Chiropractic Care: Supporting Developmental Milestones in Children and Babies
Chiropractic care is often associated with back pain relief for adults, but research suggests its benefits may extend to the youngest among us. Dr. Heidi Haavik, a chiropractor and researcher, has explored the impact of chiropractic care for children and infants, particularly regarding developmental milestones. In this blog, we delve into how chiropractic adjustments might play a role in helping children and babies reach their developmental potential.
Understanding the Link: Chiropractic Care and Development
The nervous system is the master controller of our body. It controls our movements, thoughts, and responses to the environment around us. Dr. Haavik's research suggests that chiropractic adjustments may influence the way the brain communicates with the body. For children and babies, whose nervous systems are in a state of rapid development, ensuring this communication is unimpeded is crucial
for reaching developmental milestones.
Developmental Milestones: The Foundations of Growth
Developmental milestones, as outlined by the CDC, include a variety of physical, social, emotional, and cognitive markers. They serve as checkpoints in a child's growth to ensure they are developing as expected. For example, by one year, most children start to use simple gestures like shaking their head “no” or waving “bye-bye” and may start to say words like "mama" or "dada".
Chiropractic Adjustments for Infants and Children
Chiropractic care for babies and children isn't about treating conditions but rather about aiding the body's self-healing abilities. Gentle adjustments may help alleviate potential sources of interference in the nervous system, which can occur during normal daily activities and developmental milestones.
Here are some potential benefits of chiropractic care for infants and children based on Dr. Haavik's research:
Improved Sleep: Proper alignment and decreased nervous interference can potentially lead to better sleep patterns.
Enhanced Movement: As babies grow, chiropractic care might assist in the achievement of movement milestones such as rolling over, crawling, and walking.
Digestive Health: Gentle adjustments could help manage discomfort associated with digestion, leading to improved feeding habits and growth.
Cognitive Development: A well-functioning nervous system supports overall brain function, which is vital for learning and development.
Safety and Special Considerations
When it comes to chiropractic care for the youngest patients, safety is paramount. Paediatric chiropractic adjustments are significantly gentler than those performed on adults. Practitioners who specialize in paediatric care have additional training to ensure they can provide safe, effective care tailored to the needs of infants and children.
Collaborative Care Approach
While chiropractic care might complement your child's journey to reaching and mastering developmental milestones, it's essential to maintain a collaborative approach. This means:
Working with Health Care Professional: Regular check-ups with a Health Professional are crucial.
Monitoring Development: Keep track of your child’s developmental milestones and communicate any concerns with both your GP and chiropractor.
Whole-Picture Health: Consider chiropractic care as part of a broader health strategy that includes nutrition, physical activity, and cognitive stimulation.
The role of chiropractic in children's developmental health is an area ripe for continued research. Dr. Heidi Haavik's work opens the door to understanding how chiropractic care can support the developing nervous system. While not a panacea, it can be a valuable component of a holistic approach to a child's health.
Parents interested in exploring chiropractic care for their children should seek out qualified practitioners with paediatric experience. Dr Mark and Julie both have post graduate qualifications in Chiropractic Paediatrics and Julie is a Paediatric Chiropractor (as awarded by the Australian Institute of Chiropractic Education in 2022)/
Click the button to watch an interesting, short video about what a chiropractor can do for your baby.
During the months of December and January Dr Julie and Dr Mark are offering complimentary Spinal Health checks for children.
Call us on 9428 4033 to make a booking and please mention it’s for a Children’s Spinal Health Check at the time of booking.
Dr Mark has a special interest in helping recreational athletes of all ages perform better and prevent injury. Correct breathing and postural alignment are critical for top performance and injury prevention and is an integral part of “The Over 40 Athlete System” that Mark has developed.
Dr Julie has a special interest in helping mothers and “mothers to be”. Her Post Graduate qualifications in Paediatric Chiropractic and as an ex-midwife give her a unique ability to help pregnant women, new mums and their young children.
Yours in Health,
Dr's Mark & Julie