The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published the results of a case study on July 22, 2019, documenting the chiropractic resolution of sleeping issues in a baby who developed sleeping problems after previously having been able to sleep through the night.
This study begins with the authors noting the importance of the proper amount of sleep in children. “It’s acknowledged that when children are lacking sleep, their physical, emotional, cognitive and social development are negatively affected and can impair both the parent and child’s daytime functioning.” They also report that “…longer sleep duration was generally associated with better body composition, emotional regulation, and growth in children aged 0 to 4 years.”
In this case, a 7-month-old baby girl was brought to the chiropractor by her mother. The girl’s mother stated that her daughter was previously sleeping 9-10 hours throughout the night but recently was currently only sleeping a maximum of 2-3 hours at a time throughout the day. It was also noticed that the girl had difficulties turning her head to the right.
During the examination, it was noticed that the girl was mostly calm throughout the process except when the chiropractor was examining the girl’s neck. Upon touching the neck, the girl became agitated, started fussing, and was grabbing at the doctor’s hands. It was obvious from the palpation examination that the neck area was sensitive and tender to the baby girl, particularly in her upper neck. The motion in this upper neck area was also restricted. No other part of the baby’s spine was sensitive or restricted. A determination was made that subluxations were present.
With consent, specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were given to the baby girl’s spine to address the subluxations. The documented results of the care showed that after the first visit, the girl was immediately able to sleep 9-10 hours through the night without issues. After the second visit, her mother reported that the girl had more energy and a better disposition. Her mother also noticed better range of motion in her neck and reported that her baby girl was less fussy.
In the discussion in the study, the authors note that chiropractic for children is generally thought of as being for musculoskeletal issues. “Of the practitioner-based complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies, chiropractic has been found to be highly utilized by parents for their children. Use of chiropractic services have been to address physical complaints of mainly neuromusculoskeletal origin, the co-morbidities of childhood and wellness care.” They also note that more parents are bringing children to the chiropractor for issues outside of the musculoskeletal types. “This case report provides supporting evidence on the effectiveness of chiropractic care in infants with disordered sleep as a primary or secondary presenting complaint.”