Written by Dr. Mark:
Last week I went back to school and did some of my required continuing education. One of the classes I attended was on pediatrics and chiropractic. There was a lot of great information, but the biggest thing I got from this class was that EVERY child needs to at the very least be checked. We’ve always felt this way, we’ll say it at the end of the Dr’s report, that “if you want to be a patient here, one of the requirements is that anyone you have control over be checked.” That should sound familiar to you.
Why is it so important for kids to have their spines checked? Well first of all have you heard the expression “As the twig is bent, so grows the tee?” If a child’s spine has subluxation present, it will become worse, and more difficult to correct. This is the reason we check, and adjust infants.
The presenter, Dr. Claudia Anrig, started with where subluxation comes from, which it can happen in utero or during the birthing process. From her notes:
The human fetus will develop seven times more quickly than an infant. Because of the rapid growth, the fetus is the most sensitive to biomechanical forces that lead to constraining pressures and molding. Extrinsic forces can influence the musculoskeletal system. The forces of shearing, stretching, compression, torsion, and bending are all extrinsic factors that can affect the spinal development of the fetus. After the seventh month if the fetus does not move into vertex (head down) position. This occurrence is called In-Utero Constraint.
The four positions of in-utero constraint are shown in the image above. You can see most clearly in the Face position, the stress being put on the neck. Babies born breech tend to have an higher incidence of postural scoliosis, torticollis, and hip dislocations.
The birthing technique of using forceps or vacuum extractor can also put extra stress on the newborn’s neck. Research shows that 24% of cerebral palsy cases could be related to the delivery technique.
The answer, from Dr. Anrig’s notes:
Gutmann, a medical/manual medicine doctor studied 1,000 infants with birth trauma. His study revealed that birth trauma often caused upper cervical (neck) subluxation. The study revealed that infants who were adjusted during the study showed improvement with the following disorders – colic, restlessness, fever of unknown origin, seizures, postural scoliosis, etc. Dr. Gutmann speculated that abnormal nerve function may lead to a lowered immune system in children and may be a contributor to common childhood sickness as seen in ear infections and tonsillitis.
I’m not sharing this to scare you. My point is to create awareness, that subluxation can happen right from the beginning. An infant’s spine is very susceptible to outside forces, whether they are negative like those mentioned above or positive like a chiropractic adjustment. This is why we love adjusting babies and young children, besides the joy kids bring to the office, we know that these kids are less likely to have major issues develop as a result of a degenerating spine years down the road.
Another thing to consider is to use us as your pediatrician. Dr. Anrig was telling us how she’s constantly hearing from parents that their child has some type of symptom/sickness but they hesitate to make an appointment with the pediatrician because of two main reasons, difficulty getting in and the cost. You won’t have those barriers here, and we are happy to guide you through those times, and of course we would want to adjust during sickness.
Subluxation happens, before birth, during birth, and I didn’t even mention the micro traumas that happen through the toddler-hood and beyond. It is necessary to have your child’s spine checked!