Green Living

Chiropratic Care for Babies, Toddlers and Kids

The other week, Penelope took a tumble at an indoor playground that is in our local mall. She took a headfirst dive and then did a forward roll out of it. It was only from about two feet up, but it was a direct, head on, impact. She cried for a second, but nothing that would make me think she hurt anything. The old me, would have shook it off, and thought no biggie, and not thought about it again.

But, since Penelope had a cervical subluxation (Atlas vertebrae out of alignment) when she was born,  I have been on edge to stay diligent about keeping her spine in alignment. She also broke her arm when she was 14 months old, from a fall that I never would have thought capable of breaking her arm. So now I also know, that just because the fall doesn’t look super bad, it can still cause damage.

That day at the playground, I laid her down and checked to see if one leg was longer than the other. Sure enough it was. I immediately called our chiropractor and made an appointment. Checking your child’s legs is an easy way to check if there is a misalignment. If you look at the picture above, her right leg is longer than her left.
Chiropratic Care for Babies Toddlers and Kids
Penelope is so great about going to appointments. She went to so many of them the first 6 months of her life, that they must be a very normal experience for her.
Chiropratic Care for Babies Toddlers and Kids
Here she is getting her adjustment. Not thrilled, but not crying at all. I can’t explain how he does it, but it is not like the wham, bam, crack and twist like some chiropractors do.
Chiropratic Care for Babies Toddlers and Kids
And Ta Da! Perfect alignment once again! After her adjustment, he told me that Penelope looked radiant. When your neck is out of alignment, your face and brain are not getting enough oxygen. But when you are in perfect alignment, you sort of give off this healthy glow.

While I was out our appointment, our Dr. (Dr. John Dunn) gave me a book to borrow. It is about how important chiropractic care for children is. It was mostly about several studies that were done on babies who died of SIDS. ALL of the SIDS babies that were in the study, had cervical subluxations like Penelope had when she was a newborn.

When a child’s Atlas vertebrae is out of alignment, it trickles down the entire spine and throws everything off physically. It also creates a misfire in all the neurons up and down the spine. When the neurons are not firing off and sending the correct messages, a myriad of things can happen: chronic ear infections, ADHD, asthma, colic, you name it. For Penelope, it caused nerve issues that were correlated with her sucking reflex and it gave her TMJ. Her neck/jaw muscles were so sore and tight from her misalignment, because it was causing her head to cock to the side (like torticolus) and she could not open her mouth wide enough to nurse and it was painful to lay on her side and nurse.

I used to think that only way a newborn could have cervical subluxations was from a traumatic birth. A Cesarean birth where they pull the baby out at a funny angle sometimes, or when forceps or the vacuum extractor is used. But the book goes on to say, that even OB’s/ RN’s/Midwives who pull too hard on the baby, as a way to help the shoulder come out, can cause a misalignment. It does not take much at all to make the Altas vertebrae get out of alignment.

Your baby can get a subluxation while in the womb as well. It can be from the baby being in a weird position for a long time in your womb. I remember my midwife telling me, on the last several visits, that Penelope was head down, but that she was coming in at a weird angle. I also fell on the stairs about two weeks before I gave birth. I landed right on my sacrum. Since Penelope was already head down, so she could have gotten it knocked out then.

So moral of the story, if you have child, take them to the chiropractor ASAP. It is one of the main foundations of good health. If your spine is not in alignment, you can never truly get to your optimal health levels. And if your kid takes a tumble on a playground or soccer game, take them in. It is worth your time and money.

Have you ever taken your child to the chiropractor?



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  • Jenna
    August 26, 2011 at 9:51 PM

    I love reading about this! Thank you. I need to do this more with my children. I have only taken my toddler to a chiro since he was a baby, but I need to be more diligent about taking him more regularly. Great post!

  • The Annessa Family
    August 26, 2011 at 10:16 PM

    Definitely agree that the chiropractor is a great preventative measure that EVERYONE can benefit from.


  • Lily's mama
    August 26, 2011 at 10:46 PM

    I met a friend of my sister in laws who is a chiropractor at a party and he gently touched the back of my neck and said,"wow you sure have a problem going on here." I nearly buckled over with the pain that I didn't know existed. Our bodies are so smart and they compensate in ways to avoid pain so sometimes you don't even know there is a issue. I go as much as possible now and I bring my 2 1/2 year old daughter every couple of months. Just like the dentist or going to a yearly physical, chiropractic care should be a mandatory thing not a once in awhile treat.

  • Danielle
    August 27, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    It's like you read my mind! I just started going to a chiropractor this week. At my last appointment we talked about children and chiropractic care. It really got me thinking..mainly about my daughter. I just checked and sure enough her left leg is longer than her right.
    Mama Dani

  • hana.k
    August 27, 2011 at 3:12 AM

    I started getting chiropractic care the last few weeks of my pregnancy because my hip was hurting and as soon as my son was born he started receiving chiropractic care as well. We go weekly and I'd much rather spend my money on these adjustments than massage or nails. He's a really happy, healthy little guy and I'm sure seeing the chiropractor does has a part in that.

  • Stephanie
    August 27, 2011 at 3:36 AM

    @Jenna…well, you are ahead of the curve for taking him when he was a baby. My Dr. also said, that when babies and toddlers get adjustments that young, their bodies holds them much better than adults, so they don't need to come in as regular as adults do. Just do the leg check regularly. He also said to look out for crankiness for no apparent reason.
    @Brooke…exactly! EVERYONE needs chiropractic care!
    @Lily's Mama…that is so true, our bodies compensate so much. As a massage therapist, so much of the muscle pain my clients come to see me for are simply from their muscles compensating from being out of alignment.
    @Danielle…so glad to hear you are going! And that you were able to catch your daughter's misalignment. Good job, Mama!
    @Hana K. I agree, it is worth every penny. Although, I still try to get monthly massages or pedicures, staying relaxed is super important too.

  • Jess
    August 28, 2011 at 9:03 PM

    I completely agree, I don't know or understand completely everything you explained, buyer have been taking our daughters to the chiro for the last 6 months or so. When my 5 month old was born in March our Dr. Stopped by the hospital that day on his way to dinner with his wife, which was amazing. He also gave me a book. How to raise a healthy child…in spite of your dr. By robert mendelsohn. Very informative.
    Found your blog by following you on Pinterest. What a wonderful place. 😉

  • elisabeth (bovagoods)
    August 29, 2011 at 2:34 AM

    i have only been to a chiropractor once and have never taken my children. i must admit, though, you've got my attention. are there any resources you know of to make sure you go to a good one? how often should you go?

  • Stephanie
    August 29, 2011 at 2:50 AM

    @Jess..that is awesome you take your daughters to the chiropractor! I have heard good things about that book, but never read it. So glad you found me!
    @Elisabeth…glad I got your attention! I hope I got others to think twice about it too. I didn't find too much information online, but I would recommend getting recommendations from other mothers. And I would stay away from a chiropractor under the age of 35. You want somebody with experience! I take Penelope every 6 months, unless something happens like the tumble on the playground. I try to go myself about once a month.

  • Amy
    August 29, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    My 3 kids went to the chiropractor when they were just a couple of months old. Though they were never diagnosed, from what I have heard from friends, it sounded like they had a form of torticollis, maybe just not as bad as some babies. My older one got stuck during birth and I ended up with a c-section, and my second pregnancy was twins. They definitely needed adjustment and probably should go soon as should I.

  • Seminole Sitters, LLC
    August 30, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    After reading this, I couldn't agree more, and have got to plug Dr. Lowery, located on Mahan. He's a huge advocate of getting the little ones adjusted – and very informed / passionate. Great resource. I have been going to him for over two years now, and have nothing but praise for his level of care and knowledge. Very personable.

  • Loretta
    November 16, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    Loved this post! It's unfortunate that more moms don't know the effects of subluxation on our bodies. Otherwise, we'd all have a chiropractor at our babies births. Like we did! Of course that's because my husband is a chiro. and I'll be one as well in about a year.

    Our daughter has been adjusted since birth and has never had a hint of a health problem.

    As far as finding a good chiropractor, remember that it's not just the number of years the person has been practicing, it's more about how many adjustments they've done. A busy office is a good office! After all, nobody wants to see a 55 yo surgeon that's only performed surgery twice. Think this way when finding a good chiropractor!

    As far as frequency goes, let your chiropractor give their recommendation.

    Hope this helps some of you! I feel so blessed to have chiropractic for my daughter (and myself) so I want to spread that.

    As a side note, I'll be adjusting the babies and pregnant ladies in our office, so I'm so excited to see a post like this!

  • Stephanie
    November 17, 2011 at 12:40 AM

    That is so cool Loretta, thanks for sharing!

  • Boni
    December 10, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    I have been bringing my ten month old to the chiropractor for the last four months and I have noticed a difference! He had 5 ear infections by six months but since adjustment he has been really healthy.
    I look forward to a long relationship with my chiropractor and recommend it to everyone. Mine has also recommended several homeopathic remedies for my pain, from an injury, and for my son and teething, etc.
    Grapeseed extract for teething!

  • Valerie
    March 5, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    I loved this post. Just came across your website a few days ago through Pinterest I think & I’m hooked. Since my son went down for his nap today, i’ve taken all my time looking through your blog. This post really grabbed my attention because my son had constant ear infections from Sept ’11 until the end of Jan ’12, when we had tubes put in. He was 8 months old when we did that. I had a variety of opinions about taking him to a chiropractor, I wanted to take him because I think it would have helped but being in the middle of moving to another state, I opted for the tubes instead. Now, I would like to start taking him to a chiropractor. Thanks for posting and sharing the most intimate moments (breastfeeding struggles) with the world! =]

    • Stephanie
      March 6, 2012 at 1:01 AM

      So glad you liked this post and are going to start taking your son to the Chiropractor! And so glad you are here and like my blog!

  • Jenn Pierson
    May 19, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    I am glad that you posted this. My 21 month old daughter (Xia) has been going to the chiropractor for about 5 months now. she has had problems with constipation since she was born. Her spine was so out of line that he uses her x-ray (which he normally does not take for kids her age) in his orientation. She has early signs of scoliosis right were her intestinal nerves come out. Her pelvis is also very out of alignment. I also take my 3 month old son (he started as a newborn). He goes every two weeks and to see how little the chiropractor does to adjust him I am not suprised of the sublaxation in Penelope as a newborn. It does not take much to be out of alignment. Oh by the way Xia goes twice a week and at first she was going every day litteraly.
    It all started when I started going while I was pregnant with Landon and having really bad problems with my sciatic nerve, which i get when I gain weight. It was worse with him because I hadn’t lost all the 60lbs I gained with Xia. I didn’t gain as much with him like 20lbs but it definetly affected me more. I reccommend a chiropractor even if you think you are healthy because really you may not be.

    • Stephanie
      May 21, 2012 at 6:35 PM

      So glad to hear you take your kids to the chiropractor!!

  • Katie
    January 6, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    My daughter (2 1/2) has been complaining of neck pain off and on for most of her life. Most of the time when she’s sick and she will turn her head and grab her neck and say “ow my neck!” This has been maybe 8 times over her life. Anyway I’ve asked her ped about it and she didn’t seem concerned. Her ENT didn’t seem concerned either. She did have an X-ray and that looked normal. We took her to a chiro a couple of weeks ago and he said her c5,6,7 seemed really tight. He’s adjusted her 4 times since then. My question is, do you think a 2 year old shoukd be adjusted in the same way as an adult? He uses the exact technique that’s been used on me. Thx!

    • Stephanie
      January 6, 2013 at 7:44 PM

      Good for you for sticking to your gut and following through even though it sounds like the ped, blew you off. The chiro that we go to adjusts us in the same exact way. EXCEPT his general way of doing things is different than most old school chiros and you hear all the cracking sounds and are moving around a lot.

  • Prariebabymama
    March 3, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    All babies should get their Atlas adjusted soon after birth. Mine had his first adjustment when he was 20 minutes old (nice to have a DC for a daddy!). He giggles whenever he gets adjusted. As for finding a good one… In the jurisdiction where DH practices, it’s the older DCs who contribute to the stereotype of chiropractors making things worse and bilking you out of your money while doing it. A DC with a background in functional neurology is a good place to start (if you can’t find one, then look for one who practises the Gonstead technique). Ones who dispense Tylenol in their office should be avoided. Ones who think they are just there to fix lower back pain and don’t believe chiropractic can help in pretty much all other aspects in your life should be avoided. There are so many wonderful, smart and forward-thinking younger DCs out there, don’t worry!

    • Stephanie
      March 3, 2013 at 7:19 PM

      Agreed. And how lucky for you both to a have a chiro in the family! But in this case, our chiro is in his mid fifties, he is an older forward thinking kind of guy!

  • Rae
    March 4, 2013 at 2:01 AM

    Hi there! I LOVE Your blog! So much fascinating and valuable information! I love that there are so many people questioning what have come to be “traditional” ways of parenting and are searching for more wholistic, natural, and well thought out methods. This particular subject is an area of skepticism for me. It does seem that keeping a child in alignment would be incredibly beneficial for their development, and I can definitely see jumping on board with it. The reason I am skeptical is that my husband has been seeing a very good chiro since before he was 9 years old. He recently turned 30 and has had more trouble with alignment than anyone I know. His theory is that because a chiropractor always “popped” him back into alignment whenever he was out – the joints became “loose” and now they slip right out of alignment with the slightest prompting. He has to do many little exorcizes and be very careful where he sits/lays and for how long or else his spine and ribs will be out before he knows it. Is it possible that frequent chiropractor visits for children could create such problems down the line? I’d love to know if there is any research on the benefits and potential risks of chiro care for kids.

    • Stephanie
      March 4, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      I don’t think so, but I do know that not all chiros have the same training and schooling. I have visited some inexperienced and “bad” ones, so you really need to search out to find a good one. And a good one, you wont need to keep coming back.

  • Tara
    June 26, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    @Prariebabymama – thank you so much for the advice on choosing a chiropractor – if your husband is a chiropractor – you should try blogging! I bet you’d be good at it!

  • Lisa researching chiropractic for kids
    April 9, 2014 at 2:19 AM

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I have been considering chiropractic for my little ones, and like to read as many honest reviews as I can.

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