Special Reports

Chiropractic care for babies

Saturday, February 11, 2012

More and more parents are taking their babies, even newborns, to chiropractors for regular adjustments! In fact the office we went to has seen a 10-12% increase! We were curious as to how this works and why babies would even need this type of treatment.

8-month-old Daniel is a very happy and healthy baby. His mom, Lisa, attributes much of that to his regular chiropractor appointments.

Lisa Borst started bringing Daniel to Portolese Family Chiropractic in Lansdale because he was colicky.

"After even the first adjustment he started, the colic was less. Not drastically less at first but with each adjustment he was sleeping better at night," she explained.

Dr. Tammy Portolese says there are several ailments that chiropractors can help ease in babies.

"The most common ailments that our parents bring in for their babies is colic, nursing issues and difficulty sleeping and common head colds," she said.

We attended one of Daniel's adjustments to see how it's done. While some of procedure may make you wince to view, there are no quick movements or cracking and popping, like you may see in adult patients.

"It's the pressure of about a fingertip pressure as if you would check the pressure of a tomato for ripeness," she explained.

Dr. Portolese concentrates that pressure on certain areas much like a massage therapist might do. And Daniel seems to love it.

Dr. Portolese says spinal misalignment can happen as early as in the mother's womb and it's important to correct it so the body functions normally.

"When there is a misalignment of the spine the nerves that flow out to all of the organs are compromised," she explained. "So when we do an adjustment we're simply taking pressure, nerve stress, off the spine, so the body can express itself."

She went on to explain, "That's really important as they are growing through crawling, you know their major milestones, standing, walking, slips and falls."

Gina Buentello's 3-year-old daughter, Gabriella, has cerebral palsy. She says chiropractic care has meant a "quality of life" change for Gabby whose whole body was rigid from the disease.

"She was so stiff," she said. "But when she leaves she is so much more relaxed and she has more range of motion and she's able to turn more."

And while these two families are seeing results there are critics concerned with manipulating babies' bodies.

The American Academy of Pediatrics cited a clinical report on the use of alternative medicine:
Few randomized, controlled trials have demonstrated significant clinical benefits of chiropractic practices among pediatric patients; additional studies are needed, and parents need to be cautioned not to rely on chiropractic care as the primary treatment for serious conditions.

Dr. Portolese agrees that working with traditional doctors is key.

"We want to work with the pediatrician as part of their wellness team. We don't claim to cure any disease or illness. We simply want to remove that nerve stress so the child has optimal wellness and well being back in their spine," she said.

For Gabby and Daniel, their parents are thrilled with their results and their children's overall health. In fact, all 8 of Gina's kids get adjustments!

"They love coming here, they benefit from it and they feel better when they leave."

So now the question of cost, every insurance plan is different when it comes to alternative care, so check with your provider. Portolese Family Chiropractic does take insurance and also offers a variety of payment plans depending on your family's treatment needs. The two families we profiled say their co-pays average about $30 a visit.

For more information:
Portolese Family Chiropractic
International Chiropractic Pediatric Association
American Academy of Pediatrics, Study On Use Of Complementary & Alternative Medicine
http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/pediatrics;122/6/1374.pdf

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