Taking your baby to a chiropractor may seem like a scary proposition. You may worry that your babe is not yet old enough for spinal manipulation or that the chiropractor may handle your infant with too much force. Although these are legitimate concerns, growing medical research suggests that chiropractic care may have multiple health benefits—even for very young babies.

Chiropractic Care for Babies: A Look at the Research

In one case study, a four-day-old baby was unable to feed. Further medical examination showed that the newborn was suffering from various difficulties in the cranial (head), cervical (upper back), and sacral (connects the pelvic bones and muscles) regions of the body. After three sessions of gentle chiropractic treatment, the newborn showed significant improvement over a 14-day period. Although this was a limited uncontrolled study, results indicate that chiropractic care has the capacity to heal multiple ailments in babies as young as four days old. [1]

What Is Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic care is a form of alternative medicine that helps treat various conditions related to the musculoskeletal system, specifically the spine. It is mostly performed as a manual therapy but may also involve the use of specific and specialized instruments. Here are a few conditions that commonly affect infants for which chiropractic care may be especially useful. [2]

Chiropractic care may also benefit infants who experienced difficulty at the time of birth or who underwent a medically-induced birth.

What You Can Expect From Your Baby’s First Chiropractic Visit

Your baby’s spinal column, which is still developing in the first year, plays an integral role in maintaining an upright posture and correct balance. The developing spinal column is also responsible for movement and absorbing shock. If your baby’s spinal column is not aligned properly at birth or in the months following birth, the curves in the spine may not develop in the way they should. This misalignment can cause various health issues later on.[3] 

If you think your baby might be a good candidate for chiropractic care, the first step you’ll want to take is finding a registered practitioner in your area. Be sure the practitioner you choose has favorable reviews and is licensed to work with babies and young children.

Here’s what you can expect from a typical visit to the chiropractor’s office: 

  1. The practitioner will examine your baby, ask for their health history, and get more information on the areas you wish him or her to focus on.
  2. Next, the practitioner will apply very gentle pressure on your baby’s spine. This pressure should cause no pain or discomfort.
  3. In some cases, the chiropractor may use specific instruments on your baby’s spine designed to target special areas in a gentle yet effective way.

In restoring the natural curvature of your baby’s spinal column, chiropractors can ease certain ailments, which may help your baby heal faster.[4] When considering chiropractic care for your child, be sure to do you research, carefully consider the benefits and risks, and choose a trustworthy, well-respected practitioner to attend to your greatest miracle.

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page. Read more about Pregnancy & Babycare here.

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1. Holleman AC, Nee J, Knaap SF. Chiropractic management of breast-feeding difficulties: a case report. J Chiropr Med. 2011;10(3):199–203. doi:10.1016/j.jcm.2011.01.010.

2. French SD, Walker BF, Perle SM. Chiropractic care for children: too much, too little or not enough? Chiropr Osteopat. 2010;18:17. doi:10.1186/1746-1340-18-17.

3. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Spinal manipulation for low-back pain. Updated April 2013. Accessed January 22, 2018. 

4. Hawk C, Schneider M, Ferrance RJ, Hewitt E, Van Loon M, Tanis L. Best practices recommendations for chiropractic care for infants, children, and adolescents: results of a consensus process. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2009;32(8):639-647. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2009.08.018.