.At age 0-2, the brain development of an infant towards a toddler undergoes a humongous change. Since the basic structure of the nervous system is already developed during pregnancy, it is only going to expand in volume and synapses to accommodate the flooding of information.
Research shows the volume of nerves grow just over double in the first year(1). It also shows there are massive growth in different parts of an infant cerebral cortex and cerebellum.(1)
During this period, babies are receiving a lot of information from sensory organs, such as eyes, nose and ears, learning and feeling their surroundings. But how?
They see, move, touch, listen and smell! In the study of anatomy, we found there are a few locations in our body which are rich with sensory nerve endings. In general their role is to help us feel, such as light touch and temperature. You might be able to guess one of the most sensitive part of your body is your finger tips, but interestingly our lips and tongue consist of numerous amount of nerve endings as well!(2). It help us distinguish small and important details E.g. taste and fine touch.
Therefore, we can infer the reason why babies like to put objects into their mouth, is because they are exploring and learning the world, utilising their most sensitive part of their body to gather more information and develop the nervous system. This stimulation also helps with integration of primitive reflexes.
A healthy nervous system is vital for brain development, especially for the infant. Little Sprouts Chiropractic provides a comprehensive chiropractic health check for you and your baby. Give us a call and see if we can help you.
1. Knickmeyer RC, Gouttard S, Kang C, Evans D, Wilber K, Smith JK, et al. A structural MRI study of human brain development from birth to 2 years. Journal of Neuroscience. 2008;28(47):12176-82.
2. Guinard J-X, Mazzucchelli R. The sensory perception of texture and mouthfeel. Trends in Food Science & Technology. 1996;7(7):213-9.
Given all the news in the media and a recent survey in regards to the future of chiropractic care with children being conducted. Have you ever thought about chiropractic care and infants? What are the experiences from the parents? Have benefits been noted? This is an article that may provide some insight.
“Infants are common users of chiropractic care” (1-3)
How are we to know if infants respond to chiropractic care? As it is difficult to ask the infant. The answer is with their loving mothers. Evidence suggests that mothers are reliable reporters of their infant’s behaviour, so it is them that are in the best position to provide insight into their child’s clinical situation. (4-6)
In a recent literature article, mothers were given an infant questionnaire, that has been tested for reliability and validity. It collected information about the infant and maternal impressions across several domains of their infant’s behaviour, including sleep, feeding, crying, range of motion of the neck and a few other factors. Difficulty in these areas represents threat to the health of the infant and public health because they are considered risk factors for early cessation of breast feeding, impaired infant-paternal bonding, parental abuse in the short term, behavioural issues, developmental delays and continued sleep difficulties in the long term. (7-14)
Although it is one of the first studies of its kind, being preliminary, subjective to the mother, and more studies need to be done. The infant’s care was reported by mothers who completed follow-up as effective, safe and cost-effective. (15)
“With infants being in their most vulnerable and developmental phases of their life, it is important to make sure their bodies are functioning at their optimum”
1)Hestbaek L, Jørgensen A, Hartvigsen J. A description of children and adolescents in Danish chiropractic practice: results from a nationwide survey. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2009;32(8):607-615.
(2) MillerJ.Demographicsurveyofpediatricpatientspresentingto a chiropractic teaching clinic. Chiropr Osteopat. 2010;18:33.
(3) Allen-Unhammer A, Willson FJH, Hestbaek L. Children and adolescents presenting to chiropractors in Norway: National Health Insurance data and a detailed survey. Chiropr Man Therap. 2016;24:29-38.
(4) Barr RG, Kramer MS, Boisjoly C, McVey-White L, Pless IB. Parental diary of infant cry and fuss behaviour. Arch Dis Child. 1988;63(4):380-387
(5) St. James-Roberts I, Hurry J, Bowyer J. Objective confirmation of crying durations in infants referred for excessive crying. Arch Dis Child. 1993;68(1):82-84.
(6) von Kries R, Kalies H, Papousek M. Excessive crying beyond 3 months may herald other features of multiple regulatory problems. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006;160(5):508-511.
(7) Miller AS, Huizinga B. PinksterM, Telford ACJ, ten Heggeler JM, Miller JE. Development and testing of a multidimensional parent reported outcome measure for common presenting complaints of infancy: the UK infant questionnaire. J Clin Chiropr Pediatr. 2016;15(3):1292-1300.
(8) Guyer J, Millward LJ, Berger I. Mothers’ breastfeeding experiences and implications for professionals. Br J Midwifery. 2012;20(10):724-733.
(9) Oldbury S, Adams K. The impact of infant crying on the parent-infant relationship. Community Pract. 2015;88(3): 29-34.
(10) Zeifman DM, St. James-Roberts I. Parenting the crying infant. Curr Opin Psychol. 2017;15:149-154.
(11) Johnson K. Reduced tummy time can slow motor development. Med Post. 2003;39(38):51.
(12) Schertz M, Zuk L, Zin S, Nadam L, Schwartz D, Bienkowski RS. Motor and cognitive development at one- year follow-up in infants with torticollis. Early Hum Dev. 2008;84(1):9-14.
(13) Smarius LJ, Strieder TG, Loomans EM, et al. Excessive infant crying doubles the risk of mood and behavioral problems at age 5: evidence for mediation by maternal characteristics. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2017;26(3):293-302.
(14) Lam P, Hiscock H, Wake M. Outcomes of infant sleep problems: a longitudinal study of sleep, behavior and maternal well-being. Pediatrics. 2003;111(3):e203-e207.
(15)Miller, J.E., Hanson, H.A., Hiew, M., Kwong, D.S.L.T., Mok, Z. and Tee, Y.H., 2019. Maternal Report of Outcomes of Chiropractic Care for Infants. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics.
Wound up, Easily Irritated, Hypersensitive - Ever wanted to know what these things can have in common?
To understand the significance of a retained Moro reflex, it is important to know what it is and what it is supposed to do. Just like other primitive reflexes, the Moro is present at birth and should integrate (superseded by higher functions of the brain) between 2-4 months of age. It is there to stimulate arousal, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems (fight or flight), and for the summoning of assistance (eg. calling for mummy in the infant age) (2).
When the Moro is retained past 6 months of age, it is associated with a hypersensitivity to sensory input, due to this reflex responding before our higher control centres of the brain has a chance to respond. These children (or adults) become overloaded very quickly. It can be to all things around them, or more specific things, such as light or sound.
In the long run, it can have big impacts on how well we are able to regulate our emotional responses due to a lowered threshold for arousal (sudden sounds, light, movement) (2).
Other common symptoms of a retained Moro reflex include (but not limited to); hyperactivity, difficulty with new stimulating experiences, impulsive behaviour, anxiety (especially anticipation anxiety) (2).
We see the Moro reflex, along with many other primitive reflexes, retained in a higher concentration with children diagnosed with ADHD and other learning disorders. These children classically have trouble expressing themselves appropriately. The primitive reflexes are hierarchical, and as a result, they (should) integrate in order. Moro is one of the first reflexes to integrate, and therefore has a great propensity to hinder a child’s progression through later reflexes. This is where we see the parallel presentation with learning disorders (1-4).
So, if you suspect that you or your child may have a retained Moro reflex, book in to be assessed by one of our chiropractors to see how we can help you.
Are you currently suffering from neck pain? Keep reading!
The technology boom has brought us so much convenience without doubt. Yet, we observe neck pain becoming the 4th leading cause of years lost to disability (YLD) in 2010, ranking just behind back pain, depression and arthralgia! (1) It is vital to know the reason why neck pain has become an uninvited guest to you!
When neck pain remains untreated in the early stage, it can become a chronic health problem and more difficult to manage. It can also lead to extensive muscle guarding, affecting your normal spinal curvature, giving you headaches and accelerating your spinal degeneration progress!
Chiropractic interventions are reviewed to be efficient and effective to help manage neck pain and restore range of motion (2). Most importantly, we help people manage their neck pain, helping them become more engaged and regain their zest back for activities!
If you want to help get rid of your stubborn neck pain, you should stop the following mistake......
“Stop looking down to your screens and stop looking into your laptop screen so close that you need to flex your neck to read”
Extra Kilograms of weight are added to your neck to support your posture!(3) You might start to develop a forward head carriage too!
I believe everyone deserves their best health and living without the concern of pain. Get Back to doing what you love!
Your Dr at Little Sprouts Chiropractic can run a comprehensive spinal check to help you identify where your problem(s) are and help manage your condition! Give us a call for more information!
1. Murray CJ, Atkinson C, Bhalla K, Birbeck G, Burstein R, Chou D, et al. The state of US health, 1990-2010: burden of diseases, injuries, and risk factors. Jama. 2013;310(6):591-608.
2. Miller J, Gross A, D'Sylva J, Burnie SJ, Goldsmith CH, Graham N, et al. Manual therapy and exercise for neck pain: A systematic review. Manual Therapy. 2010;15(4):334-54.
3. Neupane S, Ali U, Mathew A. Text Neck Syndrome-Systematic Review. Imperial J Interdiscipl Res. 2017;3(7):141-8.
Did you know that when we are in the womb and shortly after we are born, we have a range of primitive reflexes that help us grow? Before our higher brain has developed the ability to make decisions, these reflexes help our body move and respond to different stimuli.
The Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (ATNR) should be fully present at birth and assists in the baby’s active participation in the birthing process. When a newborn’s head is turned to one side, the arm and leg on that side straighten while the opposite arm and leg bend. The ATNR reflex is important in babies for establishing the connection between touch and vision which will have a huge role in our distance perception and hand eye coordination as we grow.
In early months, ATNR locks vision on to anything which catches the attention. If inappropriately retained, the child (or adult) is easily distracted by anything that attracts the attention. Results of a recent study show that ADHD symptoms are closely linked to persisting ATNR, which indicates that ADHD symptoms may present a compensation of unfinished developmental stages (1).
A persisting ATNR in people with ADHD may occur as a response to various stimuli. This is due to a conflict between higher (more developed) and primitive level (less developed) areas of brain function and decision making (2).
If the ATNR is retained, children may find it difficult to look up at a blackboard and write, maintain normal walking patterns, balance, co-ordination in sport and in adults, there can be chronic shoulder or neck problems.
Here are some easy ways to test for an ATNR at home:
A. Ask your child to get on all fours with the arms straight, fingers pointing forward and the head in neutral. With their weight over their hands, rotate the child’s head left or right. If their elbow bends on the opposite side of head rotation (as would in the infant) OR the weight shifts posteriorly (i.e. off the hands) then the reflex is probably present.
B. Alternatively, have the child standing with arms straight out in front of them at shoulder height. Ask the child to turn their head fully to the left or fully to the right while maintaining the position of the arms out front. If the torso and arms turn in the direction of the head or if the arms drop this reflex is likely present.
If you suspect that yourself or your child has a retained ATNR, call our practice now for further assessment.
Does your child suffer from pain in any spinal region? Perhaps from their busy day to day activities? From the many sporting activities that they may be involved in? These things may be putting tension on the spine, which may present as spinal pain, which may include pain in the neck, between the shoulder blades or lower back. This is an article that could make the world of difference to them.
“Spinal pain, which includes the neck and back, is a common health problem occurring in all age groups” (1,2)
There are a lot of mechanical and ergonomic stress placed on the spine from our modern lifestyle, from iPads and laptops to sports and exercise. When left to linger on without the proper care, wear and tear occurs in the spine from these stressors. On average, patients suffering from spine pain will incur 73% higher health care costs, with quite a bit of the costs going towards improper management, such as emergency services. (3,4)
But the good news is, with correct management, spinal pain and issues of the spine can be minimised. In a recent literature article, the study provides evidence that a course of chiropractic care, is a viable conservative pain management treatment option for young people. (1)
“With the spine being one of the main pillars of our body, especially for the growing child, it is important to make sure that it is functioning at its optimum.”
(1)Manansala, C., Passmore, S., Pohlman, K., Toth, A. and Olin, G., 2019. Change in young people's spine pain following chiropractic care at a publicly funded healthcare facility in Canada. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.
(2) Hartvigsen, J., Hancock, M.J., Kongsted, A., Louw, Q., Ferreira, M.L., Genevay, S., Hoy, D., Karppinen, J., Pransky, G., Sieper, J. and Smeets, R.J., 2018. What low back pain is and why we need to pay attention. The Lancet, 391(10137), pp.2356-2367.
(3) Martin, B.I., Deyo, R.A., Mirza, S.K., Turner, J.A., Comstock, B.A., Hollingworth, W. and Sullivan, S.D., 2008. Expenditures and health status among adults with back and neck problems. Jama, 299(6), pp.656-664.
(4) Deyo, R.A., Mirza, S.K., Turner, J.A. and Martin, B.I., 2009. Overtreating chronic back pain: time to back off?. J Am Board Fam Med, 22(1), pp.62-68.
Reflexes are defined as involuntary and arguably instantaneous movements in response to specific stimuli. Eg. take the patellae reflex, when the Dr taps your knee ligament your quad contracts automatically, and your knee shoots out - this is not under voluntary control.
Some of these reflexes are seen in particular age groups and disappear at identified times during one’s lifetime. These reflexes which are normally present in early life and disappear as one grows are the primitive reflexes.
Here at Little Sprouts we have a particular interest in the implication of their
impact on learning and development.
According to authorities in pediatric neurology, the reflexes are fashioned as part of the developmental process to develop specific brain circuits for important purposes. The development of what we have as the day-to-day movement activity is driven by the primitive reflexes (1). As a matter of principle, primitive reflexes are thought to have a developmental role since they are supposed to help the young one to perform activities such as movement against gravity as they are incorporated within the first few months of life. That is especially true for walking and crawling.
Moreover, children who have retained primitive reflexes tend to exhibit some elements of social and even educational dysfunction. Their psychological development is modestly incapacitated hence they may show altered psycho-motor development (1) which is essentially the thought origin of movement from the brain controlling the actual moment.
Another study found that Inhibition of primitive reflexes, especially those involving the hands and the mouth has a significant role in the normal development of motor and expressional movements (2).
Stay tuned next week for how some of these primitive reflexes can be related to disorders of other disorders (eg ADHD) and we will also post some videos in the coming weeks about how to test for primitive reflexes.
If you would like your or your children's primitive reflexes assessed call our practice now.
BONUS for reading this blog - Because we love getting out into our community if you would like one of our Drs to come and talk to a group of Teachers or Parents about how to test and identify primitive reflexes please contact our practice. Normally $550 per talk - FREE if you mention this blog. We love getting out into our community!! (note - based on availability)
It’s Spinal Health Week, and here at Little Sprouts Chiropractic we are passionate about the health of our practice members big and SMALL. Why kids, you may ask? Because early intervention allow for a greater chance of a positive outcome, just like the research tells us.
It has long been said that early intervention, or even prevention, will provide the best chance for an optimal outcome. Infact, changes in our lifestyles early in life can have profound effects on our health long term. Changes as simple as increasing our daily activity and dietary modification (1,2).
In previous posts we have talked about the rates of back pain, and recurrence of back pain within the adult population, but what about the kids? The statistics are fairly similar; up to 50% of kids will have an episode of back pain or other musculoskeletal problem per year. It has also been suggested that those who experience back pain as an adolescent have an increased chance of long term issues as an adult (1,2).
So if you are interested in finding out more, or having one of our awesome chiropractors check you and your family out, then give us a call, CLICK HERE.
Posture is the position in which we hold our bodies when we are standing, sitting
or lying down. Good posture helps us stand, walk, sit and lie in positions that
places the least strain in associated muscles and ligaments when we are moving
and doing different weight-bearing activities.
Poor posture can lead to excessive strain on our postural muscles which can
contribute to back pain, spinal dysfunction, joint degeneration and postural pain
syndromes. Common contributing factors to poor posture include poor work
environment setup and unhealthy sitting or standing habits.
Australian adults on average spend an estimated five hours per day sitting, with
a quarter of the population sitting for more than eight hours per day (1).
Here are some easy ways to ensure proper sitting posture:
1. Keep your feet flat on the floor or on a foot rest.
2. Knees should be at or below the level of the hips.
3. Utilise back support devices to encourage the natural lumbar spinal curve.
4. Avoid sitting cross-legged as this puts excess strain into your sacroiliac joint.
5. Forearms should be parallel to the ground.
6. Eyes should be in line with the top third of your computer screen.
The Australian Chiropractors Association (ACA) has designed the Straight Up app
to help remind you to sit right, stretch and even staying hydrated- all important
factors of our spinal posture and health. Download the FREE app to help your
Department of Health | Research and Statistics. (2019). Retrieved from
Have you been following along in the media? > There has been a lot of speculation after a video was released of a chiropractor adjusting a baby. Let us look at some facts from a study released this year.
“In Australia 30,000 children (0-18 years old) are seen every week” (1).
There is little evidence of harm associated with paediatric spinal manipulation therapy, and in Australia, chiropractors provide care to more than 30,000 children (0-18 years old) every week. A statement from Australian Chiropractic Association states that “we firmly believe that chiropractors should remain an important part of a child’s healthcare team”.
In the study just released a Comprehensive search of the literature was performed by three independent librarians at three different educational institutions. The databases were searched between 2001 through March 31, 2018.
No lasting or significant adverse events were reported for children receiving any form of Manual Therapy. Twenty-four studies included information on adverse events that were all transient and mild to moderate in nature (2).
We want to reassure you that at Little Sprouts we do care for babies and children and we are always carefully modifying our techniques when treating children to take into account the differences in patient size, structural development and flexibility of the joints.
Modifications for babies include using gentler, lighter biomechanical forces proportioned to the size and structural development of the child.
At Little Sprouts We look forward to meeting you and your family!