiropractor, his ear infections cleared up quickly. He never did get surgery. She and her husband became life long believers in ongoing chiropractic care. They are now WOW patients along with their son who is grown and has a family of his own.
Have questions? Make an appointment and come on in, we are here to help!
Dr. Julia Keiser