Should Babies get 'cracked'

Recent news reports surrounding a youtube video of a chiropractor 'cracking' a babies back has sparked new debate surrounding the roll of chiropractors and the care for babies and children.

Read the full article here

As a chiropractor I would quickly like to address some of the issues I see in relation to the article above.

1. The chiropractor demonstrates that the baby has a spinal problem by extending its' back to elicit a cry. Clearly the baby seems distressed at being bent back. However newborns are not used to bending backwards. Their spine has a single forward curve and arching backwards is completely unnatural so it is little wonder the bub didn't like it.

2. The chiropractor suggested he was going to use as much force with his finger tips as you could use on your eye. I think he may have been watching an eye gouge in UFC fighting because it sure wasn't the 2-3 hundred grams of pressure that is comfortable on a closed eye.

3. Infants spines are nothing like adults spines. The bones and joints are undeveloped and they should not make loud cracking sounds. Treating an infant should look and be gentle.

So should chiropractors 'treat' infants? In my opinion the majority of treatment should be in the form of assessment and observation for normal developmental progress. I won't get into a discussing of how we should treat if a problem is detected other than to say 'cracking' is inappropriate.

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