3 of your questions about chiropractic for babies and children answered

 In Kids health

Dr Edna Giuntini is a chiropractor with 20 years experience and has completed postgraduate studies in paediatric development, chiropractic for babies, brain development and pregnancy.

I approached her to answer 3 of the most common questions I receive about the chiropractic approach for babies and children. This post is a sponsored collaboration between Wholehearted Family Health and Giuntini Chiropractic.

1. Do chiropractors ‘crack’ baby’s back?

The short answer is no.  Chiropractic for babies is much different than chiropractic for adults and the amount of pressure required to make a change to the nerve system is very minimal in babies and children. 

Often the areas of restriction that could be causing your child discomfort and body imbalance are located at the top of the spine, near the base of the head, and at the sacrum, the bone just in the middle of the pelvis. 

The adjustment is a gentle stretch combined with specific pressure to the cranial system, pelvis and shoulders or hips. It is not painful for your child but may be uncomfortable.

Similar to stretching a tight muscle. The chiropractic adjustment can be done on the chiropractic adjusting bed, a parent’s lap or on a play mat on the floor. My aim is to make both child and parent as comfortable as possible while in my office. 

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2. What does the chiropractic exam look for? 

There is a lot of information I can get just from observing.

Chiropractors look for symmetry and tone.  I expect to see equal movement when turning the head and equal movement of arms, hands and legs. 

I also look at the primitive reflexes. There are some reflexes typically found from birth to 7 months and others that begin around 4 months and stay in the mature system.

The paediatric exam is always adapting to the age of the child since the skills and reflexes in a 7-month-old are very different to those of a 3 or 12-month-old. 

I also measure head symmetry and look for any flat spots or cranial asymmetries.  With all ages, the tone of the muscles shouldn’t be too tight or too slack and tone should be even on both sides.  This part of the visit almost seems like I am playing with your child as I check for social engagement, movement patterns and their ability to play with toys with both hands. 

Click here to get in touch with Dr Edna to learn more about her services.

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3.  What are the common reasons for parents to bring their children to a chiropractor?

There is a wide range of reasons for parents to bring their children to see a chiropractor. 

The most common concerns I see in little ones include flat spots on the back of the head, unsettled behaviour and wind pain or feeding difficulties.  In older babies, other reasons include late rolling or crawling and using one hand more often than the other. 

As mentioned earlier, your baby should have equal movement of the head, arms and legs; 

  • Rolling should be over both shoulders
  • Tummy time should be done with their head up and looking around
  • Crawling should be on all fours and cross-crawling
  • And your child should use both hands to reach for toys and be able to pass the toys back and forth between the hands. 

This equal movement of the body primes the brain and nervous system getting it ready for walking, balance, climbing and coordination.

If your child is unhappy on tummy time, has a preferred side to feed on or look to, prefers one hand to move or use, is skipping milestones or is altering the postures for rolling, crawling and walking this indicates your child’s body is out of balance and could benefit from chiropractic care.

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If you have any questions specific to your child’s development or if chiropractic would be helpful for your child, please get in touch with Dr Edna.

You can find all of her details on her website.

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