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Why do we adjust healthy newborns?

At Denaro Chiropractic, we specialize in pediatric chiropractic care. This means that we adjust newborn babies through toddler stages and into adolescence.

Many of our newborn patients come in for check ups because Mom was adjusted throughout her pregnancy and understands the importance of a well-aligned spine for her baby. Other newborns are brought in for various symptoms and conditions, including torticollis, colic, breastfeeding difficulty, acid reflux, digestive complaints, etc.

Whether people are familiar with chiropractic care or not, almost everyone questions why infants should be checked for spinal misalignments. They haven’t lived a very long life, so what could be wrong with them already?!

Being born is not easy on a little bitty baby. One Johns Hopkins study showed that a natural, uncomplicated birth still required anywhere from 6.5-16 lbs of force from the doctor pulling on the baby’s head. When we consider a more difficult birth that would require the use of forceps or vacuum, the doctor may have to use up to 140 lbs of force.

Another study looked at 100 healthy newborns aged 6-72 hours. The newborns were assessed by an Osteopath who examined them for misalignments in the cranium and spine.

  • 99% had cranial misalignments
  • 95% had compression of the skull on the neck
  • 91% had a misalignment in at least 1 vertebra in the neck
  • 94% had a misalignment in at least 1 vertebra in the lumbar spine

These misalignments of the spine can be related to the symptoms that infants frequently have soon after birth, as discussed above. Other times, these misalignments (if not corrected), can create additional spinal conditions later in life or even nervous system disturbances, such as anxiety, depression, migraines, vertigo, etc.

Pediatric Chiropractic Care

 

Pediatric Chiropractic Care

Why would a child need to see a chiropractor? Children are healthy and should not have any pain, right? Children do not have years of bad posture. They do not have stress from a ten-hour workday that gives them tension headaches, as do some adults. While all this is true, children are exposed to much worse traumas than we typically think. Even if it is a natural birth (meaning without a c-section), the doctor uses the baby’s delicate head and neck as leverage to deliver the baby.

Johns Hopkins Hospital did a study to measure the amount of force required to deliver a baby naturally. They found that depending on the technique that was used, the force ranged from 6.5 – 16 pounds. In the presence of a difficult delivery, the doctor may be required to use a vacuum or forceps, which attach to the baby’s head and pull the newborn out of the birth canal using up to 140-pounds of force. If that much extra force is necessary in a natural birth, imagine what is required during a c-section, when the ability of the mother to contribute to the pushing is eliminated.