There are always two sides to any argument. When you think of a chiropractor, chances are, you believe one of the following: 1) bones aren't meant to be cracked or 2) chiropractors are basically miracle workers. Yes, many people swear by the study and practice of chiropractics, but setting your own opinion and experience aside, is it safe for chiropractors to treat newborns? A lot of doctors are saying no.
If you haven't received the memo, one thing chiropractors advertise is their ability to help with infant issues, such as colic, by aligning the spine. Babies as young as four days old are being taken to chiropractors and having their backs cracked because some parents believe it's good for them. Spinal surgeons are now speaking out about the dangers this could pose for your child.
Over the years, chiropractors have gotten a bad name because doctors believe they work beyond their level of expertise. Speaking from personal experience, this isn't necessarily the case and many are very knowledgeable and effective at what they do. In saying that, however, when it comes to newborns, infants, and even children, things do get a bit more complicated because the benefits don't necessarily outweigh the risks.
National Post reports that pediatricians are shocked that chiropractors are getting as popular as they are because they claim that 80% of newborns need spinal realignment after entering the world. The fact is, babies are built for the trauma associated with birth. Their bones are designed to mold and move accordingly. Needing chiropractic treatment after birth wouldn't make much sense evolutionarily speaking.
Doctors argue that there is no evidence that chiropractic treatment is necessary, especially for newborns. Done wrong, it has the ability to cause some major issues including brain hemorrhaging and neck fractures, according to a 2007 study done by the University of Alberta.
Most adults who receive chiropractic care need to sign a consent form stating they understand that bone manipulation has been linked to things such as strokes, but oftentimes severe pain makes that risk worth it. The question remains, however, why put a newborn through that and subject them to those risks when no evidence shows it's necessary?