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Do Babies & Children Need Chiropractic? |
While the birth of a baby is one of the most amazing natural things that can happen in a couple’s life, most parents are never made aware of the trauma a baby experiences during birth. When mom is pushing during labor, the fetus is compressed and pushed down the birth canal, often resulting in injuries to the baby’s spine. Most frequently, spinal subluxations come as a result of the pulling, twisting and compression of the infant’s spine during birth. Typically, these subluxations occur at the points of greatest stress to the baby – in the upper and lower cervical vertebrae.
Frequently these subluxations remain unnoticed by physicians and parents, resulting in health issues at a later time. Colic, sleep disorders and lowered immunity often result.
Pediatric expert Dr. Maxine McMullen states, “Subluxations should be analyzed and corrected as soon as possible after birth to prevent these associated conditions”.1 Moreover, these subluxations have been found to be severe enough to lead to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) due to the pressure they cause upward toward the lower brain2 as well as creating numerous other disorders common to newborns, infants and young children. Reports show chiropractic care can be helpful in such diverse disorders as cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, ear infections, the prevention of SIDS, and others.3
One of the most interesting studies, based on examination and adjustment of 1,000 infants, was done by Dr. Gutmann, a German medical doctor. 4; 5 He concluded blocked nerve impulses at the level of the first vertebrae can be the cause of central motor impairment and lower resistance to infections, especially those of the ear, nose, and throat. 6
Dr. Gutmann's research showed the children treated had success -- almost without exception -- for a variety of ailments by spinal adjustments at the atlas (top vertebra in the neck). Among the symptoms that responded favorably:
• Gongenital Torticollis
• “Growing Pains”
• Infantile Scoliosis
• Bronchitis Tonsilitis
• Restless Sleep
• Disturbed Motor Responses with Repetitive Falls
• An Inability to Thrive
"If the indications are correctly observed," states Dr. Gutmann, "chiropractic can often bring about amazingly successful results, because the therapy is a causal one. With developmental disturbances of every kind, the atlanto-occipital joints should be examined and in each case be treated manually in a qualified manner. The success of this treatment eclipses every other attempt at treatment, including especially the use of medications." 7
Most people would not consider Chiropractic care for infants and children. However, the fact of the matter is, children are very, very prone to misalignments of the spine. Their vertebra are not fully formed, nor are their ligaments and tendons fully strengthened. This, along with the fact that a child falls enough times in a day to hospitalize an adult, makes it clear that every child should be evaluated by a chiropractor for spinal abnormalities.
1. McMullen, M. "Physical Stresses of Childhood that Could Lead to the Need for Chiropractic Care." Proceedings of the National Conference on Chiropractic and Pediatrics, San Diego, California. Intl. Chiropractors Assoc. 1991.
2. Towbin A. "Latent spinal cord and brain stem injury in newborn infants." Develop Med Child Neurol. 1969 Feb: 11 (1): 54-68.
Biedermann J. "Kinematic Imbalances due to Suboccipital strain in newborns." Medicine Springer-Verlag 1992, 151-156.
Koch LE, Biedermann H, Saternus KS. "High Cervical Stress and Apneoea." Forensic Sci Int 1998 Oct 12;97 (1): 1-9.
3. Gutmann G. "Blocked Atlantal Nerve Syndrome in Infants and Small Children." Originally published in Manuelle Medizine, Springer-Verlag, 1987. English translation published in International Review of Chiropractic July/Aug 1990.
Hospers LA, Daso JA, Steinle LV. "Electromyographic Patters of Mentally Retarded Cerebral Palsy Patient after Life Upper Cervical Adjustment." Today's Chiropractic, 15(5), 13-14, 1986.
Hospers LA, Sweat RW, LaRee H, Trotta N, Seat MH. "Response of a Three Year Old Epileptic Child to Upper Cervical Adjustment." Today's Chiropractic, 15 (15) 69-76, Dec-Jan 1987.
Young G. "Chiropractic Success in Epileptic Conditions." ACA Journal of Chiropractic 1982; 19 (4):62-63.
"Ear infection; a retrospective study examining improvement from chiropractic care and analyzing for influencing factors." J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1996 Mar;19 (3): 169-177
Fallon, J.M.: The role of chiropractic adjustments in the care and treatment of 332 children with otitis media. JCCP1997; 2:167-183.
Bachman T.R. and Lantz, C.A.; Management of pediatric asthma and enuresis with probably traumatic etiology. 1992, International Chiropractic Association conference on Pediatrics.
4. Dretakis, E. et al. Electroencephalographic study of schoolchildren with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Spine, 1988, 13, pp.143-45.
5. Gutmann G. "Blocked Atlantal Nerve Syndrome in Infants and Small Children." Originally published in Manuelle Medizine, Springer-Verlag, 1987. English translation published in International Review of Chiropractic July/Aug 1990.
6. McMullen, M. "Physical Stresses of Childhood that Could Lead to the Need for Chiropractic Care." Proceedings of the National Conference on Chiropractic and Pediatrics, San Diego, California. Intl. Chiropractors Assoc. 1991.
7. Gutmann G. "Blocked Atlantal Nerve Syndrome in Infants and Small Children." Originally published in Manuelle Medizine, Springer-Verlag, 1987. English translation published in International Review of Chiropractic July/Aug 1990.