It is important to understand that the expertise of the chiropractor is in checking the child’s spine for misalignments that interfere with nervous system function therefore affecting overall body function.
The nervous system controls and co-ordinates the function of all the systems in the body: circulatory, respiratory, digestive, hormonal, eliminative and immune systems. Significant spinal trauma can occur during the birth process – both vaginal and caesarean section, even natural child birth can affect an infants spine.
It is important for the newborn to be checked as soon as possible to correct any spinal and cranial problems. As the infant grows, learning to hold up the head, sit, crawl and walk are all activities that affect spinal alignment and are important times for a child to be checked by a chiropractor.
Ineffective sucking is often associated with compression of the occipital bone (base of the skull). Cranial nerves, which control sucking/rooting/tongue control, exit at this point. When compressed, this can lead to irritability of the area, and create problems such as pulling off the nipple, excessively long or short feeds, falling asleep on the breast, arching their back, and a baby who constantly wants to feed. Chiropractic adjustments realign the upper neck joints, balancing the joints and muscles of the jaw, neck and cranial bones therefore relieving tension and allowing the baby to feed easily.
Not only may this correct poor f e e d i n g a n d s u c k i n g techniques, but also usually improves poor sleeping habits as a result. Simple gentle non-force techniques are used to correct spinal and cranial joint dysfunction which decreases the irritation in the area, and can be very effective in solving sucking and feeding difficulties in the newborn. The two primary activities of infancy are feeding and sleeping.
There is evidence that disruption to sucking also disrupts sleep, as sucking lowers the heart rate, decreases the metabolic rate and increases feelings of calmness. It can be a great comfort to both parents and babies when these simple examination and treatment techniques by a chiropractor can solve these problems quickly and easily.
Other common reasons parents seek care for their child is trauma from an injury. 50% of babies fall from a height in their first year of life. These misalignments may or may not result in immediate pain or symptoms. Regular chiropractic checkups can identify potential spinal injury resulting from these traumas, helping to avoid many of the spinal problems seen later in adults. The chiropractic adjustment restores nervous system function, allowing the body to express a greater state of health and wellbeing.
Chiropractic adjusting procedures are modified to fit a baby or child’s size, weight and spinal condition. They are both gentle and specific to the child’s developing spinal structures. Most parents report their children enjoy their chiropractic treatment and also report that their children experience a greater level of health while under regular chiropractic care.