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Spinal Therapy and Children

For some, the idea that spinal therapy can help children and babies is controversial – but this is usually this scepticism disappears once results have been seen.  Having had chiropractic treatment from the age of 8 myself, and treated both my sons the moment they where born, I can assure you that it is safe.

Here is some information for you, that would suggest it is wise for all children to be checked for subluxations:

Jensen, E. Learning with the body in mind. 2000

“What the developing brain needs for successful movement and cognitive growth is sufficient activation of this motor-cerebellar-vestibular system. Without it, problems in learning can arise, which include attention deficits, reading problems, emotional deregulation, weak memory skills, slow reflexes, lack of impulse control, and impaired or delayed writing skills.”

Jensen, E. Brain-Based Learning: The new science of teaching and training.  2000

“Amazingly, the part of the brain that processes movement is the same part of the brain that processes learning.”

Restak, R.M. The Brain: The last frontier. 1979

Reports the findings of Dr Frank Pederson, Chief of the Section on Parent-Child Interaction of the National Institute of Child Health and Development.  Comparing the effects of visual, auditory and movement stimulation on mental and psychomotor development, found that movement had the broadest, most far reaching positive effects.

The above three pieces of work establish the basis for movement being of the utmost importance for infant health and development.  The next studies clearly demonstrate the role that chiropractic can play.

Guttman G.  Blocked Atlantal nerve syndrome in babies and infants.  Manuelle Medizin. 1987, 25

Reports on the examination and adjustment of more than 1000 infants with ‘atlas blockage’ or as chiropractors would call it – subluxation.

The symptoms of ‘atlas blockage’ ranged from, “central motor impairment and development through diencephalic impairments of vegetative regulatory systems to lowered resistance to infections, especially to ear, nose and throat infections.”

Also mentions the work of a colleague, Frymann, who examined 1250 new born babies.  211 suffered vomiting, hyperactivity and sleeplessness.  Examination revealed ‘cervical strain’ in 95% of this symptomatic group.  Manipulation then , “frequently resulted in immediate cessation of crying, muscular relaxation  and sleepiness”.

Conclusions: 80% of children are not in autonomic balance, that the upper cervical spine should be examined and, if required, treated with specific manipulation, because, “the success of adjustment overshadows every other type of treatment.”

Biedermann H. Kinematic imbalances due to sub-occipital  strain in newborns. Manuel Medicine 1992; 6

600 babies with a variety of problems including postural asymmetries, motor problems (including torticollis) , loss of appetite, neck sensitivity, fevers of unknown origin and other central nervous system disorders.

Results, “All but one of our little patients treated only with manipulation of the upper cervical spine developed satisfactorily.”  No complications.

“The immense pathogenic potential of the proprioceptive afferents of the suboccipital region has until now been widely underestimated.”

Jesper et al.  The short term effect of spinal manipulation in the treatment of infantile colic: A randomized controlled clinical trial with a blinded observer. JMPT 1999; 22 (8)

This, and an earlier study in 1989 found, specific, finger tip adjustments to the spine relieved colic symptoms.

The Danish health authorities, already being familiar with the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic for adults, picked up on this study and instructed nurses to recommend chiropractic care for babies suffering from colic.

(As an aside, Denmark’s progressive implementation of chiropractic and a rehabilitation program have lead it to be the ONLY country to be successfully managing chronic low back pain)

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