New Research on Chiropractic & Developmental Delay

Research News Staff
New Research on Chiropractic & Developmental Delay

Chiropractic Helps Infant Girl

Recent research in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health - Chiropractic reporting on improvement in a 15-month-old girl with developmental delay undergoing chiropractic care reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in managing children with developmental delays.

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“Research indicates that minor shifts in the structure of the spine may impact function, suggesting that these structural shifts may be a factor in a number of disorders. Structural shifts may lead to nerve obstruction and could possibly be involved in a host of health problems” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. 

Other chiropractic researchers have reported on similar results and reviews of the scientific research reveal numerous other studies that have shown similar connections. McCoy added, “It’s reasonable to suggest that if you obstruct or damage the nerves exiting the spine, the result of the obstruction(s) and/or damage can have far reaching implications on the functioning of the body. 

Research is revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system, and the brain.  Basic science and clinical research show that the proper development of the brain relies heavily on proper structure and movement of the spine from an early age.  Research has shown not only that the developing brain relies on normal structural integrity and joint movement, but that complex neurochemical communication and pathways involved in helping humans to respond to their environment are tied into spinal biomechanics and their related neurological pathways. 

The child reported on in this study was a 15-month-old girl with developmental delays along with neck and upper back tenderness.  Her mother reported she had always been small and developmentally delayed in milestones.  At six-weeks-old, her mom noticed she had become “less present” which concerned her.  Despite dietary changes and physiotherapy, by 15 months she was still unable to walk, stand, and had a very limited vocabulary. 

The chiropractor examined her and found abnormal posture, abnormal muscle tone and structural shifts in her skull, neck, upper back, and pelvis.  These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.

The girl was adjusted by the chiropractor and within the first month of care, she was taking a few steps.  As care progressed, she became more vocal, was standing and walking without assistance, and was able to climb. 

The study’s author called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in children with developmental delays.  

Contact Information: 

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH
Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic
McCoy Press