Why should every child see a pediatric chiropractor?
Children deserve to enter the world as healthy as possible. While we support a natural approach to birth whenever possible, we acknowledge the effect trauma can have on both baby and mom during the labor and delivery process, particularly when medical interventions such as vacuum extraction, episiotomy, caesarean sections and other surgical procedures are employed. In the current healthcare economy, birth trauma is frequently ignored, overlooked and in many cases misdiagnosed.
Pediatric chiropractors are specially and extensively trained to detect signs of both macro- and micro-trauma and their deleterious effects on a child’s developing nervous system. When minute misalignments known as vertebral subluxations put pressure, stress or torque on nerves or the spinal cord, chiropractors gently restore proper alignment thereby removing insult to the nervous system and restoring proper function.
In many cases, parents have reported resolution of symptoms associated with infantile colic, constipation, chronic ear infections, bed-wetting, torticollis, scoliosis, acid-reflux, asthma and even ADHD.
Incidence of Birth Trauma
M.S. Gottlieb, a well-published researcher, reviewed the effects of the birth process and concluded, “The trauma from the birth process remains an under-publicized, and therefore significantly under-treated, problem.”
Survival of the newborn is governed mainly by the integrity and function of the vital centers in the brain stem,” writes Andrew Towbin, a prominent researcher on birth trauma. “Yet paradoxically, the importance of injury at birth to the brain stem and spinal cord are matters which have generally escaped lasting attention.”
Another published researcher, G. Gutmann, documented a study of more than one thousand infants. He found that approximately 80 percent of all newborns had some form of nerve dysfunction. Gutmann concluded that many health problems can arise from misalignment of the first vertebrae in the neck, resulting in a greater incidence of conditions related to the ears, nose, and throat. He also noted, however, that even an adjustment using the lightest pressure of the index finger could normalize an infant’s clinical picture.
His colleague, V. Fryman, examined 1,250 babies five days after birth and found that 95 percent of this group were not only misaligned but also had a cervical strain. He also noted that the infants responded to specific spinal adjustments with immediate muscular relaxation and a greater ability to sleep. Another renowned researcher and practitioner, Heiner Biedermann, has done numerous clinical studies relating upper cervical misalignment in the newborn to prolonged labor and the use of extraction devices. He, too, has recorded significant improvements in the health of infants who receive specific adjustments after birth.
Nerve dysfunction associated with birth trauma may result in problems such as breathing weakness, mood irritability, digestive disorders, difficulty with feeding and attachment, sleeping problems, immunity deficits, and neurological impairment. Left uncorrected, subluxations and their resulting nerve system dysfunction may develop into numerous health issues for the baby.
Are Adjustments Safe for Kiddos?
Chiropractic adjustments for newborns differ significantly from those performed on adults. Often the chiropractor will use light fingertip pressure on the baby’s back or neck. Chiropractors sometimes also lightly massage the muscles on either side of the baby’s spine and other relevant areas of the body. Infant adjustments are very gentle, and typically a baby will be soothed by an adjustment, or even sleep through the process!
It is important to note that 65 percent of neurological development (i.e., development of the brain and nervous system) occurs in your child’s first year. It is therefore imperative to ensure your baby has every opportunity to maximize his or her nerve function during this critical period.
Recently the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association published the preliminary results of its study in Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, in an article entitled, “The Safety and Effectiveness of Pediatric Chiropractic: A Survey of Chiropractors and Parents in a Practice-Based Research Network.” The preliminary data confirms what chiropractors have known for over 100 years: Chiropractic care for children is safe and effective.
On the issue of safety, out of 5,438 office visits, there were only three adverse events reported from the adjustments— a .00055 percent chance of negative reaction.
Demonstrating a risk factor well below 1 percent, this study shows that children have a greater than 99 percent chance of suffering no problems when receiving chiropractic care. Furthermore, the three adverse events reported in the study were minor discomfort following the adjustment. Each was readily resolved with continued adjustments.
In the study, over 90 percent of the chiropractors and parents reported an adjustment-related improvement with respect to the children’s presenting complaints. Even more interesting is the discovery of benefits unrelated to the initial problems. Both parents and doctors reported better sleeping patterns, improved behavior, and more robust immune system function while under chiropractic care.
Increasingly, scientific research is supporting the clinical experience of chiropractors. Chiropractic care is growing in acceptance as a viable necessity for newborns.