Let me begin by stating that I’m 100% sold out for lifetime family chiropractic care. It’s one of the reasons I became a Chiropractor in the first place. I remember thinking, “My children will have much greater potential to be healthy than I did because I will be able to adjust them from birth.” Currently, my wife and I have three boys, that were all
born at home and I checked them all within 30 minutes of their birth to see if they needed to be adjusted. Our oldest and youngest sons were adjusted about 30 minutes after they were born, and our middle son did not need to be adjusted until 24 hours after his birth. When I tell people this they often ask me why I would adjust a newborn baby, and they usually make a comment about how the baby shouldn’t have any back problems. This is a great moment for learning to happen, and the following statement may confuse some:
Chiropractic in its purest form has nothing to do with back problems!
Shocking, I know. Chiropractic is concerned with the proper function of the nervous system and here’s why: The nervous system is the first system to develop in your body, at about 3 weeks when you’re in the womb. It controls and coordinates the development and function of every other system in your body from that point on. Most people associate chiropractic with back issues because the main application of chiropractic adjustments is to the spine, but the goal is to have a positive effect on the nervous system allowing the body to have a greater capacity for healing itself. Simply put to be 100% healthy, your nervous system needs to function at 100%.
That’s why we adjust newborn babies. The birth process puts a lot of strain on a newborn’s spine: It’s an incredible fact that 40-50 pounds of pressure are exerted on the infant’s neck during the birth process. The baby’s head is forced to rotate by 90 degrees while contractions squeeze their small frame. This stress, combined with the weight of the baby’s head, puts considerable pressure on the neck, spine, nerves and muscles. (1) It’s important to make sure that after birth the baby’s spine is in proper alignment, so that their nervous system can function the best it possibly can. In actuality, just being born is a good reason to visit a chiropractor!
Now, back to the original question of this article, when should a child get adjusted by a chiropractor? I think most chiropractors would agree, as soon as possible after birth! Chiropractic adjustments for newborns are very gentle usually involving light sustained pressure over specific areas. If you have any questions concerning chiropractic care please contact me, I’ll do my best to answer your questions.
1.Biedermann H (1992) “Kinematic Imbalances Due to Suboccipital Strain in Newborns”, Manual Med 6:155