Chiropractic Treatment for Babies - Benefits & Myths

Is Chiropractic Treatment for Babies Safe?

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Mahesh Patil (Paediatrician)
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Indulging in chiropractic care for babies’ sleep is a popular choice for most parents to treat various illnesses and ailments. The administration of chiropractic treatment might seem like an extreme step when compared with the procedure used for adults. But things are not as they seem. Read this article to know if chiropractic care can be a suitable option for your child if the need arises.

Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment for Babies

Just like adults, various illnesses and issues plague an infant’s life. Doctor’s advice and medicines can do a great job of correcting those, but chiropractic treatment has its way of working with the body and allowing it to heal itself naturally. Here are some benefits:

1. Reducing the Intensity of Ear Infections

Ear infections are quite common in babies. Antibiotics, the first line of defence, can be administered to keep the infection at bay. Similarly, a chiropractic adjustment can focus on the bones in the upper portion of the vertebrae and adjust them to cause dilation in the Eustachian tube. This facilitates the draining of any fluids or substances stuck in the ear and clearing it up effectively.

2. Enhancing the Physical Development of the Child

Each child is born with a major curve in the spine initially, which elongates over the years and develops the second curve, giving rise to the shape we are all quite aware of. This shape is key to carrying out various functions such as lifting the head and developing the strength in the neck. If the development of the spine is improper, a chiropractic session can help align it better and keep the development of the child unhindered.

Enhancing the Physical Development of the Child

3. Keeping the Fussiness at Bay

It might be quite difficult to recognise why a child is constantly crying or being irritable throughout. If everything from a feeding session to a medical checkup fails to reveal the cause, a chiropractic session can work in releasing any internal tension of the body. Many parents have observed their child be much calmer after a couple of sessions.

4. Strengthening the Immunity

The immunity of the body is not just dependent on the presence of the right nutrition in the diet. It works on a network of nerve signals, and any hindrances in those can impact the defence mechanism of the body. Chiropractic sessions make sure these signals can transmit effectively and stimulate the release of antibodies in the blood to fight infections.

Strengthening the Immunity

5. Reduce the Intensity of Colic Infections

The gastric system of a child is the most sensitive and immature one after his birth. A lot of troubling symptoms, ranging from bloating to stomach ache, can arise as a result of it. If medicines and dietary adjustments don’t seem to have the desired effect, a chiropractic adjustment can come to the rescue. Simple adjustments have known to stimulate the nerves in the intestine, causing them to respond better and function normally.

6. Speedy Recovery Following Birth

The process of birth is no less than a traumatic incident, both for the mother and the child. It doesn’t matter whether the child is born naturally or via a caesarean; he needs support in recovering from it and living in a new world. A simple chiropractic session can ensure that the spine is aligned properly and allow the body to function at its peak capacity.

Speedy Recovery Following Birth

Who Needs Chiropractic Treatment?

Our understanding of the chiropractic treatment is majorly guided by the sessions conducted on adults. Expecting a baby to go through them is what scares most parents. However, the techniques used by paediatric chiropractors are quite different from those used on adults. All adjustments are gentle and highly focused, keeping the safety of the child as the highest priority.

Having said that, chiropractic treatment is not a final treatment but a guiding mechanism to assist the natural healing process. You must bear in mind that large scale trials do not prove all the uses given below in a variety of patients. From the limited research that is documented, we know that there is no appreciable advantage of chiropractic adjustments in the prevailing ailment other than that related to muscle and bone condition. Therefore, such treatment should be considered after consultation with your paediatrician only.

Chiropractic treatment is usually suggested for babies in certain scenarios, such as the ones given below:

  1. Few infants might be recovering from serious illnesses. Allowing them to undergo chiropractic treatment can accelerate their healing rate and relieve the body of any pain due to it.
  1. At times, a baby can face a physical injury or a solid trauma that affects the body in a multitude of ways. A simple chiropractic session can guide the body into a safe place and allow the child to return to normalcy.
  1. Breathing difficulties are quite common in children due to external factors or even developmental problems. Certain chiropractic adjustments might be beneficial in that regard.
  1. Infants tend to develop allergies early in life, or a few of them might suffer from asthma. Though these conditions require appropriate medical treatment, a chiropractic session could be helpful in reducing their intensity.
  1. An improper spinal position can make it difficult for an infant to breastfeed or face trouble in latching on to the breast. A simple adjustment on that front can give him the strength he needs to feed properly.
  1. The presence of defects in a child right at birth is pretty substantial. Whether they are genetic or formed as a result of external factors, these can be quite debilitating and restrict the lifestyle of the child. A chiropractic adjustment could be effective in increasing the abilities on that front.
  1. A child born with great difficulty or under a medicated birth could suffer from various problems. Chiropractic adjustments can help bring back the child to a known benchmark of functioning.
  1. Some children do face immune system problems despite the mother having followed proper practices during her pregnancy. Chiropractic adjustments can trigger certain areas within the body and stimulate the immune system to function properly.
  1. Infections are common in infants in the early months. However, some babies can continue to experience specific infections, especially related to the ear. Such infections can be due to external factors, and a chiropractic adjustment could do the trick.
  1. A prematurely born child or a child with numerous complications may experience a wave of infections early on, and his chances of surviving may start dipping dangerously. There have been scenarios where a chiropractic session has worked wonders in that regard.
  1. Some children fail to stop their bedwetting sessions even after they grow up quite a bit. It could be due to a failure of understanding internal signals of the body, which can be realigned with a chiropractic session.
  1. Constipation is one of the greatest problems plaguing the world today. Right from dietary choices to a sedentary lifestyle, constipation could also be a result of bodily factors. It can be corrected by a chiropractic adjustment.

Chiropractic Treatment for Baby

Myths About Chiropractic Treatment for Infants Disbursed

The description of chiropractic treatment causes many people to be scared of it. This is further fuelled by various myths that surround the treatment, especially in regards to its unsafe nature for infants. However, these myths are baseless. Let’s take a look at some of them:

1. Extreme Spinal Pain Leading to Uncontrollable Infant Crying

The placement of the spine in the human body is such that it makes some parts of the body more sensitive than the others. Adjustments done to them can be slightly uncomfortable, but they don’t cause any sharp pains. Babies usually cry during chiropractic sessions because they are held down firmly to carry out the adjustment properly. This is similar to babies crying when they are held firmly while administering vaccinations.

2. Chiropractic Treatment Is Harmful to Babies

As mentioned earlier in the article above, chiropractors who work with kids do not carry out the same adjustments as they would on adults. They are well aware of the constitution of the baby’s body and never pull or twist the spine the way they would for any other individual. Experts always use gentle pressure to adjust the spine, which is safe for infants in some cases.

But, we also want you to know that there are documented cases of spine damage after chiropractic adjustments in children. As a parent, you must also remember that chiropractic practice in children under 18 years of age is not well researched. Therefore, appropriate medical guidance is highly recommended to prevent any possible health issues for your baby when going for chiropractic treatment.

Planning a visit to a chiropractor for attaining relief from a minor health condition shouldn’t be a problem once you are aware of the actual procedure your child will undergo. Keeping yourself informed and free from baseless myths can leave you with a calmer mind and a positive outlook towards the entire process. Nonetheless, always consult your paediatrician to choose the best treatment for your child’s condition.

Also Read: Brittle Bone Disease (Osteogenesis Imperfecta) in Babies

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