The Safety of Chiropractic Care for Babies and Children

The other day I was adjusting a child who originally came to me for chronic ear infections.  During this visit both his mother and grandmother were in the room.  The boy had hit his head that week and the grandmother said to her daughter, “You better bring your son in to see Dr. Schuster.”  The boy’s mother agreed and brought him in for an adjustment.

He lay peacefully on the table as I work on him and this was quite a surprise for his grandmother to see.  She watched as I use my hands and gentle adjusting tools on his spine and other joints of his body. This happens a lot when I work with kids so I forgot how special this might have seemed from their perspective.

I have been working with kids since 1989 and parents who bring in their children often fall into two categories.  One is the parent who is unhappy with the results of conventional medicine so they are looking for an alternative. The other is a parent who is very familiar with the benefits of chiropractic and has been educated to bring their child in for overall care.

When one thinks of chiropractic the image of working with children is not the first thing that comes to mind.  Sometimes if a parent mentions that they are bringing their child to a chiropractor they can be met with fear from the other person they are talking to.  Mainly because that person is not educated on how safe and effective it is.  If you, your family, friends or pediatrician have concerns over the safety of chiropractic for babies and children hopefully the following information will alleviate any anxiety.

1.)   If a baby is born it can receive chiropractic alignment.  Did you know that the vaginal birth process could subject a newborn’s neck and spine to an average of 40 pounds of traction or torsion?  Compare that to a few ounces of carefully directed pressure that a chiropractor uses.  The specific alignment by a chiropractor is designed to help reduce any kind of birth trauma that may have occurred during delivery.

2.)   With cesarean, forceps or vacuum extraction delivery, the force can reach upwards to 100 pounds of pull on the newborns neck and spine.  Dr. Gutman, a medical doctor studied 1,000 infants born with birth trauma and they all presented with misalignments of the vertebrae in the upper neck.  This study indicates why it is important for babies to be evaluated by a chiropractor after birth.

3.)   Spinal misalignment of the vertebrae leads to reduced motion, increased stiffness, soreness, pain, and affects the parasympathetic and sympathetic chain. This can lead to a myriad of symptoms.

4.)   Babies can’t tell you that there neck is stiff, or that their spine is irritated but they can show signs that something is not right.  Here are a few indications that the vertebrae are misaligned and need chiropractic care. A.) If a baby is not latching on easily or if they don’t nurse equally on both sides this can be because they are having a hard time turning their neck. B.) If a baby hates to lay on their back, this could indicate that the vertebrae in the spine or in the neck feel very tender in that position. C.) If a baby has colic or reflux this can mean that the vertebrae in the neck or back are affecting the sympathetic and parasympathetic chains that go to the stomach and intestines. D.) If a child is getting chronic ear infections this can mean that the nerves in the neck are causing constriction of the muscles of the inner ear and not allowing proper drainage of fluid.

5.)   Did you know that a chiropractic adjustment could improve the immune system by 200%? This comes from a study that measured an improvement in white blood cells after those who received a chiropractic adjustment versus those who received a sham adjustment.

6.)   If you ask yourself why doesn’t my pediatrician refer to a chiropractor?  That is because there still is a huge gap in the communication between pediatricians and the chiropractors that work with children.  There are some alliances that are occurring. 

7.)   If you still are not completely convinced, the gold standard to evaluate the safety of a procedure is to look at malpractice insurance rates.  Medical doctors pay up to a hundred thousand dollars a year or more while chiropractors pay a few thousand dollars a year. 

8.)   Lastly, chiropractors that work with children often attend continuing education programs that are specific to kids and babies.


4 Responses

  1. This is indeed a very informative post. Thanks for sharing he safety of chiropractic care for babies and children.

    • I am so glad Tina that you found that particular post to be informative.

  2. Chiropractic treatment is really useful for individuals of all ages, sex, and group. Thanks for sharing this informative and valuable post. I hope to see your next update soon.

    • Thanks for your positive comment you made in January. Am still getting used to the nuances of using the internet sorry for the delay in my response.

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