Babies and Chiropractic

Ever thought of taking your baby to a chiropractor?

Babies and Chiropractic  – Did the thought ever occur to you?

I am always treating several babies at my office –  most of the time Moms bring in their babies because they have noticed something that is either odd or that they may interpret as pain in the baby’s behaviour.

Generally they have already consulted the pediatrician and found out that nothing serious is going on.  Usually the pediatrician reassures the parent that ‘it’s nothing’ or ‘they will grow out of it’.

More and more us Moms are trusting our guts… and this advice, while reassuring, isn’t always fully satisfying.  So Mom goes in search of answers and hence we have Babies and Chiropractic stories to share!

A word on a baby chiro examination

As with any patient, a full history is taken – in my office this means an extensive (maybe too long) 4 page intake questionnaire.  I sit with Mom or Dad and ask a ton of questions about the baby, behaviour, breast feeding, health, pregnancy and  birth etc…

I then do a through exam (including but not limited to:  a physical observation, infant reflexes, palpation of the spine and musculature.  I will also often listen to the lungs and heart as well – if there is a specific problem that the baby is coming in about there is also a focused exam regarding that.

Here are some cute pics and instructions on how to check some infant reflexes – now don’t panic if they are not on your baby, chances are that the pediatrician has checked them so far and if they haven’t flagged anything for you the baby is fine.  Got it?  Also, never Google stuff.  Bad for the mental health.  Also don’t do #7 if you haven’t been trained – too easy to drop baby!

A word on chiro adjustments for baby

Ever been to a chiro and had an adjustment?  If so you may not be able to imagine Babies and Chiropractic – I mean really Karen, I am not letting you do that to my baby how could they stand the force?

So the youngest baby I have adjusted was a few days old…. It’s not the same force as we use on adults – don’t be cray cray!

We use what we call eyeball pressure – that is exactly as it sounds: close your eyelid and put your index finger on your lid and push gently down on your eye – just a comfortable amount.  That is eyeball pressure and that is what we use on babies.

I mean really, the poor teeny things don’t even have ossified spinal segments yet we gotta be gentle!

The amazing thing is that babies respond really really fast.  I had a baby in the office for a check up and she happened to have a buch of sinus congestion so I did a few sinus trigger points and within about 10 minutes here nose was running like a faucet. Her mom said that previously all the junk just stay stuck up there and made it hard for her to breathe.

I love treating babies for that reason (and because I always steal a cuddle and hug because who can resist really!  Yes, its always with permission)


Babies and Chiropractic – some of the whys

Here is why some parents bring in their babies in general:

-well baby check (just for a check up)

-torticollis (head tilted to one side)

-colic – sometimes I really think this is baby back pain / digestion issues

-behaviours like putting something under their back at rest time – can indicate pain

-pulling on the ears or rubbing a body part

-chronic congestion (sometimes mechanical things we can do can help drainage happen)

Have a more comfortable and healthy Pregnancy with Chiropractic

I am a chiropractor and a mom.  I have been through a pregnancy and a really rough delivery.  I know the pain that can happen during pregnancy – I had some pretty severe back pain during my pregnancy and at times had difficulty getting out of bed.  With some self care, a specific stabilizing belt that I wore for a couple of months, and some care from chiropractic friends, I managed to make it through it all while continuing to practice right up until I had the baby.

It can be rough. But it doesn’t have to be – there is help out there.  I love helping pre- and post-natal women and have been doing it since I started practicing almost 17 years ago.  I have to say I developed a much MUCH better appreciation for what pregnant women go through regarding pain after my own.  I really feel we are best at providing treatment when we can really empathize with the problem.

Over the years I have seen it all from sciatica to round ligament pain to swollen and sore legs and feet, carpal tunnel syndrome (from swelling due to pregnancy), headaches and neck pain and way more.  More than once I have been called in for an emergency house call for someone who couldn’t get out of bed because of back pain during pregnancy and after the birth of the baby.  I am always honoured to be able to help.

While writing this blog I found some information directly from the Canadian Chiropractic Association – so I though why try to re-write something so well written? The following was taken directly from the Canadian Chiropractic Association Website –

“At least 50% of pregnant women will experience back pain, with many suffering from severe discomfort that impacts their activities of daily living. Pregnancy-related back pain can be multi-factorial and rarely only has one cause. Back pain, wrist pain and leg cramps are the most common complaints reported.

The average healthy weight gain is approximately 30 lbs, most of which is around the abdomen adding a significant frontal load. The added weight puts stress on the back, hips, knees and feet/ankles. Additional weight can lead to altered posture and biomechanics as we change the way we sleep, stand, and move during pregnancy. As the baby grows and the uterus expands, the abdominal muscles also stretch and lose their ability to support as they did. The change in posture, shifting forward, may cause pain and discomfort specifically in the lower back.

During the third trimester, levels of the hormone “relaxin” increase and contribute to the loosening of joints in order for the pelvis to accommodate for enlarged uterus, the baby and later birth. However, the loosening of joints can decrease joint stability and further alter posture. Other structures including musculature may be taxed, resulting in a predisposition to pain and injury. This may result in back pain.

Women report pain and discomfort including:

  • Neck pain
  • Low back pain
  • Mid-back pain
  • Pelvic pain and pressure
  • Aching legs and buttocks
  • Peripheral swelling
  • Sciatica or shooting pain down the leg/foot
  • Fatigue and low energy
  • Night-time muscle spasms
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • De Quervain tenosynovitis
  • Sleep disturbances

Studies have shown that manual therapy, including chiropractic, can help decrease pain in pregnancy and labour. Chiropractors can provide safe, effective and drug-free conservative care to relieve pain and improve function during pregnancy and after birth.


Reduce back and pelvic pain: Conservative care including spinal manipulation and mobilization of joints and soft tissue therapy can help reduce pain and improve function.

Relieve fatigued, aching muscles: Chiropractic treatment plans can include soft tissue therapy and various modalities including TENS, IFC, and acupuncture among others. Chiropractors can also recommend exercises to help rehabilitate postural changes.

Help prepare for childbirth: A chiropractor can recommend safe, effective exercises and stretches to help prepare your body for the baby’s delivery.

Ensure a faster recovery: As part of a comprehensive plan of management, chiropractic treatment can help manage quicker recovery and address post-natal biomechanical complaints and rehabilitation.”