Alarmed-First time chiropractic visit for 9 month old - Mothering Forums
Life With a Baby > Alarmed-First time chiropractic visit for 9 month old
Phycologia's Avatar Phycologia 10:16 AM 02-15-2012

I just took my son to a chiropractic that I met at church. His card said he is a certified chiropractic pediatric physician, and he seemed knowledgeable. Plus I had been thinking about chiro care for my son for a while. He used to be colicky, has had frequent colds despite being EBF, and always seems incredibly tense and stiff. I'd read about chiropractic for babies and it all sounded very gentle--just pressure, right?


The dr had me lie down and he placed my son tummy down on me, and then felt him and said that he needed a lot of adjustments. And then at each spot he would place his fingers and thrust down hard and fast on his back like he was trying to pop it, like treatment for adults. DS was crying at each adjustment and trying to get away. Finally, the dr adjusted his upper neck, which I've read is a big no-no. He actually turned his neck and quickly overextended it a bit, if that makes sense. Like you would do to crack your neck. DS really started to scream here but the whole time he assured me that he wasn't in any pain.


I feel sick to my stomach and I would never forgive myself if he did real damage. Is this normal for a chiro appointment for a baby? I though it would be much more gentle, like massage. I feel like I just paid a quack $75 to hurt my son and I feel like a real winnerbawling.gif

sere234's Avatar sere234 10:54 AM 02-15-2012

Well, let me start with the fact that my kiddo has never been to a chiro but IMO, any doc/chiro who makes my kid cry and scream isn't getting my repeat business. I just took my almost 18 mo to the dentist yesterday and they were so very nice. Just showed him all the equipment, let him play with it, made a balloon out of a hand glove, and such. They were perfectly happy with him sitting on my lap while I got my teeth cleaned and encouraged him to peer in as they worked.


Of course a chiropractor visit is nothing like dentist visit but I'm just trying to make a point! Hope someone else chimes in with experience!

purplepaisleymama's Avatar purplepaisleymama 10:58 AM 02-15-2012

Our kids have been to the chiro since right after they were born, they are all not really fans of being adjusted when they are more than a month or so old.... but the type of adjustment you are describing is not how our chiro adjusts kids... he uses the same position to keep them near the parent and adjusts with one or two fingers across the area of the spine, though he is very gentle.  When he adjusts their neck he more rolls the head up from a lying down position, as if you are rocking a bowling ball( bad description but I am not sure how to explain). 

If you are uncomfortable with his approach I would look on here for other Chiros who are recommended, you should be able to find someone who is able to more fully explain the approach they are taking and make sure that your child is comfortable. 


My kids were all able to calm down and appreciate adjustments after about the age of 2, depending on what the adjustment was for, if they were there for preventative they were fine, sometimes if it was for a problem there would be apprehension and some tears but mostly from a bringing up past trauma (falling etc).


You are a strong mama and you are doing great!!!! It is always important to keep that in mind, even if you are still finding you path with your approaches to parenting, you are caring for your little one and learning along the way, just like the rest of us!



my2girlz's Avatar my2girlz 05:05 PM 02-19-2012

Mine have all been going since birth using the same "technique" you describe. I think it's the pinned down feeling they don't like. My older kids request going in for an adjustment now.

Phycologia's Avatar Phycologia 05:19 AM 02-20-2012

He was giggling at first when the chiro placed him on my tummy. It was when he started "adjusting" was when DS would scream. And the neck thing....he was really upset about that. It looked painful. I think this is just not for us.


He doesn't seem to have any lasting effects so that's good.

Katie8681's Avatar Katie8681 11:23 PM 02-20-2012

WOW. That must have been hard to watch. OP, I don't think it'd be overreacting to take your baby to the pediatrician to get checked out. There are simple, noninvasive physical exam tests they can do to make sure all of his cranial nerves are ok. Sometimes damage can be subtle.

blackbird2's Avatar blackbird2 12:38 PM 02-21-2012

Both my kids have seen a chiro for wellness since babyhood.  Adjustments have been gentle and happily received.  I've found that individual chiros can be really different.  Maybe if you are still interested in chiropractic care, try to find someone IRL who takes their kid to someone and ask if you can go along to see what it's like?


It's amazing how hard it is to stop and tell someone "excuse me, I'm not comfortable with this right now."  Isn't it?  I can totally sympathize.

Hymanroth's Avatar Hymanroth 08:52 PM 02-22-2012

Omg this is scary! Wth. 


I would have left. 


I take my son to the same chiro I see and she rubs his tummy and rubs his back ... 


I would never let them do forceful adjustments. Maybe research him or something ... it doesn't sound right to me.

Hymanroth's Avatar Hymanroth 08:54 PM 02-22-2012

and as for the adjustments being painful, I've seen a chiro for a long time and adjustments should never be painful and are always very gentle. 


I actually now think maybe you might need to report him or something. 

Phycologia's Avatar Phycologia 07:17 AM 02-23-2012

Originally Posted by blackbird2 View Post


It's amazing how hard it is to stop and tell someone "excuse me, I'm not comfortable with this right now."  Isn't it?  I can totally sympathize.

I know. He's my son and it's my job to protect him, and I SHOULD have just told him to stop! I just kept saying "Is he okay? Is he hurting?" and he would just smile confidently and assure me he's fine. I've never been an assertive person but when it comes to my child I should have gone all momma-bear on him :(


Should I report him? I'm definitely going to tell my pediatrician about it to make sure he's okay (even though I'll probably feel really stupid), but I can't really prove he did anything wrong since I only have an n of 1, you know? Would I just file a complaint so that it's on file or something?




futuremamaheather's Avatar futuremamaheather 05:14 PM 02-23-2012

So sorry you had this experience! I have taken my ds to my chiro since he was born, and his adjustments have been super gentle, nothing forceful at all and the only time he cried was when I interupted his nursing so she could do his adjustment. She works with his own natural movements.

Virginia Mom's Avatar Virginia Mom 07:16 PM 02-23-2012

yes, sorry that you had to go thru that..........we take our kids to a chiro...........she's one of two chiros in our area that have a special pediatric endorsement....which is tons of extra study/classes/practicals  beyond being a regular chiro that just happens to work on kids..........our experiences have always been pleasant and very productive............(just checked her website and in addition to her reg. chiro certification, she has "Certificate in Chiropractic Pediatrics" if you decide to try another doctor, check for that.....good luck mom..

justgonnadoulait's Avatar justgonnadoulait 05:50 PM 02-24-2012
I felt this way about how the doctors treated my baby at birth and in the NICU. Then I felt like I let her down for not confronting them and advocating for her. I think people in general but women especially are trained not to speak up to professional care providers. And I think the lesson is to learn how to stop things before we regret them. Even if no calculable harm is done. If it doesn't feel right for your child and your family you have every right to say "stop". At least that's what i'm learning. And I hope you don't beat yourself up about this and instead take it as a lesson and know you can act differently in the future. Children come into our lives to teach us difficult lessons. Thankfully it's a joy must of the time.
Breathless Wonder's Avatar Breathless Wonder 07:01 PM 02-24-2012

My kids receive chiro care as well.  My youngest has been going since she was...2 weeks old I think?  My chiro has NEVER been as forceful as you are describing!  There are plenty of variations in practice, and even if this particular method was more beneficial for me, and adult, I would seriously have reservations about allowing it to be used on a child!  Don't beat your self up over it.  I think everyone has at least one moment with their kids (and usually many more!) where they really should have been a stronger advocate, and weren't.  We're human.  You obviously didn't expect that kind of treatment, and were in a state of shock.  I hope you find someone you are more comfortable with. 

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