You probably know when you need a chiropractic adjustment—whether it’s back pain, frequent headaches, or fatigue and lack of focus. Adults recognize the reliable signs that their body is out of balance, but babies can’t tell you what’s bothering them when they’re uncomfortable. Even though they can’t communicate it, being in alignment is vital for babies. Misalignments are compounded as their little bodies grow, while a spine that is properly adjusted gives them the best opportunity at healthy development. Besides your own intuition about your baby, there are some baby conditions that yearn for the benefits of infant chiropractic care. Here are a few things to watch for.
Babies with colic cry relentlessly, and usually seem to have abdominal pain. It’s often described as being untreatable, and babies simply suffer through it until they grow out of it. However, chiropractic care for babies with this condition has been shown to reduce the symptoms of colic in as many as 94% of babies. Because doctors are unsure of what causes colic, it’s hard to tell exactly how treatment helps, but it’s equally as hard to deny the benefits of infant chiropractic care in this scenario. It may be just one of the many benefits of a nervous system working in harmony with the body.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD, is a common problem among infants. Babies with this condition spit up a lot, and the acid that leaks from their stomach into their esophagus causes considerable pain. The conventional treatment is to prescribe acid blockers, which may reduce symptoms but do nothing to address the underlying problem. Chiropractic care for babies has shown that the source of the problem is often a misaligned spine putting unnecessary pressure on the diaphragm and upsetting the balance of the digestive system. With this underlying issue, one of the benefits of infant chiropractic care is the relief of that pressure, and this approach has been known to reduce symptoms in as few as four treatments.
A number of studies have looked into how chiropractic care helps babies overcome breastfeeding difficulties. There are quite a few benefits of infant chiropractic care that can affect the movement of the neck, jaw, and shoulder to help babies latch and feed better. In fact, one study showed that 100% of babies who were treated by a chiropractor had an improved latch, and the overall stress of feeding for both mother and baby was reduced by 84%.
Irritable Infant Syndrome
Sometimes there doesn’t seem to be any reason for a baby’s fussiness. When doctors can’t explain a baby’s irritability, mysterious crying, and trouble sleeping, they use this catch-all term. And, yet, even with this fuzzy diagnosis, infant chiropractic care has been shown to reduce babies’ symptoms. It may be that this “syndrome” is simply the result of a developmental struggle, and the proper adjustments help restore balance to baby’s immature nervous system.
Babies with special needs often have physical problems other than their primary diagnosis. These medically fragile infants need even more support to grow as strong and healthy as possible. Case studies show that chiropractic care for babies with special needs such as Down Syndrome and cystic fibrosis has helped these little ones to reach developmental milestones. One of the less-known benefits of infant chiropractic care is its impact on sensorimotor integration that is often a problem for children on the autism spectrum. While being properly aligned isn’t going to eliminate all the challenges babies with special needs face, it is an effective and gentle way to help them be their strongest, healthiest selves.
When a baby isn’t feeling their best, it can be hard to figure out what’s bothering them. Whether you know exactly what the problem is or not, a gentle adjustment might be just the thing your baby is crying for. These are just a few of the benefits chiropractic care can have on your baby’s body and balance to feel better and stay well. Find your local pediatric chiropractor to see if chiropractic care is right for your infant.