MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

Many chiropractors tell new mothers that their child needs chiropractic adjustments because the birth is in their view a trauma for the new-born that causes subluxations of the baby’s spine. Without expert chiropractic intervention, they claim, the poor child risks serious developmental disorders.

This article (one of hundreds) explains it well: Birth trauma is often overlooked by doctors as the cause of chronic problems, and over time, as the child grows, it becomes a thought less considered. But the truth is that birth trauma is real, and the impact it can have on a mother or child needs to be addressed. Psychological therapy, physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, and other healing techniques should all be considered following an extremely difficult birth.

And another article makes it quite clear what intervention is required: Caesarian section or a delivery that required forceps or vacuum extraction procedures, in-utero constraint, an unusual presentation of the baby, and many more can cause an individual segment of the spine or a region to shift from its normal healthy alignment. This ‘shift’ in the spine is called a Subluxation, and it can happen immediately before, during, or after birth.

Thousands of advertisements try to persuade mothers to take their new-born babies to a chiropractor to get the problem sorted which chiropractors often call KISS (kinetic imbalance due to suboccipital strain-syndrome), caused by intrauterine-constraint or the traumas of birth.

This abundance of advertisements and promotional articles is in sharp contrast with the paucity of scientific evidence.

A review of 1993 concluded that birth trauma remains an underpublicized and, therefore, an undertreated problem. There is a need for further documentation and especially more studies directed toward prevention. In the meantime, manual treatment of birth trauma injuries to the neuromusculoskeletal system could be beneficial to many patients not now receiving such treatment, and it is well within the means of current practice in chiropractic and manual medicine.

A more critical assessment of … concluded that, given the absence of evidence of beneficial effects of spinal manipulation in infants and in view of its potential risks, manual therapy, chiropractic and osteopathy should not be used in infants with the kinetic imbalance due to suboccipital strain-syndrome, except within the context of randomised double-blind controlled trials.

So, what follows from all this?

How about this?

Chiropractors’ assumption of an obligatory birth trauma that causes subluxation and requires spinal adjustments is nothing more than a ploy by charlatans for filling their pockets with the cash of gullible parents.

12 Responses to Birth-trauma: a diagnosis that richly fills the pockets of many chiropractors

  • Please don’t forget to mention the cranial osteopaths. As chiropractic is more related to the so called Atlas Therapy and KISS syndrome the cranial osteopaths rely on the paradigms of phrenology that there is a direct relationship between skull and central nervous system. Therefore they claim to be able to influence e.g. thy hypophysis and make it twist in the sella or to influence motoric or visual areas directly with a soft touch manual approach and sending impulses through the bones of the skull to the brain. I can’t believe that medical trained physicians after having passed the preliminary exam are teaching this in the osteopathic trainings for physicians in Europe as a core subject disregarding all laws of physics.

  • I’ve watched three children born by caesarean and one by vaginal birth and it’s clearly far less physically traumatic for the baby’s back than vaginal birth. Their inclusion of caesarean birth as a spine hazard says to me that it’s fear mongering not reality based.

    • David Penington what do you consider as “traumatic for the back” in a normal birth procedure? There is nothing traumatic in giving birth if there are no medical complications at all. Even using forceps or ventouse by a experienced physician are causing no trauma under normal circumstances.

      All this trauma advertising is addressing the fear of unexperienced parents mostly of young couples who have no support from their families. The osteopaths have developed a very good business strategy for this.

      In cases of a cesarean section you must see an osteopath because there was not enough pressure to the skull and spine.
      In cases of a normal birth process you have to see an osteopath because you had too much pressure to the skull snd spine
      In cases of forceps or ventouse you have to see an osteopath because there was asymmetrical pressure to the skull and spine
      and even if there is nothing visible you have to visit an osteopath to discover invisible trauma cysts in the tissue so the osteopathic profiteers are telling enough good reasons to make the audience believe that 95% of all babies must visit an osteopath as soon as possible after birth.

      It’s all such an unbelievable marketing … Why is it effective? Because the physicians for children are not trained how to proceed in cases of functional disorders of babies and to give empathic support for new parents and a lot of midwives have a huge tendency to be attracted by CAM and therefore to send babies to Cranial Osteopaths.

    • @David Penington on Thursday 13 December 2018 at 21:28

      “I’ve watched three children born by caesarean and one by vaginal birth and it’s clearly far less physically traumatic for the baby’s back than vaginal birth. Their inclusion of caesarean birth as a spine hazard says to me that it’s fear mongering not reality based.”

      Do you have a skerrick of evidence for these nonsensical claims?

    • I’m not saying babies backs are injured by normal birth, just that it is ridiculous to suggest that Ceasarian Section birth would injure their back.

  • EE. How about this?

    Chiropractors’ assumption of an obligatory birth trauma that causes subluxation and requires spinal adjustments is nothing more than a ploy by charlatans for filling their pockets with the cash of gullible parents.“

    You really think for most of them it’s all about money? You’re more ignorant about the fringe then I thought.

    • What else?

      • Richard, for many it appears to be philosophy-driven. At least that’s my impression after having many discussions over the past 20 years with those who focus on pediatrics. But if Ernst has evidence to back up his accusation, I’ll take a look at it.

    • @DC on Friday 14 December 2018 at 01:51

      *****************************************************************************************
      EE. How about this?

      Chiropractors’ assumption of an obligatory birth trauma that causes subluxation and requires spinal adjustments is nothing more than a ploy by charlatans for filling their pockets with the cash of gullible parents.“

      You really think for most of them it’s all about money? You’re more ignorant about the fringe then I thought.
      *****************************************************************************************

      That, or gross stupidity? Which is the greater condemnation to you, charlatan or idiot?

  • https://gesellschaft-fuer-neuropaediatrie.org/info-fuer-aerzte/stellungnahmen-der-gesellschaft-fuer-neuropaediatrie/

    https://gesellschaft-fuer-neuropaediatrie.org/info-fuer-aerzte/archiv/

    The problem to get chiros and
    osteopaths compulsatory monitored is that manipulations to the spine are considered as medical treatment and not as remedy in which cases the incidents will be considered as bad side effects to be monitored. As a treatment incidents are considered as treatment error not as side effects.

    Here is s judgement from Germany:

    Az.: S 5 KR 584/99 Sozialgericht Freiburg
    “Weil die Atlas Therapie als Halswirbelsäulen-Impuls-Therapie … bei unsachgemässer Anwendung auch zu Verletzungen führen könnte, steht für die Kammer fest, dass es sich hier um eine, nur von Ärzten anwendbare Massnahme und damit nicht um ein Heilmittel, sonder um ärztliche Behandlung handelt.”

    http://www.amm-rheintalklinik.de/amm06/PDF/Gerichtsurteile/urteil1.pdf

    but they say that there is a risk of incidents and injuries by applying cervical manipulations and that’s very good that they are mentionig this as a fact.

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