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Why Won’t My Baby Stop Crying?

crying babyYour baby has all the signs: loud piercing cry, flexed legs, tensed abdominal muscles, and clenched fists. The crying is excessive and uncontrollable.

Your stress is high and you are frustrated because nothing you try seems to soothe or calm them down. You’ve fed them, changed them, sang to them, rocked them, and you’re not sure what to do next. It’s interfering with your mother-baby (or father-baby) bonding. You don’t want to leave the house. You’re starting to feel like you’re going crazy.

Why won’t my baby stop crying?

Although there are many different factors that play a role in the development of a colicky baby, in all cases Nervous System stress is present.

The birth process is a stressful one no matter how natural it is. The introduction of any intervention (bed rest, induction, augmentation, pitocin, antibiotics, epidurals, continuous fetal monitoring, inability to move around, manual traction, vacuum, forceps, C-section, intensive care, etc.) has a direct effect on a baby’s spine and the system that it protects: the Nervous System.

Any pressure on the Nervous System, especially in the upper cervical spine (top of the neck) can be detrimental to a baby’s health, physiology, growth and development. That is because the Nervous System is the master controller – it absolutely controls and coordinates everything the body perceives and does.

In numerous research studies, chiropractic care has shown excellent results for helping babies with colic. One study reported 94% of colicky babies demonstrating improvement with chiropractic care. In another study, the improvement in crying behavior and reduced hours spent crying was significant when compared to groups where parents just waited it out (a 67% reduction in crying time!!).

Not to mention the endless case reports of happy parents all over the world the first time after they watch their baby go home and sleep for several hours straight after an adjustment. It happens quite often.

To be clear, there is no “colic” adjustment. No adjustment to a crying baby is by any means a “treatment” for their behavior. A chiropractic assessment on any human (a few days old or many years old) determines whether any obstruction to the nervous system is present. If there is, gentle corrections are made to the spine. This removes obstruction to the nervous system, allowing it to function optimally.

When consulting with parents, we find out as much as we can about the mother’s pregnancy and birth experience, and the health and behavior of the infant thus far. The examination involves observing the baby for asymmetries in their structure and function, assessing the overall tone of the body, and gently assessing the position and motion of their joints. Neurological tests and findings will indicate if there is any obstruction present and how severe it is.

If you, a friend, or family member is struggling with a baby who won’t stop crying we would be happy to see if we can help.

 

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Is Your Child Living to Their Potential?

“One day I felt fine, and then the next day I was just miserable…”child

Have you heard someone say this? Probably enough that it’s hard to recognize the absurdity of that statement.  Except for severe trauma like car accidents, major falls, poisoning, etc., people do not suddenly become ill. Disease is not happen spontaneously.

Small repetitive traumas, long-term abuse and negligence, though unnoticeable at first, takes a toll on the body over a period of time. When the first secondary issues (symptoms) appear, the body has already been malfunctioning for some period of time – months to even years.

Studies have shown that a significant percentage of children undergo trauma during the birthing process. Chiropractors focusing on NeuroStructural Correction are trained to located structural abnormalities in the spine that may be impairing nervous system function.

No only will this spinal and neurological imbalance become part of a child’s structure as they develop, but many of them will go 30 or 40 years – and possible the rest of their lives – with the effects of that initial damage to the spine and nerve system affecting both their health and quality of life.

Any obstruction to the body’s master control system results in a lessening in every aspect of that child’s function. An impaired nerve system could reduce immune function, concentration, recovery from illness and injury; it could lessen athletic performance and digestive function. It could even alter behavior.

While it is true that people often see a chiropractor to help them recover from physical health problems, that is not the purpose of chiropractic care. Chiropractic adjustments are aimed at correcting structural abnormalities that compromise neurological integrity. This is vital for everyone to reach their full health potential.

Some may be concerned about the forcefulness of an adjustment for a growing child. That would be a legitimate concern if all people received the same adjustment. Thankfully, they do not. Age and size are taken into consideration; providing a spinal correction for a baby uses no more pressure than one uses to check the ripeness of a tomato.

If we understand that health means 100% function, not merely being symptom-fee, then the function of the nerve and spinal system needs to be addressed.

Who has more potential to benefit from chiropractic care than our kids?

 

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Do You Work With Kids?

People are often surprised to find out that we work with so many kids in the office. Most people are under the impression that children are way too young to have a structural problem in the spine.  It is true that some kids we check in the office have no structural problems at all.

However, statistics from the Center for Disease Control show some alarming numbers. Each year, over 1 million children between the ages of 0-5 will be hospitalized due to a fall. Another 700,000 will be hospitalized from an accidental trauma. That’s not even including the number of kids who will suffer a trauma to the spine, but are never taken to the ER!

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Most people will never even know or think about taking their kids to a chiropractor following a fall or trauma. The great news is, that kids are extraordinarily resilient to injury. They bounce back up, and their ability to heal is just much better than that of an average adult. However, structural problems in the spine don’t necessarily cause neck pain and back pain, especially in children. What they can do is create other secondary conditions. Whenever there is obstruction on the nerves from a structural misalignment of the spine, many kids can have conditions such as:

  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Immune problems
  • Ear infections
  • ADHD
  • Torticollis

These are just a few of the common conditions that parents bring their children to chiropractors for. While it’s not a chiropractor’s job to treat these symptoms, they are signs that the nerve supply from a child’s spine is compromised. For many kids, this can be tied to a difficult or traumatic birth process.

 

infant birth traumaThe best part of all is how much kids love getting gentle adjustments. It’s often times a parent’s worst nightmare to take their kids to a doctor. The screaming and tantrums on display at a pediatrician or a dentist can unnerve even the strongest parent. A child and infant adjustment is very different than an adult’s, and you’ll usually see kids that are excited to be checked!  The amount of pressure used to adjust an infant no more than you would use to check the ripeness of a tomato.

But the most important reason that kids should be checked early is just because it makes sense. When most adults develop acute or chronic secondary conditions, x-rays usually show that a problem has been growing in the spine for 15+ years. Why let kids develop the same problems that us adults have had?

Just like we take our kids for a dental check-up to ensure that they are free of cavities, our kids deserve a structural check-up to prevent the damage of a structural shift.

If It’s Happening in Pro Sports, It’s Happening in Your Child’s School, Too.

Fall is here and the fall sports season is well underway around the Des Moines metro.  Unfortunately, along the spectrum from young to professional atheletes, comes the risk of concussion.  Each year, nearly 2 million traumatic brain injuries occur, 75% of which are concussions.  Approximately 300,000 of those are sports related, in large part, due to football.

But, let’s not blame football for all of them.  A spike to the head in volleyball, or perhaps a fall from the monkey bars, injuring the neck and/or head can certainly be responsible for a concussion

Now, concussions in professional sports are always in the news.  So, it’s safe to say that if it’s happening in professional sports, it’s happening in  your child’s school, too.  The good thing about being a pro-athlete, such as an NFL player, is the access to some of the greatest concussion care available.  The NFL and other leagues are highly invested in the safety of their players because:

  1. They want to avoid lawsuits down the road, and
  2. They want to make sure the athletes have the best care for a safe and quick return to play.

Even in the NFL, though, there is no helmet standard.  Regardless, NO helmet is capable of preventing the brain from shifting around within the skull during a collision.  It is the movement that can cause damage to the brain and central nervous system, leading to concussion.

Your child may not have immediate access to such great care.  If you have a child is sports, or who is injured on the playground, you should be aware of these symptoms associated with concussion:

  • Brief loss ofkids-56952_1280 consciousness
  • Memory problems and confusion
  • Lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Double or blurred vision
  • Headaches (with or without vomiting)
  • Light and noise sensitivity
  • Problems with balance
  • Slow reaction time
  • Fatigue

If you know your child took some hard hits during the game, or begins to show any of the above signs as the season wears on, it would be prudent to have him or her evaluated by a qualified professional as soon as possible.

What may surprise you is that head injuries and structural abnormalities of the neck are closely linked.  The potential damage to the brain is often the sole focus, and the potential injury to the cervical spine (neck) is often overlooked.  Stay tuned for a future blog post that illustrates how concussions can lead to injury and structural issues in the cervical spine.

 

 

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Damaged Nerves and Backpacks

Can you believe it? School is right around the corner.  Each year millions of children walk to, from, and around school carrying backpacks filled with books and other materials.

Parents, are you aware that your child’s heavy backpack could be damaging their nerves, muscles, and skeleton?

The direct pressure of a heavy backpack alone, can lead to nerve irritation and impingement. It may also cause muscular and ligament injury, and shifts in skeletal structure.

Using a backpack allows a child to carry a number of schoolbooks and items in a practical way, distributing the heavy load across the back and shoulders.  The risk over time is overload, which can lead to structural shifts of the spine that can ultimately cause secondary problems.  Common secondary conditions that may develop are: postural distortions, muscle spasm, headaches, low back pain, neck and arm pain, and shoulder pain.

You can use the following recommendations to reduce the chance of your child suffering from these secondary problems:

  • Look for a bag with two padded (2-inch wide) adjustable shoulder straps that also has a padded back
  • There should be a hip strap or waist belt to redistribute the weight of the bag from the shoulders and back to the pelvis
  • Wheels are a handy accessory, allowing a backpack to be pulled instead of carried
  • Always use both shoulder straps and wear the backpack on the back rather than over one shoulder
  • Pack the heaviest objects in the bag first, so they are carried lower and closest to the bodybackpack
  • Adjust the straps to fit the backpack snug to the child’s body, holding the bottom of the backpack two inches above the waist and keeping the top just below the base of the skull; do not carry the bag low near the buttocks
  • Limit the weight of the backpack to between 10-15% of your child’s body weight
  • Coach your child to carry only the items needed in their bag, leaving unnecessary items at home or making a few trips to their locker during the day

While following the above recommendations may lead to a decreased risk of secondary issues, the use of a backpack, even properly, could still cause structural abnormalities in your child’s spine. It remains critically important to have your child’s spine examined for structural shifts.  Only a doctor who focuses on Neuro-Structural Correction can assess and correct these shifts, allowing the body to function optimally.

 

Did you like this article?  Feel free to share it with the people you care about, and sign up to receive Updates from Keystone Chiropractic.  It may just be the next step in regaining your health.