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The Delivery

The birth process, even under natural and controlled conditions, is potentially traumatic. During the pushing stage of labor, the spine, particularly the neck, may be injured as the baby is compressed and pushed down the birth canal. As the baby is compressed, the small bones of the spine may be pushed out of natural alignment. This causes the nerves to become stretched or twisted, and the vital communication system is disrupted.

This neurological disturbance is called a subluxation, and it is caused when joints are not moving properly therefore interfering with the nerve signal. As a result, one or more parts of the body may not be working at an optimal level. Subluxations can also foster the onset of sickness and disease as the body weakens.

The Doctor of Chiropractic specializes in the detection and correction of subluxations. Instead of treating the symptoms of the disease, the chiropractor corrects the subluxation so that normal body functions may take place.

Is a Subluxation Serious ?

A subluxation causes a neurological disturbance. All body functions are controlled by the brain sending and receiving messages over nerves. During a natural birth, newborns frequently suffer subluxations as they are pulled, twisted, and compressed. Damage may be more severe in a difficult delivery, as noted by Doris Haire, C.N.M.., infants may sustain skull fractures, intestinal hemorrhage, cord compression, brain damage, damage to the facial nerve and facial paralysis.4

Damage to the spine and delicate nerve tissue is also common. Brewer and Presser report that the vertebrae are easily pulled out of alignment by excessive and forceful extension of the infant’s head with forceps.2

Checking Your Child

Complications of uncorrected subluxations may be serious, resulting in respiratory depression, and in some cases SIDS. Infants who survive and are properly diagnosed for subluxations have a better chance of having the neurological defects ultimately eliminated.6

A wide range of subluxations may occur, primarily due to the stretch injury and/or compression of the spinal cord and brain stem. As the vertebrae are forced out of their natural alignment, spinal and cranial nerve roots, as well as the dura and surrounding structures, may be torn.

Most authorities believe that brain stem and spinal injuries at birth are essentially attributable to excessive longitudinal traction, especially when force is combined with flexion and torsion of the spinal axis during delivery.

Although birth subluxations may cause immediate symptoms, there may be far-reaching effects that are manifested for years. The child’s ability to fight against disease, for example may be lowered. Cold, ear infections, colic, and other illnesses may result.3,5,6,7

Subluxations may also interfere with internal organ function, resulting in the inability to produce chemicals responsible for raising and lowering body temperature as needed.5 Kunert indicated that the body’s immune response in the production of anti-viral and anti-bacterial agents to fight infection is greatly compromised due to vertebral lesions ( subluxations).5

When should your your infant be checked for subluxations?

Newborn infants should be checked within hours after birth by your chiropractor. Subluxations are a serious threat to your newborn’s health. Your child should be checked frequently by a chiropractor to ensure¬† the best opportunity to grow and develop normally.

Is Chiropractic Safe ?

The chiropractic approach to health care is natural. It does not try to stimulate or inhibit normal body function. Instead, the chiropractor addresses the important relationship between the nerve system and disease. Various symptoms, such as colic, respiratory distress, fever, earaches, and a lowered resistance may be manifested in the young child due to abnormal body function caused by subluxations.3,5,6 In light of this, your chiropractor may be the best doctor to help your child improve his/her health.


Reprinted with premission from


  1. Abraham, Towbin: Latent Spinal Cord Brain Stem Injury in Newborn Infants, 1969
  2. Brewer, G., Greene, J.: Right from the Start. Emmaus Pa., Rodar, 1981
  3. Fibelibus, J.: An Overview of Neuroimmunomodulation and a Possible Correlation with Musculoskeletal System Function, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, August 1989
  4. Haire, Doris: The Cultural Warping of Childbirth. Milwaukee ICEA 1972
  5. Kunert, W.: Functional Disorders of Internal Organs due to Vertebral Lesions. CIBA Symposium 13 (3): 85-86, 1965.
  6. Peet, J.B.: Chiropractic Pediatric and Prenatal Reference Manual. The Baby Adjusters, Inc. 1992.
  7. Walton, E.V. : Chiropractic Effectiveness with Emotional Learning and Behavioral Impairments, International Review of Chiropractic; 29:2-2,21-22,September, 1975.
  8. Winsor, H., M.D.: Sympathetic Segmental Disturbances- 11; The Evidence of the Association in Dissected Cadavers of Visceral Disease with Vertebrae Deformities of the Same Sympathetic Segments, Medical times; 49:1-7,  November 1921.