Chiropractic and babies.

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Babies can be treated by a chiropractor from birth. The chiropractic treatment techniques for babies and children are very gentle and safe. The chiropractor can examine your child with the help of soft techniques. The mobility or tension that is responsible for the complaints can be treated.


What does an examination look like with the chiropractor?

In a first consultation, the history of the baby, the pregnancy and delivery story are also discussed. The chiropractor uses different methods to investigate where the complaint is coming from, with very gentle and safe techniques.


The examination is a thorough health check-up for:

  • Primitive reflexes

  • Mobility of spine, pelvis, joints 

  • Muscle tension (too high or too low) 

  • Muscle reflexes

  • Milestone developement check-up


As an individual

The cause of the complaints can be very different. However small, every child is an individual who has different backgrounds and expresses himself differently. In many cases, impaired mobility and / or increased tension can be the cause of the complaints.


Developmental milestones.

By the motor development of your child we mean automatic and conscious movements and reflexes. A reflex is a specific stimulus that causes your baby to respond automatically. Think of the sucking reflex or the grasping reflex. You learn automatic movements. Your child has to make an effort, repeat and practice frequently so that it becomes an automatic movement. For example, your child must first crawl and sit up before he can walk. Conscious movements include taking a toy or opening and closing a door. This continues throughout your child's life. In this way he continuously learns new things. Think of cycling, couple diving and football.


For maintenance, we propose a check-up for your baby around these milestones.



2.5-5 months: roll stomach to back

5-7 months: Roll back to stomach

6-7 months: sitting unsupported

8-10 months: good crawling technique on hands and knees (no butt shuffling or commando crawling)

11-13 months: Cruising and walking with complete inhibition of primitive reflexes

18 months: 10-20 words and social interactions with the full activation of postural reflexes.


Birth trauma.

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Complaints in babies as a result of birth trauma can be properly treated by a chiropractor. Unfortunately, the birth process can cause trauma to the mother and baby.


Possible causes of birth trauma

  • Long- or very short delivery

  • Difficult or traumatic delivery

  • Caesarean section, forceps or vacuum delivery

  • Breech presentation / transverse baby

  • Amniotic fluid in the baby's lungs

  • Umbilical cord around neck

  • Induced labour


Did you know that during birth the different bones of the skull slide over each other?

This is done to allow passage through the narrow birth canal. Once "outside," the skull unfolds like the leaves of a flower and everything falls into place. A baby can experience considerable stress during birth, which can lead to birth trauma. During birth, about 30 kilograms of pressure are placed on the baby's head. In addition, the head must rotate about 90 degrees during birth to pass through the birth canal. With an artificial delivery with forceps, vacuum pump or caesarean section, for example, the risk of birth trauma is greater because the head is pulled and turned.​

Consequences of birth trauma can include:

  • preferred position (which can lead to a crooked or flat head, because the skull is still soft)

  • KISS syndrome

  • KIDD syndrome

  • colic / problems with defecation

  • restless babies or babies who cry for more than two hours a day

  • reflux or frequent vomiting

  • have trouble breastfeeding

  • slow development

  • over stretching

  • restless sleep

Research on birth trauma in newborns shows surprising results. Only 10% of newborns have been shown to have a free-moving skull. In the remaining 80% of babies, stress fields can be found in the skull and 10% of newborns have a deformity of the skull. This is often not visible to the naked eye, but can lead to birth trauma.


What is KISS Syndrome?

Kinematic Imbalances due to Suboccipital Strain (KISS)


It is a biomechanics malfunction at the junction of the cervical vertebrae to the skull. The KISS syndrome is said to occur in 10% of all newborn babies: a dysfunction of the high neck joints, which not only causes painful tension, but also disturbances in the development of motor skills.


Symptoms of KISS syndrome

  • oblique tilt/strain of the head, neck and body

  • head pulled back 

  • does not like to lie on the stomach

  • crooked spine (scoliosis)

  • over stretching

  • asymmetrical hip development

  • asymmetrical movement of arms and legs

  • protest when dressing and undressing

  • crooked head with bald spot on one side (due to fixed sleeping position)

  • poor sucking and swallowing reflex

  • poor appetite

  • crying a lot and sleeping badly

  • a generally weak musculature

  • irritable and restless




What is Plagiocephaly (flattening of the head)?

More and more children and newborns with cranium asymmetry are seen in our chiropractic practice.


What is the flattening of the head / plagiocephaly?

Plagiocephaly is an asymmetric deformation of the skull, in which the anterior part of one side of the skull and the posterior part of the other side of the skull are more developed than their counterparts. The chiropractic treatment of a positional plagiocephaly aims to eliminate the lateral strain pattern and all dysfunctions directly and indirectly related to it.

What is the prognosis of children with plagiocephaly?

Miller et al. (See below) investigated whether children with positional plagiocephaly were at greater risk of developing a delay later in school age. As many as 39.7% of the children with persistent positional plagiocephaly received extra help later at school age such as; specific assistance in education, physiotherapy, occupational therapy or speech therapy. More in-depth research shows that, in this group, the boys who had a history of “uterine constraint” were most at risk of developing subsequent school problems.


Panchal et al. Examined children with positional plagiocephaly for mental and psychomotor developmental disorders. Both parameters showed significant differences from the normal population. Psychomotor 20% had a moderate delay and 13% a significant delay. Mentally, 8% showed moderate delay and 9% significant delay. These results were calculated in children with a mean age of 8.4 months without initiation of therapy. Further research is needed to determine the effect of the therapy on both psychomotor and mental developmental disorders.


MILLER RI, CLARREN SK: Long-term developmental outcomes in patients with deformational plagiocephaly. Pediatrics, 2000 Feb;105(2):E26

PANCHAL J, AMIRSHEYBANI H, GURWITCH R, COOK V, FRANCEL P, NEAS B, LEVINE N: Neurodevelopment in children with single-suture craniosynostosis and plagiocephaly without synostosis. Plast. Reconstr. Surg., 2001 Nov;108(6):1492-8; discussion 1499-500.







What is Torticollis?

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Non-acute torticollis often develops shortly after birth. The condition is often discovered before the third month after birth. The muscle that runs from the sternum and collarbone to the ear is shortened in non-acute torticollis. On that side of the neck there is often a thickening, babies will therefore continuously look at the other side. A difficult delivery can be a cause of congenital torticollis. ​ Some babies are born with this condition characterized by shortened sternocleidomastoideus muscle. This shortening causes the child's neck to twist/tilt to one side. When the neck muscles are either stretched or torn during a difficult or complicated delivery, scar tissue can cause the neck muscles to tighten resulting in crooked neck. The good news is torticollis can be reversed if treated at a very young age, before of the baby turns one.

Babies with torticollis will act like most other babies except when it comes to activities that involve turning.

A baby with torticollis might:

  • tilt the head in one direction (this can be hard to notice in very young infants)

  • prefer looking at you over one shoulder instead of turning to follow you with his or her eyes

  • if breastfed, have trouble breastfeeding on one side (or prefers one breast only)

  • work hard to turn toward you and get frustrated when unable turn his or her head completely

Some babies with torticollis develop a flat head (positional plagiocephaly) on one or both sides from lying in one direction all the time. Some might develop a small neck lump or bump, which is similar to a "knot" in a tense muscle. Both of these conditions tend to go away as the torticollis gets better.

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Do you have any questions about if chiropractic is for your baby?

Send us a message.

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