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”
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(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.