Common Stresses Lead to
for Chiropractic Care for Children
by Joseph Borio, D.C.
In the January/February 1995 issues of the ICA International Review of Chiropractic, Maxine McMullen D.C., reported on the physical stresses children are subjected to that can lead to spinal problems requiring chiropractic care.
Dr. McMullen, dean of chiropractic sciences at Palmer College, is the chair of the International Chiropractors Association Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics.
In the article, McMullen points out that stress on the infant encountered during the medically-assisted delivery process (from mechanical extraction, such as forceps, suction devices or cesarean section) can cause severe problems from too much force being applied to the infant's neck. Problems that can result include irritability, colic, failure to thrive, and lower immune response syndromes.
Developmental problems also occur as the child grows older. When a woman breast-feeds her baby, movement on one side of the baby's body is constricted while freedom of movement is allowed on the other side.
This process is reversed as the baby is changed from one breast to another and allows for a balanced input of perception into the baby's central nervous system, a necessity for proper development.
Mothers who bottle-feed their babies tend to choose the side that is most comfortable for them and stick with that position during every feeding. As a result, there is not a balanced perception input and therefore improper nervous system development can occur.
When babies start to cross-crawl at about six months of age, it is important not to put them into playpens, walkers or hanging baby seats. Forcing erect posture on a baby too early puts stress on structures not yet ready for such forces.
Predictably, problems result.
If the problems are not corrected, as they are under chiropractic care, they degrade into scoliosis (lateral curvature of the spine), muscle imbalances, motor dysfunction and symptoms of unknown origin which may not present themselves until much later in life along with the complaint that the patient "didn't do anything" to make it hurt.
Dr. McMullen closes the report by saying "those children one cares for chiropractically on a regular basis develop strong, well-balanced, musculoskeletal structures accompanied by attitudes [mindful] of the need to take responsibility for one's own health, not merely the absence of disease. This trend should be consistent rather than sporadic as it is at present.
Dr. Ron Castellucci is presenting Baby Spines: Adjusting and
Technique at Lyceum and at other locations. See Seminars and Workshops at our continuing education site.