SIGNS your child may need a visit to the Chiropractor!
Updated: Feb 28, 2022
I know the first thing you are thinking…I’m not taking my baby to a Chiropractor to be cracked! Or why would I need to take my child, they don’t have back pain. Both statements are really common misconceptions about Chiropractic.
Firstly, looking after babies and children is very different to adults and the methods used are very very gentle and there is no cracking involved, I promise!
Secondly, Chiropractic offers so much more than just helping with back and neck pain. Chiropractic in a nutshell helps to restore the connection between our brain and body (at any age), allowing our body to function freely without nerve interference and heal itself. Our brain and Nervous system control EVERYTHING in our body but when our spine and cranium are not in the correct position it can directly affect how efficiently our nervous system functions.
The first challenges happen during development in the womb and a misalignment of Mum’s pelvis can affect the position of baby. The birth process can also be traumatic. If baby is breech, posterior, delivered with medical intervention, c-section, or if induction and pain medications are used, all can cause tension to the spine and cranium.
The signs of nervous system interference then start to show; sleep issues, fussiness, colic, reflux, breast feeding issues, delays in milestones ie.rolling over, crawling and walking. In particular your child may have skipped crawling or crawls with a dominant leg and the other drags behind. Children may also have sensory sensitivities, attention issues and learning difficulties, bed wetting, growing pains, moodiness, poor posture and noticeable posture changes such as one shoulder higher or scoliosis.
Key signs to look out for:
Attention or learning challenges. Lack of concentration at school.
Poor posture. Rounding of shoulders. Curvature of the spine or scoliosis
Digestive Issues. Colic. Reflux. Constipation.
History of falls. Clumsy. Poor coordination.
Stressed. Moodiness. Tired. Poor sleep habits.
Allergies. Asthma. Chronic ear infections. Poor immune system.
Chiropractic is never a cure for a particular condition or symptom, however when we do remove the nerve interference, the body does perform better. Our body knows instinctively how to heal and function; when we get a cut, your body knows exactly what to do to repair it. We don’t need to tell our heart to beat or stomach to digest or lungs to breathe, innately the body knows that it needs to do certain things to survive. However interference can occur from physical, chemical and emotional stressors or trauma which cause disruption to our innate processes. Think of it like a slight kink in a hose, the water still flows but it is much more efficient without the kink!
Trauma doesn’t even have to be something major like a car accident, it could be falling from the sofa, falling from the bike or scooter, emotional stress from a friend moving away, fighting with a sibling, chemical stress from eating too much sugar or not getting enough natural sunlight or too much screen time.
Helpful tips for at home:
Tummy time! Tummy time is very important for the development of our neck muscles and head shape. Often when babies are lying on their back for too long or turning their neck to only one side, a flattening of the skull can occur. Tummy time is one of the methods to help with this. Tummy time can begin from day one, start with 3-5 mins, ensuring they are not hungry and have had a nap. Think of it like their play time, so do it during a time when they will enjoy it. You can gradually increase the time and by 3 months they will be enjoying 1 hour of tummy time per day. If they don’t enjoy tummy time, it can be an indication that there may be spinal interference that needs to be checked.
Bicycle legs for babies with Colic and/or constipation. Have baby laying on their back and gently bend the knee to the chest one at a time in a bicycle riding motion. Keep the movement gentle and smooth. This can help ease the gas pains and get the bowel moving. Check with your Doctor before performing the exercise if your baby has been diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia.
Let you child move through their milestones naturally. Don’t encourage standing up or assisted walking before they are crawling. Also try to limit time in bouncers, walkers and harness swings, as these can position the hips incorrectly and put a strain on their development. The joints and muscles need the appropriate time to form and strengthen. Crawling is a vital stage for spinal development and brain development.
Challenge their dominant side. If you are noticing that your baby only likes to look to one direction, play with them on the other side. You can use toys or noise to distract them to the other side.
Just like brushing our teeth and going to the dentist each year to prevent cavities, our spine should be maintained regularly to keep it and our entire system healthy! Wellness from within!!
Dear NMSG member, you can enjoy exclusive 25% discount for initial consultation and examination for yourself and your family. Book online via www.simplywellness.com and quote NMSG in the notes.
Contributed by Dr. Shondelle Sichter, Simply Wellness.