On January 24, 2021, my wife, Samantha, and I welcomed to the world an extraordinary blessing in a 7 pound, 4-ounce package, our son Oaklen Andrew Baranski. Samantha birthed Oaklen without intervention at our home. During her pregnancy, Samantha consumed only advanced plan foods, exercised, participated in mindfulness, and got adjusted. Her dedication to a healthy lifestyle contributed to the birth of a thriving baby boy.
Even though Oaklen displayed zero signs of health abnormalities within one hour of him entering the world, I checked his spine for subluxation. Sure enough, the first vertebra in his neck, the atlas, was shifted to the right, and he had limited range of motion when rotating his head to the left. I also discovered on the skull an overlapped posterior fontanelle. I adjusted both subluxation areas with my index finger using a force lighter than putting a dent into a tomato.
The reason for me checking my perfect baby boy for a subluxation was not to prevent him from dealing with the conditions associated with subluxations in infants that will be covered later. I adjusted my son because I want him to express his full potential. Reaching his full potential will not happen if there is any interference to the communication between his developing brain and body.
What causes a subluxation in a newborn?
Whether a baby is born naturally or intervention is needed, such as cesarean section or vacuum extraction, forces can cause stress to the fragile structure of the spine. During the natural laboring process, the baby is in a head-down position. The baby is brought into the world by the uterine muscles periodically relaxing and tightening. The contraction forces can significantly stress the head and neck area, especially when the newborn’s head is extended. If the baby’s arm is in flexion, this can cause brachial plexus disorders. If the legs are malpositioned, sacrum and hip issues can arise. The neck area’s strain is increased through external sources such as a medical doctor’s hands during the delivery.
During Oaklen’s birth, Samantha progressed very quickly in early labor, but progress then stalled once the pushing phase began. Samantha pushed with love and determination for over six hours to bring Oaklen into the world naturally. I believe that the long duration of the pushing phase contributed to Oaklen’s subluxation.
Silent Signs of Subluxation in an Infant
- Sleeping difficulty-a subluxation in the neck can alter the feedback loop between the superior cervical ganglia and the pineal gland, which secretes sleep-inducing melatonin. The national sleep foundation has reported that 40% of infants experience deeper sleep patterns after a single adjustment.¹
- Positional discomfort or altered postures- birth traumas can cause brachial plexus disorders, torticollis, asymmetry, and other muscular imbalances. These determinants may lead to your baby experiencing pain when being held in certain positions. Case reports have displayed great results with chiropractic and the resolution of such problems.2
- Colic and fussy babies-the disruption on the nerve system communication can contribute to colic. Research from England showed that babies seen by a chiropractor experienced improved symptom presentation and improved behavior outcomes later during toddler years compared to babies who did not seek chiropractic care.3
- Trouble breastfeeding- it can be challenging for a mother when a baby has trouble latching on for feeding. The rooting reflex is a primitive motor reflex in charge of sucking. A subluxation to the upper cervical spine can alter the brain stem’s tension, where the rooting reflex is initiated. Chiropractic care has displayed the ability to optimize breastfeeding.4
- Digestion and elimination problems- a subluxation alters the nervous system’s state of parasympathetic and sympathetic balance. The parasympathetic nervous system is in charge of digestion and elimination, and down-regulation of this system can cause constipation, diarrhea, and reflux. An adjustment brings balance back so the body can digest and eliminate waste like it is supposed to. 5,6
- Developmental delays- it can be worrisome for a parent when their child does not meet developmental milestones. Restoring the communication between the brain and body can help offset these challenges.7
Getting Your Baby Checked
It is never too late or too early to get your baby checked for subluxation. Symptoms can be a sign that the subluxation has been present for a duration of time. The doctors at Chiropractic Plus are trained in caring for pregnant mothers and infants. Visit https://cochiropractor.com/ to schedule an exam. To discover more information on pediatric chiropractic care, visit the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association’s website: https://icpa4kids.com/.
- “Chiropractic Sleep Relief.” Sleep.org, National Sleep Foundation , 9 Feb. 2021, www.sleep.org/chiropractic-sleep-relief/.
- Hobaek Siegenthaler, Mette. “Chiropractic Management of Infantile Torticollis With Associated Abnormal Fixation of One Eye: A Case Report.” Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, Mar. 2015.
- Miller, Joyce E., and Holly Lane Phillips. “Long-Term Effects of Infant Colic: A Survey Comparison of Chiropractic Treatment and Nontreatment Groups.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 14 Oct. 2009.
- Miller JE;Miller L;Sulesund AK;Yevtushenko. “Contribution of Chiropractic Therapy to Resolving Suboptimal Breastfeeding: a Case Series of 114 Infants.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
- Egan, Angela. “Resolution of Gastroesophageal Reflux in an Infant Following Chiropractic Care to Reduce Vertebral Subluxation: A Case Report & Review of Literature.” Vertebral Subluxation Research.
- Babinski , Kara. “Resolution of Chronic Constipation in a Child Undergoing Chiropractic Care to Reduce Vertebral Subluxations: A Case Report & Review of Literature.” Vertebral Subluxation Research,
Cuthbert SC;Barras. “Developmental Delay Syndromes: Psychometric Testing before and after Chiropractic Treatment of 157 Children.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, U.S. National Library of Medicine.