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Looking for a Baby Chiropractor in Adelaide?

Looking for a Baby Chiropractor in Adelaide?

Chiropractor for Adelaide Babies

Choosing the right baby Chiropractor in Adelaide is an important step for any parent. We understand this well. That is why we are here to help in any way we can, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

My name is Richard Mathers. I am a chiropractor at Sure Start Chiropractic Adelaide and have been in full-time practice since 1999.

In addition to my standard chiropractic degree, I hold a Master of Science degree focussing on chiropractic paediatrics.

Babies and children make up a large proportion of my weekly caseload.

Our aim at Sure Start Chiropractic Adelaide is to help more babies:

  • Feel great
  • Comfortably and effectively do all the things babies should be able to do
  • Grow up with strong, balanced, confident bodies.

Some Key Things to Know

Not all babies are born with comfortable and full moving necks, shoulders, and hips. Some babies sustain muscle or joint strains or injuries early in life.

It is tempting to think that all babies are born with perfectly functioning muscles and joints. And why not? They are brand new and look so perfect.

I have been an Adelaide Chiropractor for a long time and have checked hundreds of infants. It is not uncommon for me to see necks and shoulders that have lost over 50% of their motion in a particular direction. Some of these babies are clearly uncomfortable in certain positions.

How can spine joint/muscle injuries occur in Adelaide babies?

Two likely ways include:

  1. Awkward infant positioning in late pregnancy
  2. Delivery Forces

Awkward Body Position for Extended Periods in Late Pregnancy

When a baby reaches the end of the pregnancy term, their available space to move around and vary their posture can become limited. Ideally, their body remains in a near-neutral position during this phase, where no singular joint is overly stretched or compressed.

However, a baby may settle into a position with a substantial head tilt (or turn) or their arm twisted relative to their body for days or weeks. This process is more likely with large babies or twins because of reduced available space.

In addition, if an infant’s head is engaged down in the birth canal towards late pregnancy, the head can be extended, turned, or tilted relative to the body for extended periods.

Being stuck in that position may create compressional forces or stretching forces in certain tissues in the neck, shoulder, or lower spine.

Delivery Forces

Contraction force from the mother’s uterus and abdomen is required to drive the baby down through the birth canal.

Even in ideal circumstances, there will be some compression loading through the baby’s body during delivery.

Strain on the joints of the spine and shoulders is likely to increase with longer labour times. Additional physical assistance required to deliver the baby (forceps/ventouse) may also increase the likelihood of stress or strain occurring.

Why chiropractic for babies?

Sensitive, guarded, and stiff joint movement may prevent some Adelaide babies from comfortably and effectively:

  • Feeding
  • Sleeping
  • Lying in their car seat
  • Lifting their head when on their tummy
  • Turning their head freely and evenly when sleeping (to avoid head flattening)
  • Bearing weight when crawling and walking

As a result, these are the types of cases that Sure Start Chiropractic for babies can often help with.

Are joint problems in Adelaide babies always obvious?

No. The human body is highly adaptable and can be exceptionally good at avoiding or masking painful areas.

If tissues are injured (baby or adult), the local area may intentionally stiffen (to protect). At the same time, nearby joints and muscles attempt to compensate and do the work of the injured part.

Our body movement often comes from multiple parts. For example, a full turn of a human head comes from approximately 10 vertebrae turning together. So even if one injured joint lost 50% of its motion, the total loss to the baby’s head turn might only be 5%!

Areas of joint inactivity after an injury can remain for months or even years. Not restoring motion can lead to a diminished joint condition and strength.

Part of the job of a baby Chiropractor in Adelaide is to carefully inspect individual joint motion and tissues and work to restore comfortable, confident, and well-distributed motion where it has been lost.

What can parents look for in a baby Chiropractor?

  • Persistent head-turn preference to one side when sleeping. Or sleeping mainly face up
  • Flat spot developing on their head (at the back or off to one side)
  • Uneven head posture when baby lifts head during tummy time
  • One-sided breast-feeding fussiness (especially if milk flow is the same on both sides)
  • Difficulty latching/feeding in the absence of technique problems, lip/tongue tie, or high palate
  • Crying/restlessness primarily when in car seat or capsule, or when getting dressed/changed
  • Discomfort with Tummy Time (in the absence of reflux/excessive wind)
  • Excessive irritability/crying (in the absence of other more obvious causes)

What should Adelaide parents do if they observe these features?

Suspect joint or muscle problems and consider visiting a baby Chiropractor in Adelaide or other musculoskeletal healthcare provider with experience with infants.

What can Adelaide parents do to encourage balanced joint and muscle function in healthy babies?

As a child-focussed Chiropractor in Adelaide, I spend a lot of time giving tailored home care advice to the parents of the babies that I see. It is an essential part of their care, and every case and their needs are different.

Common general advice I give to parents includes:

  • Swap the side of your body that you carry your baby on regularly (3-5 times) throughout the day
  • Vary the style/position of the carry (e.g. sometimes on their side, on their front)
  • Be sure to support the head with young babies. Stop if any sign of discomfort

I hope you have found this Chiropractic for babies article helpful. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or email us through our contacts page.