Updated: Aug 2, 2019
Pregnancy and birth are beautiful, powerful and dynamic forces. More and more pregnant individuals are seeking out care from chiropractors or other body workers during pregnancy and after birth to cope with all of the physical changes that occur. But little mention is ever given to the tremendous (and sometimes lasting) impact that birth can have on the body of the baby(ies). For that reason, I reached out to the awesome, down-to-earth and kind chiropractors of RISE Wellness Chiropractic for insight on chiropractic care and why you may want to think about it for your child!
The number one reason we recommend chiropractic care for children is due to birth trauma.
Birth trauma is one of the most overlooked causes of upper cervical misalignments in children. A misalignment of a vertebra, known as a subluxation, is what chiropractors look for and correct in the spine. A study in the 80s by a German physician found that out of 1000 births, 80% had upper cervical misalignment with neurological impact. Manual extraction when pulling the baby out during birth, has been measured up to 60-90 lbs of axial traction on the cervical spine, which can definitely lead to subluxations and affect the nervous system. Most people have heard of Erbs Palsy, which is caused by traction of the brachial plexus during the birth process and causes temporary but sometimes, permanent paralysis of the arm muscles. If the birth process is strong enough to traction the brachial plexus, it’s strong enough to traction the spinal cord and brain stem, but no attention is paid to this area. A subluxation in this area is going to affect how the brain processes information and relays that to the body. If these kids are developing without all of the sensory input they should have, their brain isn’t getting all of the information it needs to development higher brain activity, which can show up as behavioral and emotional challenges, or immune challenges later in life.
Why is sensory input important? As children develop and grow they rely on sensory input from their environment. This input sends feedback to their developing brains. Interference in a child’s nervous system caused by a subluxation can impede the neural feedback, affecting the brain’s interpretation of the environment. When the subluxations are corrected through gentle, pediatric-specific chiropractic care, the child’s nervous system is better connected and can develop and grow free of interference.
We recommend any newborn get checked for subluxation within the first two weeks, here are some signs that indicate your child might have a chronic subluxation pattern affecting their nervous system:
· Recurrent colds or ear infections
· Asthma or allergies
· Stomach or bowel issues
· Asymmetric crawling or walking
· Difficulty concentrating
· Sleep disturbances or bed wetting
· Colic or reflux
· Clumsiness or incoordination
· Postural differences
· Growing pains or headaches
When looking for a chiropractor for your baby or child, Dr. Rachel recommends that you find one that has a specialization in pediatric chiropractic care or has done training through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA). You can find an ICPA provider by clicking on this link to find resources in your community!
***Guest bloggers, Dr. Rachel & Dr. Annie are the proud owners of Rise Wellness Pediatric and Family Chiropractic. Dr. Rachel is a pediatric chiropractor and recent mother of twin girls. She graduated from Life University in Marietta, GA in July of 2011 and has practiced in Georgia and Michigan. She has done postgraduate training in chiropractic pediatrics through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA), and additional chiropractic technique training. Dr. Rachel attended Michigan State University for undergraduate studies in Kinesiology. Having children of her own has fueled her passion for chiropractic care throughout pregnancy and early childhood. Dr. Annie is a pediatric chiropractor, currently working on postgraduate certification in chiropractic pediatrics through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA). She graduated from Life University in Marietta, GA in March of 2017 and has been practicing in Grand Rapids since. Dr. Annie attended Aquinas College for undergraduate studies in Mathematics with minor concentrations in Physics and Biology. She is very passionate about working with children and families, and creating a strong community foundation focused on health and wellness. To fuel her education, she is active in chiropractic research projects, including updating practice guidelines.