Just like adults, children are born with a spine and a nervous system.
Even in utero, infants are subject to unfavorable positions depending on the mother’s spine and hip alignment. The birth process itself may lead to birthing injuries and traumas such as pulling on the head and neck as they are delivered vaginally or cesarean, or the intense pressure on the cranial bones during a vacuum or forceps delivery.
These traumas can result in nursing and feeding difficulties, colic and digestive problems, cranial malformations, torticollis (neck spasms where the head can only turn to one side), and other nervous system issues that can impact developmental milestones.
As your infant begins to reach his or her developmental milestones, she begins to utilize different muscles and create more stability within her joints’ structure. The spine, which was once in a “fetal” C shape, is now beginning to create new secondary curves in the neck and low back. While learning to sit, tummy crawl, crawl on hands and knees, pull-up and walk all provide opportunities for your child’s nervous system, spine, and musculature to develop, there’s also the chance of a tumble or fall and becoming misaligned.
As the child becomes older and participates in running, jumping and sports, they may experience minor misalignments or more extensive injuries, putting pressure on their nervous system. This pressure can cause interference with the nervous system function and lead to a host of symptoms such as:
Breastfeeding issues such as favoring one side
Ear infections/sinus infections
Failure to thrive
Low tone / weak core
What to Expect at Your Child’s Appointment
Generally, because most infants and children don’t carry as much muscle tension as adults do, the pediatric adjustment uses gentle, low-force techniques, equal to the amount of pressure you would use to touch a ripe tomato. These adjustments are specific and directional motions to the bones and ligaments to remove restrictions and restore the proper spine and cranium alignment.
Doing so allows your child to have an optimal neurological and immune function so they can meet developmental milestones and happily thrive in life.
Infants are either rested on their backs in a soft cradling cushion on the table, held in the seated caretaker’s arms, or lying on their belly on top of their caretaker’s stomach as they lay on the table.
Toddlers tend to wiggle and squirm all over the place, so the adjustment usually takes place in various positions and locations while playing with toys.
The older child is free to lay on the chiropractic table or sit upright, whatever is comfortable.