Tag Archives: Colic

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From Birth and Beyond

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In today’s world of infant carriers, sitting for hours at school, hunched forward on tablets and cell phones, television watching and driving in cars, kids are breaking down their spines faster than ever.

Postural patterns can begin in the womb, especially towards the end of pregnancy when there is less space to move. This reveals itself in the way a baby may keep their head turned, or legs crossed one way. If left uncorrected, this can turned into a stuck or locked posture. However, if we can correct these learned patterns at a young age it requires much less time and effort to make a change. When a child is only months old as opposed to years – we do not see the muscle memory and learned behaviors/postures that work against what we do in the office. This means that something that would take 3-4 months to correct on a 10 year old could potentially be corrected in 3-4 weeks on a 10 month old. Sounds better, right?

In addition, when there is strain, tension, pulling and stress placed on the child’s head and neck during the birth process, it very commonly leads to a structural shift in the spine. This will often times lead to secondary conditions (colic, constipation, difficulty feeding) that we see resolve when these misalignments are corrected in infants.

We’ve talked previously about the safety of chiropractic care (A 2011 literature review found that no serious adverse events have been reported in the scientific literature in the last 20 years) – given the research, it’s quite reasonable to conclude that modern pediatric chiropractic care is safe. But does it work?

Data from the ICPA’s ground breaking study, The Safety and Effectiveness of Pediatric Chiropractic: A Survey of Chiropractors and Parents in a Practice-Based Research Network, was recently published  in the biomedical journal, Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing. The most common reasons for parents seeking symptom relief care were muscles conditions, ear, nose, and throat, respiratory and digestive disorders. Both parents and doctors indicated a high rate of improvement with respect to the children’s presenting complaints. In addition to these improvements, respondents reported better sleeping patterns, improvements in behavior and, improved immune system function while under chiropractic care.

In our office, kids who get adjusted tend to be more comfortable, have stronger immune systems, and reach developmental milestones appropriately…and they love getting adjusted.

As a reminder, those who receive advanced training and are active members of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) are the most qualified to examine and care for children and pregnant patients. NOT all chiropractors adjust kids (nor should they). If you need help finding a chiropractor in your area, check http://icpa4kids.org/Find-a-Chiropractor/

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Eat. Sleep. Poop. Repeat.

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eat poop sleep repeat

If your baby is having difficulty with any of these, chiropractic care can help.

Chiropractic care is concerned with the relationship between the spine and the nervous system. Since the nervous system mediates all development and regulation in the body – when the spine shifts and obstructs the nervous system – it can prevent the body from working normally and contribute to many issues. In this post, we’re discussing issues I commonly seen in newborn and toddlers.

Most parents of newborns know that their days seemed to be filled with a constant cycle of eating, sleeping and pooping. However, for some children – an issue can occur with one or more of these daily functions. Fortunately, chiropractic care can often help resolve these disturbances. The most common secondary conditions we see in children are broken down below:

  •  EAT: difficulty breastfeeding, spitting up/acid reflux
  • SLEEP: irritability, colic, difficulty sleeping
  • POOP: gas, constipation

The first question parents usually ask is, “How can my baby/child need chiropractic care already?” The primary reason is that the birth process is physically demanding for babies. The forces during birth can cause subtle shifts in the alignment of the spine or pelvis, creating tension in the nervous system. By correcting these shifts, we can and do see improvement in function and quality of life for patients suffering with these conditions.

In our office, we’re fortunate to have referrals from some excellent pediatricians and midwives who pick up on these symptoms and choose to recommend a safe, non-drug approach. We use very gentle corrections which help the child be more comfortable, typically after a handful of visits.

It’s our experience that children who get adjusted often nurse better, are more comfortable, have regular bowel movements, sleep better, and have a stronger immune system.

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How Do You Know If Your Baby Needs an Adjustment?

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How Do You Know If Your Baby Needs an Adjustment

DID YOU KNOW that structural shifts in the spine can happen from the birth process?

A typical birth can place 60-90 lbs of force onto an infant’s head and neck. While most children are okay, these shifts have been associated with colic, constipation, sleep issues and trouble feeding. Early check ups can help prevent structural shifts from becoming a chronic problem.

So why would a baby need an adjustment? It all starts with our modern birth process. You see, for thousands of years – the vast majority of children brought into this world were done so without the need for intervention and induction. That doesn’t mean that every birth was perfect and non-complicated – but it does mean that 40% or more of them did not end with drugs, anesthesia, and surgical tools. Unfortunately, in our present society – the birth process can often times be the first injury to a baby’s upper neck, cranial area, and spine. In my experience, the greater the amount of intervention during the birth process (induction, forceps, vacuum, C-section, etc.), the greater the likelihood of a significant shift in a newborn’s spinal structure.

When there is strain, tension, pulling and stress placed on the child’s head and neck during the birth process, it very commonly leads to a structural shift. This shift has three parts – misalignment, fixation (“stuck”), and nerve interference/irritation. This will often times lead to secondary conditions (colic, constipation, difficulty feeding) that we see resolve when these misalignments are corrected in infants.

The following are physiological signs of a structural shift in newborns, infants, and toddlers that parents can be on the lookout for:

Cervical spine (neck):
  • Baby always has head turned one way (head tilt)
  • Difficulty rotating head or restrictive neck motion in one or more directions
  • Apparent discomfort or resistance when touching muscles at base of skull (sub-occipitals).

Hips/Pelvis (sacrum):

  • Forward rotation of a hip when holding baby up under arms
  • One crease of buttocks higher than the other (deviated gluteal crease)
  • Arching of back
  • Unequal crawling

Skull (cranial bones):

  • Aysmmetry of cranial bones
  • Flattened occipital bone (back of head)
  • Uneven eye orbits

Pediatric Chiropractic care is gentle and safe. Only light force is needed when adjusting an infant or child’s spine. Imagine the pressure needed to press your pinky finger into a ripe red tomato. It’s important to note that not all chiropractors check and adjust children. I recommend using the ICPA’s website to find a pediatric chiropractor in your area that specializes in dealing with prenatal care, pregnancy, and children.

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What You May Not Know About Chiropractic

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What You Don't Know About Chiropractic

When most people think of chiropractic care, they think of traditional chiropractors who focus on decreasing muscular spasm, increasing range of motion, and reducing pain. This is how most chiropractors practice, and most of them are great at what they do. This falls under the umbrella category of symptom relief/symptom management. Now, what you may not know about chiropractic care is that symptoms are the secondary condition of an underlying cause.

In our office we focus on structural correction. You see, once the spine shifts and disrupts the spinal nerves and spinal cord, it can create many different secondary conditions or symptoms. The reason these are called secondary conditions is because they are a result of the primary structural shift, or the underlying cause. Once found, a specific adjustment of only those segments of the spine that are actually shifted is needed. With care for not disturbing those vertebrae that are in proper alignment, the chiropractic adjustment respects the spine for good reason – your spine protects the nervous system which controls everything in your body.

The location of the structural shift and where the nerves are being disrupted will give us an idea about your secondary conditions. Most people are unaware of the many ways chiropractic can help these conditions; here are just a few examples:

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Are We Medicalizing Normality?

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In a commentary published in the October 20, 2011 issue of The Journal of Pediatrics, Dr. Eric Hassall cautions that medicine has turned normal function in infants into a disease complete with drug therapy and the resulting list of adverse events.

The problem lies in the fact that many doctors are viewing frequent spitting up, irritability and unexplained crying in infants under the age of one as a medical condition because the symptoms are distressing to parents. This has resulted in an increase in written prescriptions for acid-suppression medication over the last decade.

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