What are the Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Infants?
Chiropractic care for infants and children is gaining increased public awareness and acceptance. There are two types of issues that chiropractors most commonly see and treat. The first group of issues are the more obvious musculo-skeletal problems. During the birth process, especially when interventions are used such as forceps or vacuum extraction or even during C-section deliveries, there is a great deal of force being put on the baby's spine and joints. Some babies are born with neck injuries – this can present as torticollis or a ‘crick’ in the babies neck that prevents them from moving their head freely to both sides. This can cause a great deal of discomfort for the baby and can make breastfeeding a huge challenge. It can also lead to flat spots developing on the baby’s head if they are favouring one side. Other areas that can require treatment include shoulders and hips.
These kinds of conditions respond beautifully to chiropractic care. Usually after a few gentle treatments we see huge improvements. It's important to remember that babies feel pain just like anybody else. It’s important to watch for signs of physical discomfort and look into options to help relieve that pain.
The second area that we work on involves injuries affecting the nervous system. When our spine is injured it affects the way our nervous system is functioning and this can lead to a huge variety of problems. For babies this often manifests as digestive discomfort. All babies deal with some gassiness as their digestive system grows and develops but we see many babies who have more involved issues with gassiness, leading to major discomfort, trouble sleeping and sometimes constipation. We have huge success improving gastric function with some gentle spinal care and this often results in a more content baby. Colic is another area that chiropractic has been proven to be highly effective. We encourage any parent who is struggling with a very unhappy baby to consider chiropractic care because this treatment can often correct the underlying cause of the problem and then everybody wins!
And then of course it is important to remember that these tiny humans are growing and developing so rapidly and it never hurts to have someone check to make sure everything is aligned and functioning properly. The earlier we can find and correct any issues the easier everything is on the parents and the child!
What does Chiropractic Treatment for a Baby Involve?
Chiropractic for infants is different than chiropractic care for adults. For babies we use very light touch and pressure. Babies require only a gentle rhythmic rocking of the spine to re-establish balance. In fact, most of the babies we treat sleep through the majority of their treatment!
Mom (or Dad) usually holds the baby throughout the whole treatment so that the baby always feels safe and relaxed. We start with babe face down on Mom’s chest so we can gently work on their back. Then we have Mom hold the baby in a cradle position so we can gently assess their neck. There is no twisting or turning. Just light fingertip motion through the joints. As they baby grows we adapt the treatment; soon they are able to lie on the table by themselves. We have a series of pillows and props to make them comfortable, but Mom is never far away and usually has a hand on the baby the whole time.
Chiropractic Care for Children
Children are often seen in our office for a variety of reasons. Small bodies get injured just like big bodies, and kids lead a rough and active life. Almost all injuries that adults get, we've seen in children as well. Fortunately, their young, perfect little bodies heal much faster and respond to treatment so quickly!
If your child is complaining of aches and pains or headaches, if you have concerns about their posture, or if you simply want us to check for proper alignment and development, give us a call.