Is Chiropractic Good For My Baby?
Discover 5 Challenges Babies May Face, and How Chiropractic Can Help.
Whether you are about to have a child, or have had one recently, no doubt you'd agree; a child is one of life's most precious gifts. When that child is born, it's perfect in every way. You'll do anything in your power to make sure and give that brand new bundle of joy gets the best of everything. To make sure he or she grows up happy and healthy.
Then the crying starts, and the sleep goes away. Raising a kid is definitely not for the weak! It's a gross understatement to say that child-rearing is full of challenges. While babies build their immune system, their bodies will go through periods of sickness to build the anti-bodies required to live normal lives in this world. While this is a normal and important part of a child's development, it's not without it's difficulties. But...
What if something more is going on?
It's not uncommon for some children to have additional difficulties with sleeping, digestion, nursing, chronic ear infections, and some even end up having special needs. What options of treatment are available to children with parents that want to make informed, smart, health-conscious decisions for their child?
Chiropractic can be a great alternative to conventional medical intervention and may be very effective in treating several conditions a child may experience.
This is important to me as a father in regards to ANY treatment I seek for my kids, so let's address this right away.
Many of my patients have expressed concern with the technique used to adjust their children. "There's no way it's good to adjust a baby the way you adjust an adult" many of them say. And guess what?...
They are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.
It’s a completely different process when a Chiropractor works with kids.
An infant's skeletal system, including the spine and joints, is still developing. This makes the joints more cartilaginous rather than actually bony. This makes the joints much more flexible. Because of this, your Chiropractor should know the proper techniques, contacts and depth that should be used to adjust your child properly. The contacts need to be smaller and the adjustment faster, but more shallow with MUCH LESS force. In some cases, your Chiropractor may determine that simple mobility techniques rather than manipulation techniques will be most effective.
In any case, it is a good idea to have candid discussions with your healthcare practitioner about your child's healthcare. Be sure they have extensive experience and/or post-graduate pediatric training before choosing them to treat your child. Pediatric chiropractic is extremely safe if your Chiropractor knows what they're doing, but can be less so if they don’t.
So now that we've addressed the question "Is Chiropractic safe for children?", now let's address "How can Chiropractic help Children?". Let's look at 5 common challenges infants and children today may face as they grow up.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Colic is frequent, prolonged and intense crying or fussiness in a healthy infant. In general, colic is defined as crying for three or more hours a day, three or more days a week, for three or more weeks. While the causes of Colic are largely unknown, many issues including allergies and GI distress have been known to be factors. How can Chiropractic help?
The brain, through the central nervous system, controls the function of everything in our body including the digestive system. Since Chiropractic works directly with the nervous system of the body, adjustments can be made to areas of the spine that directly correlate with nerves going to and controlling the digestive system. If there are even slight mis-alignments, this can cause stress to the nervous system and consequently to the system or organ these nerves are running to.
A study published in JMPT, to find the efficacy of Chiropractic adjustments and Colic, took an innovative approach to blinding parents as to whether their baby received a chiropractic treatment or not. The study found that by day 10 crying time was reduced by 50% in the treatment group when compared to the non-treatment group.
Chronic Ear Infections
Five out of six children will have at least one ear infection by their third birthday. In fact, ear infections are the most common reason parents bring their child to a doctor. Most ear infections start with a sore throat, cold, or upper-respiratory infection. These typically cause fluid build-up in the eustachian tube which produces a breeding ground for bacteria that may already be present.
Medically, the most common treatment for these infections is a round of antibiotics to kill the bacteria present. Parents, while antibiotics are effective in killing a bacterial infection, we highly recommend (as with any medical intervention) you do your due diligence when it comes to what antibiotics you should give your child. There are a number of natural over-the-counter alternatives, including colloidal silver, that may be effective in killing the bacterial infection without the adverse effects that can be found in traditional antibiotics. And by the way, if it's a weak immune system that is allowing the continual infections, Chiropractic adjustments are clinically proven to boost the immune system's function by up to 300%.
But what if the ear infections keep coming back? Chronic ear infections could be a sign that the fluid build-up is not draining properly. While the antibiotics may kill the bacteria, they don't do anything about the fluid buildup. Chiropractors seek to address the question... Why is the fluid being trapped?
If the muscles surrounding the Eustachian tubes are spasming, that can close down the tube’s opening and not allow the fluid to drain. A Chiropractor's goal would be to find and correct any mis-alignments in the upper neck, and/or employ other methods to ease the tension or stress in the soft tissue surrounding the ear cavity and stop those muscles from spasming. With proper treatment and attention, even chronic ear infections
Sleeping is one of the most important factors in the health and wellness of your child. Most of their growth process as well as recovery and healing is done during quality sleep. Chiropractic is an excellent way to correct musculo-skeletal conditions and remove irritation from the sympathetic and para-sympathetic nervous system. This will contribute to your child's conscious and sub-conscious contentment, as well as their overall well-being. Spinal adjustments along with gentle soft-tissue massage are ideal treatments to help your child feel more relaxed. In turn, this relaxed state helps them get a better night's sleep.
About 92% of mothers experience breastfeeding challenges by day 3. A number of studies have looked into how chiropractic care helps babies overcome breastfeeding difficulties. There are quite a few benefits of infant chiropractic care that can affect the movement of the neck, jaw, and shoulder to help babies latch and feed better. Adjustments can also reduce irritation in the central nervous system which opens the communication pathways up to allow the mouth tongue and throat to function properly.
In fact, one study showed that 100% of babies who were treated by a chiropractor had an improved latch, and the overall stress of feeding for both mother and baby was reduced by 84%. Another study showed that 78% of babies under 12 weeks that were experiencing "sub-optimal breastfeeding" were exclusively breastfeeding after just 4 Chiropractic adjustments.
Babies and young infants diagnosed with special needs many times have physical challenges that need to be addressed. These children require even more support as they grow to be as strong and healthy as their bodies and minds will allow. Babies with special needs such as Down Syndrom, Cystic Fibrosis, and Autism have found great success reaching developmental milestones with Chiropractic care.
Since Chiropractic deals so much with the function of the nervous system, the impact it can have on proper sensorimotor development and function can be hugely beneficial. The goal of Chiropractic care for children with special needs is to provide the safest, most effective way to address and treat physical challenges they may face. This will allow them the most optimal conditions in which they can grow and develop despite the unique challenges they may face.
While this article addresses just a few challenges Chiropractic care can help with, there are many others that could be helped. Be sure to consult your healthcare practitioners on ways not only to treat a condition, but ways to prevent them as well.
It would be a privilege for our family to be able to serve your family's natural healthcare needs. If you are experiencing a specific health challenge with your child, please take advantage of our FREE health consultation.
Call us at 803-932-9399 to schedule your consult, or click here to check out our current promotion is you'd like to go ahead and schedule your child's 1st visit!
https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/ear-infections-children https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1556370711000952 search.informit.com.au http://tapingbase.nl/sites/default/files/level_5_chiropractic_adjustments_plus_massage_and_kinesio_taping_in_the_care_of_an_infant_with_gastroesophageal_reflux_0.pdf#page=25