Babies and Children Benefit from Chiropractic Care Too!
Written by Dr. Alyssa Clarkson
Can babies receive chiropractic care?
Yes! Babies can benefit from chiropractic care just like adults can. The birthing process can be very traumatic for babies, which can lead to future issues if they are not addressed. Did you know that an infant’s spine doubles in size in their first 2 years of life? With such rapid growth and development, it is important to have their spine and nervous system functioning optimally. Getting your baby checked early in life can set them up with a healthy foundation for their growth and development.
What does a pediatric visit look like?
Just like any initial chiropractic visit, we need to look at the whole picture. We will ask mom or dad about the birthing experience to help us get a clear idea of what the baby may have gone through, this helps us get a thorough history and rule out any red flags. Next, we will complete a physical assessment and exam; this includes checking the infant’s ranges of motion, reflexes and doing some orthopedic tests. We then determine where mis-alignments are and work on any tight muscles and perform tiny adjustments. Throughout the entire visit, we will be informing the parents or guardians of everything we are doing so that you are informed and there are no surprises.
Adjusting a baby is a very gentle and safe process and for the most part, is unnoticed by the baby. Before adjusting the baby, we demonstrate to the parent what it feels like so they know exactly what is happening. The pediatric adjustment is very different from an adult adjustment. The adjustment pressure can be compared to the pressure you would use if you were checking the firmness of a tomato!
What symptoms or issues can we help with?
Some of the things that we can help with include colic, reflux, torticollis, ear infections, poor feeding, constipation and asymmetric crawling or gait. These, among other things, can develop due to tight muscles and restrictions in the spine. With chiropractic care and proper education, your baby’s body can function properly and avoid some of these common issues.
Common Conditions where Chiropractic Care can help:
This is a condition that is characterized by an asymmetrical distortion of the skull or “flat spot”. Babies have very soft and malleable heads because their sutures have not fused. It is not until around the age of two that their sutures become bone and fuse completely. If your baby is consistently lying on the same side or can’t move their neck, they are more prone to developing a flat spot. During your visit, we will check their neck mobility and their head shape. If we notice a little asymmetry and catch it early enough, we will adjust their cervical spine and give you some tips and exercises to do with your baby so we hopefully can avoid having your baby wear a helmet.
Also known as ‘wry’ neck, this is when the baby’s head is turned and twisted to a particular side. Often can be caused by trauma in the birth canal. During your visit we will work the muscles causing favouritism to one side by the baby, and provide you with rehabilitation exercises that you can perform at home.
Infant colic often is characterized by excessive crying and upset, especially after feeding. After evaluation of the infants diet, other causes can be cramping due to tight muscles of the back or abdomen. Small, minute muscle work and adjustments can assist with the ongoing discomfort that the child may be experiencing — so your baby and you can sleep and feel better!
Chiropractic care is safe and effective in all stages of life. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a pediatric appointment, contact Dr. Alyssa at 780–761–8821 or book online at www.kineticliving.ca .