The role and fundamental principle of the chiropractor in treating babies is that of restoring the functional problems of the spine and nervous system that are associated with birth. This is done by correcting mechanical dysfunction primarily of the spinal joints and pelvis but also of the cranium.

Birth trauma is one the most common forms of physical trauma in the infant. A normal birth is traumatic yet we often have extra stresses that can predispose babies for birth trauma; these include

  • Malpresentation
  • Multiple pregnancy
  • Prolonged labour
  • Epidural
  • Instrumental delivery: forceps/vontouse
  • C-section

Major birth injuries are usually easily diagnosed and so receive the appropriate medical treatment; such injuries include fractures, lacerations and nerve lesions. The majority of injuries dealt with in chiropractic clinics are those associated with minor birth trauma which often remains undiagnosed and the parents are left with an apparently ‘healthy’ but unhappy baby.


When we carry out treatment the pressure applied is no more than you would apply to your eyeball and some babies sleep through the treatment. The main treatment techniques are cranio-sacral combined with adapted chiropractic techniques specifically designed for baby’s delicate structures.

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Colic is one of the most common complaints parents bring their baby to a chiropractor in the UK. Babies universally cry as an evolutionary development to promote contact with mother and to supply nutritional needs. Colic is common with 25-49% of all infants experiencing it. Infantile colic usually presents with relentless crying, restless sleep, abdominal pain, legs flexed and tummy problems.

"School bags are also another cause of stress on the spine"

As children grow up there problems change, just as newborns present primarily with sleeping and feeding disorders, older children develop conditions such as toeing out or in, clumsiness, postural problems and injuries from falls, knocks and sports. Scoliosis is also a common condition that chiropractors see (read Scoliosis).

School bags are also another cause of stress on the spine and can contribute to neck and shoulder pain.
By the time we reach 18 we have the spine, posture and joint function that should live with us for the rest of our lives. If we could make the most of these important years by having checkups on our spine and correcting any problems that may occur we would be giving ourselves a better start into adulthood and hopefully less joint pain and problems later on.

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Many problems we experience in adulthood are often greatly influenced by the stresses we put on our bodies as a child and correct posture is one of these important aspects we should try to encourage early. Therefore early checks by your chiropractor are a simple way to a better spine.
Make sure your child uses both shoulder straps when they carry their back-packs so the weight is evenly distributed. Also weigh your child’s bag to make sure that it does not exceed 10%-15% of their body weight.


  1. Auvinen J., et al. (2007). Neck and Shoulder Pains in Relation to Physical Activity and Sedentary Activities in Adolescence. Spine Apr 20; 32 (9): 1038-1044.
  2. Hestbaek L, Leboeuf-Yde c, Kyvik KO. (2006). Is Comorbidity in Adolescence a Predictor for Adult Low Back Pain? BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders Mar 16, 7: 29.
  3. 2004. Chiropractic Management of Infantile Colic. Clinical Chiropractic Dec 7 (4): 180-186.
  4. 2004. Vertebral Subluxation Correlated with Somatic, Visceral and Immune Complaints: An Analysis of 650 Children Under Chiropractic Care. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research Oct 18: 1-23.
  5. Hayden JA, et al. (2003). Evaluation of Chiropractic Management of Pediatric Patients with Low Back Pain: A Prospective Cohort Study. Journal Manipulative Physiological Therapies Jan 26 (1): 1-8.
  6. 2002. Differential Compliance Instrument in the Treatment of Infantile Colic: A Report of Two Cases. Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapies Jan 25 (1): 58-62.
  7. Mertz JA. 2000. Chiropractic Care for Children can Help. Arch Pediatric Adolescent Medicine Oct 154 (10): 1062-1063.
  8. Fallon, J. (1997). The Role of the Chiropractic Adjustment in the Care and Treatment of 332 Children with Otitis Media. Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics Oct 2 (2): 167-183.

Information about Chiropractic and Pregnancy.