The cervical spine, or the baby’s neck vertebrae, may become subluxated due to an injury during birth. The process of birth is one of the most traumatic experiences many humans ever experience. According to research, 75% of irritable neonates have cervical strain due to birth trauma. A birth injury can be caused by prolonged labor (greater than 24 hours), precipitous labor (less than 3 hours), assisted extraction (such as forceps), and poor delivery position or presentation (such as sunny side up).
In addition to birth trauma, cervical subluxations can result from the baby struggling to hold up their head as part of normal development. The heaviness of the infant’s head also results in falls drawing the baby head first. Falls from a height are the most common pediatric injury peaking between 3 and 47 months. Any falls, regardless how mild, can affect the babies spinal alignment.
Subluxations in the upper and mid back often show up when the baby is learning to roll over. Their muscles are not yet strong enough to hold their bones in place. They may also become subluxated in the thoracic spine due to straining during coughing, vomiting, or even sneezing. Infants with reflux problems often have concurrent thoracic subluxations. Another cause of misalignment in this area of the back is forced sitting – which is the result of using infant positioning chairs before the child is able to hold their head up independently.
According to studies, 50% of children experience low back pain. Subluxation to the lumbar spine, or low back, often comes about when the baby is learning to sit, crawl, and walk. This change in weight bearing and use of new joints causes the baby to struggle with alignment and challenge their anatomy. It is a completely natural process, but just how activities of daily living can affect the spines of adults, so can the normal developmental activities of babies.
When McCarron Lake Chiropractic Doctors adjust infants, our chiropractors use a very different approach then they do with adults. This is because the infant bones are mainly cartilage and require a lot less pressure to move. The chiropractor will gently apply a constant light pressure over the misaligned segment until the bone slides back into position easily. The chiropractor may also apply some therapeutic infant massage to help release tight muscles surrounding the joint. If you or your infant are experiencing the above problems see our Chiropractic Services in St. Paul MN