Misdiagnosed and Under Reported in Infants: Traumatic Birth Syndrome

When it comes to working with pregnant women, I have two main concerns as a chiropractor…

The first is the status of the mom’s spine and nervous system.  It’s critical to her maintaining a healthy pregnancy.  Any interference in the function of the mother’s nervous system will affect the manner in which the baby rotates and turns in the womb, it will also affect baby’s nutrition, development and growth.

My next concern is for the baby after the birth process. Traumatic Birth Syndrome (TBS) is a condition which describes the damage to an infant’s spine as a result of the birth process. This condition has been well documented scientifically and TBS accounts for 85-95% of health problems chiropractors see in adults.

Traumatic Birth Syndrome (TBS) is a problem largely under-reported, and one that most people are very unfamiliar with.  The condition was identified and brought to the chiropractic profession in the late 1990′s in an effort to bring greater public awareness to this potentially serious condition in infants.

TBS is a condition in which the spine is injured during or shortly after the delivery process resulting in nerve system damage or interference. In clinical Chiropractic terminology, TBS includes any birth injury causing Vertebral Subluxation Complex or spinal injuries.  It is typically found in the infant’s neck and occasionally in the mid and lower back. Occurrences of this disorder are found when:

  • The head, neck, or any other part of the spine and pelvis of the infant have been pulled and twisted during the birth process
  • The birth process is prolonged
  • The delivery process is difficult
  • Extraction aids are used during delivery (i.e. forceps, vacuum, etc.)
  • The child is delivered by Caesarian section

TBS injuries may go unnoticed during the trauma of the delivery process and is painless in about 95-97% of infants and adults. The patient, therefore, cannot rely on pain as a sign of the condition.  An examination by a chiropractor is the only way to determine the presence and severity.

Dr. Gottfried Gutmann and Dr. H. Biederman, two German physicians, have done extensive studies on this phenomenon, which many MDs and DCs still reference today.  They found a subluxation in the upper neck area can affect the respiratory centers of the spinal cord and a baby can literally stop breathing while asleep.  Today we recognized this phenomenon as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Dr. Gutmann also found that 80% of all children tend to have a subluxation in the upper part of the neck, which may make them susceptible to a number of diffuse symptoms which have baffled physicians for years.  He also found that this type of subluxation can cause lower resistance to infection, frequent colds, ear problems, hyperactivity, Asthma, bed-wetting, ADD/ADHD, digestive problems, as well as what he termed, “central motor impairment”. His recommendation to parents is that “a spinal checkup after birth should be obligatory.”  I couldn’t agree more.

A spinal check-up after birth is a simple thing that can make a lifetime of difference in your child. It will ensure that the child’s lifeline, running through the spinal cord, is in tip-top shape, allowing all internal messages to flow correctly and uninterrupted, allowing your child optimal body function and the best of health.

Dr. Tiffany

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