Pregnancy is a time of great change for your body, especially your spine. As your belly grows your spine changes too; your low back arches more, your hips move forward and your body compensates to balance you by moving your head and neck forward. These changes mean that there is a lot more pressure on your low back, pelvis, upper back and neck.
As a chiropractor I take care of many pregnant women. Regular chiropractic care can provide a more comfortable pregnancy and delivery for both mother and baby. It stimulates the nervous system to enable proper functioning of your reproductive organs, thus supporting the needs of your baby throughout pregnancy and during delivery.
Most people are surprised to learn that babies, some only a few days old, have their spines checked in a chiropractic office. Once the facts are explained though, most parents see that having their child’s spine checked can be an important part of their healthcare.
The birth process is a very stressful time for a newborn’s spine; let alone a traumatic birth, forceps delivery, or vacuum extraction.
Chiropractors know that this stress can easily cause vertebral subluxations or nerve interference.
This nerve interference can cause many health problems. A study published in the German medical journal “Manual Medicine” involved a group of 1258 babies who had their spines examined by two medical doctors within 5 days of birth. Of this group 211 suffered from vomiting, hyperactivity or sleeplessness. Manual examination of the babies revealed spinal abnormalities in 95% of the group. The authors recommend spinal adjustments and note that they “…frequently resulted in immediate quieting, cessation of crying, muscular relaxation and sleepiness”.
The authors noted that vertebral subluxation in the upper neck area caused “many clinical features from central motor impairment and development (sleeplessness, incoordination, seizures) through to impairments of vegetative regulatory systems (vomiting, digestive problems, elimination problems), to lowered resistance to infections, especially to ear, nose and throat infections.”
When should children see a Chiropractor?
In the first year of a child’s life a child’s spine grows by up to 50%. It is also this time that a child’s spine starts to develop the essential secondary curves in their neck and low back. This period of great growth and development may also be a period of considerable spinal trauma. Infants, in learning to crawl, stand and walk are constantly falling and jarring their spines. Since the first year of life is so important for spinal development and the potential for trauma is high, chiropractic spinal checkups are particularly important at this time.
As a chiropractor I see that spinal problems can occur from trips, falls, carrying heavy school bags and the hundreds of other things that kids do. I see that vertebral subluxations occur in most children and can go unnoticed simply because the child has not complained of symptoms. Just as a dentist would not recommend that you wait until a child complains of toothache before they have a dental checkup, I recommend that parents not wait for back or neck pain before they have their child’s spine checked.