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Dr. Nageena Akhtar at work
Dr Nageena Akhtar Paediatric Chiropractic

What is Paediatric Chiropractic?

  • By Nageena

The relationship between a chiropractor and autism

Chiropractic as an approach to paediatric care has long been providing vital assessment and treatment for many conditions that affect infants especially newborns and is growing in popularity due to the extensive knowledge of paediatric chiropractors and the extremely safe treatment techniques used that can offer help for some problems that commonly occur within our newborns and infants.

The nervous system controls and coordinates all of the systems of the body and hence, spinal dysfunction (also called a subluxation) can have wide ranging effects on the body’s health. Many of the common childhood ailments will respond to this safe, natural form of health care.

We have made many changes to his treatment program. He has been on the Gaps diet for the last 3 years, Fiji water, biomedical intervention, functional medicine including OAT tests, mitochondrial support, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, Homeopathy, Ioncleanse footbaths and using Epsom salts along with his extremely important weekly Chiropractic adjustments and neurostimulation exercises. Dani is 8 years old now and is fully verbal and strongly independent. He has been discharged from Speech and Language therapy 6 Months ago. Our journey still continues.

So why would a baby/ children need chiropractic?

The birthing process is, even during the best of labours, a strenuous and physically demanding task for both mother and baby. The physical forces placed on the baby during delivery are very significant, this can be made worse if complications occur such as a breech delivery, the need for ventouse or forceps, c-sections or simply a prolonged labour.

These forces can lead to understandable strain on muscular and joint tissues of the newborn resulting in musculoskeletal discomfort for the baby or even marked spasm such as is the case in torticollis. This can be observed in the baby if there is positional asymmetry but also a muscle spasm is painful and therefore babies will often show increased levels of crying, disturbed sleep and problems with feeding.

Breastfeeding requires the baby to be able to lie comfortably with the head rotated. Some birth traumas can make this difficult for newborn’s meaning that if uncomfortable when in these positions, they can show difficulty with breastfeeding or favour one side more than the other. Chiropractic assessment for your newborn can help to identify any explanations behind problems with sleeping, crying and feeding but importantly can also help to identify misalignment that may not yet be causing a problem with your child

As in adults the effect of a misalignment may take many years to present as pain or discomfort and therefore proactive and preventative assessment is always the best option. By maintain the musculo-skeletal and hence neurological function of a newborn you are giving them the post possible opportunity for healthy growth and development.

What to expect when starting your child in Paediatric Chiropractic?

The first step involves a detailed medical history and evaluation based on current evidence based practice, to identify strengths and areas of potential improvement. These include primitive reflexes and joint movement examinations. After the initial evaluation, an individually tailored treatment plan is established to achieve the appropriate goals set in collaboration with family members. These will explain in detail the number of treatments and length of program needed for best outcomes.

An ongoing outcome evaluation throughout the program is determined to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.

What are the common medical conditions treated by a Paediatric Chiropractor?

In children, the spinal misalignments that occur at the time of the injury may not necessarily result in immediate pain or symptoms. In addition to physical stress, parents should be aware that emotional and chemical stress affect the child’s nervous system and may warrant a spinal check-up.

Regular chiropractic checkups can identify potential spinal dysfunction resulting from these stresses and chiropractic adjustments may help to enhance future function and well-being. Common conditions that patients have reported benefit from Chiropractic are:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Acid reflux (GERD)
  • Allergies/sinus problems
  • Asthma
  • Bedwetting and/or constipation
  • Colic
  • Digestive problems
  • Growing pains
  • Headaches