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Do children even need their spines examined?
“Spinal cord and brain stem traumas often occur during the process of birth but frequently escape diagnosis, and infants often experience lasting neurological defects.”
-Abraham Towbin, M.D. (1968) “Spinal Cord Brain Stem Injury in Newborn Infants”. Developmental Child Neurology
Dr. Godfrey Gutman conducted a study of 1000 newborns shortly after birth. He discovered that over 80% had suffered trauma to their cervical (neck) region.
Gutman G. (1987) Blocked Atlantal Nerve Syndrome in Babies and Infants. Manuelle Medizine, pp5-10.
“The earlier abnormal spinal function could be recognized and corrected in a child’s life, the greater the opportunity that child will have for neurological development.”
Dr. David Heilig. Journal Am Osteopathic Assoc. 49;48-478-4
A Functional Spinal Exam can give you the answers you are looking for. A Functional Spinal Exam gently and thoroughly evaluates an infants spine for abnormal movement, swelling, inflammation, muscle spasm and pain.
Children, like adults frequently suffer from preventable health problems. Unfortunately while an adult can describe what they feel, children, especially infants, cannot. Adding more difficulty is that fussiness in newborns is often viewed as normal although it is not. There could be a very important reason for a child’s fussiness.
Problems in a child’s spine can occur from birth trauma. It is estimated that up to 80% of children have a spine problem in “normal” deliveries. This percentage is higher if there is difficulty in labor such as medically induced birth, C-section, vacuum or forceps extraction. Please do not ignore it when your kids show pain or discomfort, it may be a sign that they have discomfort from a problem in the spine. Bring them in to the office just to get it checked out.
Will Chiropractic care hurt my child?
If you’ve ever seen Chiropractic videos on YouTube we understand your concern. Although the internet has many sensational and surprising videos on Chiropractic, they are not a good example of pediatric care.
When considering a Chiropractor for your child we recommend a Chiropractor that is listed on the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) website. www.icpa4kids.com
A Chiropractic Pediatric Exam can overlap with some of the same tests performed at your Pediatrician’s office. Most of the tests performed at your Chiropractor’s office will be specific to evaluating normal and abnormal spine and nerve function.
A Chiropractic adjustment is the gentle impulse that resets the joint and nerve impulses to the brain. An adjustment for a newborn would involve approximately 6 ounces of pressure (imagine squeezing a tomato at the grocery store).
Adjusting children is done far more gently (with less force and pressure) than with adults because they are much smaller. Newborn adjustments can even be done while mom or dad holds their baby. This helps the child relax and limits movement. Most kids love to be adjusted and say they feel better afterward. Sometimes the first trip to the Chiropractor can seem scary, but they usually calm down quickly when they realize it does not hurt.
Chiropractic for Infants
The birth process can be hard on a baby, and often nerve problems can start there. If you can imagine sitting and having someone stand behind you and attempt to lift you by only by your head. That’s what babies experience in most hospital deliveries. It’s not difficult to see that a newborn’s head and neck can be damaged by this process. Although most children are born this way most children never have a Functional Spinal Exam before age 18. That’s why it can be helpful to have your baby checked out right from the start.