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It isn't unusual to see parents take their babies to the doctor for things like constipation, but what about taking your infant to a chiropractor?
The problems began the very first few days of life for 4 month old David Key. "I was having problems breastfeeding, and when I switched him to formula he was spitting up. He was constipated. He was going to the bathroom maybe once every two or three days," said David's mom, Leslie.
She turned to chiropractor Dr. Ryan Miller, when her baby's reflux and constipation were not resolving in a timely manner. Little David was three weeks old. "Ever since then, he does not have a spit-up problem. Most of my friends laugh because he normally doesn't wear a bib. I don't use a burp cloth to burp him."
So exactly how does this baby spinal manipulation work? Dr. Miller says he's not treating symptoms. He's treating the cause. "If something like this happens, a misalignment and a nerve gets blocked or pinched or something like that, now the brain can not get to the stomach at 100%," he said.
Dr. Miller says chiropractic is about the nervous system and for stomach problems, many of those kinks are in the middle of the spine. "What we do here is with an adjustment, we'll align that back up, remove that interference of the misalignment and we open that back so the brain can get back to the stomach and the stomach begins working again like it's supposed to."
Pediatric chiropractic care is not normally covered by insurance. The cost per visit is between $30 and $40. But the costs do not stop any of these parents from having their infants and toddlers adjusted routinely.
"Usually it's once a week he gets adjusted but he's always checked out twice a week," Leslie said.
So far, Leslie says Dr. Miller has taken care of all of her son's needs. "He had a runny nose. It was just all over his shirt and everything. He woke up the night before because he couldn't breathe. After his adjustment, he cleared up."
With the office packed, the patients at Miller Family Chiropractic do seem satisfied with their care. That's what Dr. Miller says matters the most to him, although he does realize there are likely skeptics. "A lot of it is they are not familiar with what we're doing. Because when you look at the nervous system and how it works, this is normal physiology, and it makes sense when you restore normal back to the body. The body is going to heal."
- Members of the American Chiropractic Association's Council on Pediatrics acknowledge that chiropractic treatment of children for conditions such as reflux are not backed by any major studies.