Written by Melanie Rogers DC, Active Family Chiropractic
One of the most common questions I get asked by people when they see my leaflets on Chiropractic care for babies in my treatment room is, “Why would you take your baby to a Chiropractor? They don’t get back pain!” Well, allow me to explain…
Firstly, it’s a common misconception that Chiropractic care is all about back pain – it’s actually about helping the body to move its best, optimising health and the body’s ability to express life. And it’s not just adult bodies that need help sometimes… even newborn babies can often benefit from a helping hand.
The human body is governed by the nervous system – your brain, spinal cord and nerve network control every single movement and action your body makes, from blinking and digesting to crying and temperature regulation. Babies’ nervous systems aren’t as well developed as grown-ups yet – they rely on us to protect them and supply all their needs, and they usually have a very vocal way of letting us know when their needs aren’t being met! Those first few months are spent with their brains in primitive function – it’s all about survival.
Sometimes spinal joints can become restricted in movement and misaligned (what we call subluxated – a misalignment causing nerve interference). This can even happen in little people. It can be caused during birth if it was a challenging entry into the world, or sometimes even beforehand if they were in an awkward position in utero.
Have you ever known a baby to scream blue murder for hours on end, go days without pooing and/or struggle to sleep for longer than 30 minutes at a time? That’s usually a sign that baby is in survival mode – their nervous system is on high alert and all their resources are drawn away from resting and digesting, and pushed into recognising threats instead.
“When babies are subluxated, it creates a state of high alert for them – the communication between their brain and body is skewed and they often perceive normal events as dangerous” – Sarah Keen, DC.
As they grow, every day knocks and bumps, stresses and falls (such as learning to walk) can build up and put more pressure on those joints, causing further irritation. In babies, this can manifest as difficulty settling and sleeping, feeding or other symptoms such as colic, reflux and in some cases, delayed milestones. In young children, difficulty concentrating, bed wetting and recurrent ear infections are just a few other symptoms.
How a Chiropractor Would Help – an Adjustment:
If your babys’ examination showed he or she is subluxated, then we would usually recommend a gentle adjustment to their spine. The techniques we use to care for babies and children are very gentle and different to those used on more mature spines – to understand just how gentle, close your eyes and touch your finger to your eyelid. As soon as you feel a slight discomfort, you’re already using more pressure than we would use on a baby! We often see amazing results once we help their little spines and nervous systems to work better.
Melanie runs Active Family Chiropractic, based in Banbury. If you’re wondering if your baby might benefit from Chiropractic, Melanie offers free phone consultations where she will discuss your concerns to see if she can help. Contact 01869 722053 or [email protected] to arrange your call. You can also book an appointment online at www.activefamilychiropractic.co.uk.