While newborn babies are cute, mushy and malleable, they’re also not too young to visit the chiropractor. Dr. James Stirton from Winters Family Chiropractic breaks down chiropractic care for babies and the benefits that come with it.
Stirton — a master of metaphors — equates newborns’ experience to the foam pets that grow once one adds water to them. They’re tightly compressed for months until birth finally allows babies’ spines and limbs to ‘unpack’ and expand a little.
“On average, it takes about seven years for our cartilaginous parts to turn into the bone they’re supposed to be. So, the reason why we can pack those little babies so tight in the womb and they’re OK is that a lot of their parts are cartilaginous. And that’s why in those first seven years kids will bounce instead of break,” Stirton explained. “Initially, the bones are all well-formed. And that little spine of babies is strengthening and solidifying over time. My role in taking care of those kiddos is to get that boney, cartilaginous frame to unbox and straighten out in an appropriate way.”
Unfortunately, when children are growing into themselves, there are forces that can disrupt their spine’s proper formation. In some of his younger patients, Stirton has seen issues in their neck, between their shoulder blades and lower back as well. Stirton claims that a baby’s lower back has some of the tightest muscles he’s found in his practice.
“Basically, on a babies’ first birthday on the planet they get compressed, whiplashed, pulled, pushed, spanked and put in a crib. Then they don’t see a trained chiropractor for a long time after that, and I feel like a lot of the sources of our neck and back problems start as early as birth,” said Stirton. “This is why I check my patients’ babies as soon as possible so that those areas get fine-tuned back to where they need to be and they can heal from day one with great integrity. I find in general if we can get our bodies to heal out of the gate, that it’s a strong, good heal. I don’t want these babies growing up with shoulder dislocations, and their neck out and their back tighter than a drum because that area will solidify and become a chronic problem from infancy. That’s something we can avoid with a little checkup.”
Little ones don’t require the same extent of chiropractic adjustments adults require to begin healing. Stirton also teaches his parent-patients how to properly massage their baby to keep their back muscles loose and fussiness at a minimum.
“The most common ailment to happen to kiddos are slips, falls, bumps, bruises and all the muscular-skeletal wear and tear you can think of. That, of course, is a chiropractic specialty,” said Stirton. “Because the problem in kids is so new and hasn’t had a chance to deform and degenerate and all these things I see in my adult patients. So what I also see in those areas that are dysfunctional after two or three adjustments, they’re gone and improved to a state where I don’t need to adjust the same spot like I do in my adult counterparts.”
Stirton isn’t just talk, however, when it comes to keeping his younger patients healthy. Parents under his care can sponsor one of their own children (under the age of 10) for free treatment along with their own care at the same frequency they’re coming in.
One can reach out to Stirton directly with questions, simply email him at [email protected] It’s like the good doctor always says, “If you’re not certain, ask Dr. Stirton.”