Infant Dysfunctions



Acid Reflux (GERD)

Birth Trauma

Breast Feeding Difficulties

Colic

Ear Infections

Head Shape or Plagiocephaly and Torticollis

Infant Constipation





Chiropractic adjustments correct spinal subluxations, relieving stress from the nervous system, allowing it to communicate freely with the rest of our body and improving our body’s movement and overall health.


Acid Reflux (GERD)

Infant reflux is the condition where the contents of the stomach are spit out, usually shortly after feeding. Spitting up becomes less common as a baby gets older, and it's unusual if it's still occurring after 18 months of age. In a small number of cases, reflux can be a sign of a more serious problem, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), In GERD, the reflux contains stomach acid which damages the lining of the esophagus.

How Can Chiropractic Help?

Chiropractors often attribute the arching of the back seen in babies with reflux to these spinal-cord stress injuries. Chiropractic adjustments will release this tension. Babies may be tender and resistant to touch and pressure on their necks at first, but after a few treatments they become much more settled and relaxed. Taking tension out of the neck will result in relax¬ation in the spinal cord and fascia and relief of the nerve irritation that can trigger digestive symptoms and crying.

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Birth Trauma

Typically, birth trauma occurs from pulling on the head and rotating the neck. This can occur because of mothers lying on their backs during birth, mothers given drugs that slow the birth process, or cesarean sections that require pulling on the baby to extract her from the uterus. This brute force results in tension in and torsion (twisting) of the upper spine and neck. However, even babies born without these sorts of interventions can suffer physical stress during the birthing process that results in spinal injury. Spinal misalignment can be caused by birth trauma or an injury that occurs sometime after the birth.

How Can Chiropractic Help?

A certified chiropractor can gentle make adjustments to your baby. Chiropractic care has been proven effective and safe for newborns and older infants alike. The pressure used on an infant is the same pressure one would use to gently touch their eyelid. Many parents will see improvement in their babies mood, sleep and feeding after their first adjustment.

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Breast Feeding Difficulties

The art and joy of breastfeeding may not come naturally for a mother and child when tools used in an assisted birth (forceps or vacuum extraction) may have disrupted the smooth action of the child's jaw, therefore interfering with the infant's ability to suckle. During delivery, there may be trauma to the joints and muscles of the head and neck. This results in unnecessary delays in establishing a successful breastfeeding relationship between mother and child.

How Can Chiropractic Help?

Chiropractors who are trained in treating infants use gentle, noninvasive manual techniques called adjustments to correct these traumas which can be vital in the early establishment of a healthy latch-on.

La Leche League identifies chiropractic as an effective modality for babies whose muscles and bones are not working well together so that the baby is in pain, or is a poor feeder. As a poorly feeding baby does not drain the breast sufficiently, the dyad suffers the secondary impact of reduced milk production.

Anecdotal reports describe situations where chiropractic adjustment reduced inflammation and compression of intercostal nerves that connect the nipple, areola and breast with the pituitary gland. The result is an increase in milk supply.

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Colic

What is Colic?

Colic presents as a constantly irritable baby, usually beginning during the first two to three weeks following birth and continuing up to three months of age, sometimes for longer. Unfortunately colic affects up to a third of newborn babies.

What Causes Colic?

While there is not one particular known cause for colic – there are many speculated causes and some of these include: gas, constipation, lactose intolerance or food allergies. Another reason for colic may be the result of a structural weakness within the infant’s stomach/diaphragm area.

How Can Chiropractic Help?

From a chiropractor’s perspective many of the resulting symptoms of colic may be due to nerve dysfunction, which results in poor communication between the brain and digestive organs. Chiropractic adjustments for the correction of vertebral subluxations (nerve dysfunction) have long been acknowledged as an excellent therapeutic tool for infantile colic. How well your baby’s spine and nervous system are functioning will play an integral role in the overall health of your child. If you intuitively feel that something is not right with your baby, have them assessed by a Chiropractic doctor. Healthy babies—free of nerve irritation—are happier babies.

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Ear Infections

What is an Ear Infection?

An ear infection means that fluid (usually pus) is in the middle ear, causing pain, redness of the eardrum, and possible fever. Ear infections are the most common reason for antibiotic prescriptions for children, but the Canadian Pediatric association recommends “watchful waiting approach” for children over 6 months, because the evidence-based research about antibiotics is showing that not only are they ineffective at treating ear infections, but they will actually lead to repeated ear infections in children.

How Can Chiropractic Help?

The tensor veli palatini muscle, which acts as an active opener for the middle ear and allows for fluid drainage, is innervated by C1-4 and a few cranial nerves. When caring for kids with ear infections chiropractors clear out any spinal subluxations with special attention given to the upper cervical vertebrae.The intent is that when the adjustment holds the tensor veli palatini will function better and proper drainage will occur.Ear infections will decrease and if they can continue to drain without a buildup of fluid and subsequent infection, they build up their own antibodies and recover more quickly.

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Head Shape or Plagiocephaly and Torticollis

Babies are born with soft heads to allow for the amazing brain growth that occurs in the first year of life. As a result, their heads are easily "molded."

Passage through the birth canal during childbirth can cause a newborn's head to look pointy or too long. So it's normal for a baby's skull, which is made up of several bones that eventually fuse together, to be a bit oddly shaped during the few days or weeks after birth.

But if a baby develops a lasting flat spot, either on one side or the back of the head, it could be flat head syndrome, also called positional plagiocephaly. Flat head syndrome usually happens when a baby sleeps in the same position most of the time or because of problems with the neck muscles (torticollis). Muscular torticollis is present when a muscle on the side of a baby’s neck, called the sternocleidomastoid, is shortened or tightened.

How Can Chiropractic Help?

Chiropractic management of congenital torticollis using a combination of spinal adjustments, cranial re-alignment and soft tissue therapies can produce rapid resolution in many cases of congenital torticollis and plagiocephaly, without the use of a helmet, in the newborn infant. Spinal adjustments have been demonstrated to be efficacious to the resolution of the congenital torticollis.

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Infant Constipation

How to Recognize Infant Constipation

The normal amount of bowel movements an infant passes varies depending on his or her age and what he or she is eating. Formula fed babies normally have one bowel movement per day, where as breast fed babies (after the first few weeks of life) can go up to a week without having a bowel movement.

Your baby might have infant constipation if he or she has hard or pellet-like bowel movements. He or she might also appear to be in pain while trying to have bowel movements or have them less frequently than before. Infants experiencing painful bowel movements might arch their backs, tighten their buttocks or cry.

How Chiropractic Can Help?

“Research is revealing that minor disturbances to spinal alignment and function may be a factor in a number of disorders. These disturbances lead to nerve interference and can result in a host of disorders such as constipation and other gastrointestinal disorders” stated Dr. Joel Alcantara. Correcting the subluxations through the use of specific chiropractic adjustments can return infants gastrointestinal functions to normal.

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