Chiropractors aren't just for parents, babies get adjustments to - KCTV5 News

Chiropractors aren't just for parents, babies get adjustments too

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When a baby goes to the doctor, they typically see a pediatrician.

But, more parents are taking their very young children to see a chiropractor.

KCTV5 Anchor Carolyn Long looks at whether the treatments are really needed and if they're safe.

In the last National Health Survey, more than 1.8 million children between the ages of 4 and 17 visited chiropractors during a calendar year.

The survey did not gather data about infants and toddlers, who are the fastest growing segment of patients being seen by chiropractors.

This may astonish you. Some are seen within hours of birth.

Ava is one now but she's been a patient of Dr. Kristine Baker since she was just 6 weeks old.

"And honestly it was 6 weeks too long," said Ava’s mother, Melissa Ohden.

She very clearly remembers the long sleepless nights caused by intense reflux, a natural side effect of the Laryngomalacia she was born with, marked by a floppy larynx.

"She was miserable and I really was desperate,” Ohden said. “She struggled to eat and be a normal baby, all of her energy was spent just trying to breathe.”

For Ohden, regular chiropractic appointments, initially twice a week, brought more life to her struggling newborn.

"Lights came on and she had a little bit of shine in her eyes, you could tell she was more alert. Things just got better for her," the mother explained.

Pediatric patients now make up 25 percent of the clients at Baker Chiropractic. 

And while reflux is the most common reason, Dr. Baker can also treat indigestion, ear infections, difficulty sleeping and common colds through adjustments.

Although the basic premise of chiropractic care is the same whether you are 80 or 8 days old, the difference is in the pressure used.

“The amount of pressure I use is equivalent of how you could touch a tomato without piercing the skin with your finger or, the pressure you'd be comfortable with on your eyeball,” said Dr. Kristine Baker of Baker Chiropractic & Acupuncture.

It's a niche practice, one that Ohden swears little Ava couldn't live without.

Dr. Hilary McClafferty with the American Academy of Pediatrics who cautions that studies on pediatric chiropractic are, so far, inconclusive so, they do not yet endorse its safety and efficacy.

However, the families who use it say the proof is in their children's health.

For more information on complementary and alternative medicine click here.

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