Can Chiropractic Help with Developmental Delays?

Hope for Developmental Delays: Finding Success Outside Standard Therapies

As a parent, it’s completely normal to feel worried and bewildered when your child has gross motor delays. You might feel like you’ve tried everything—from endless physical and occupational therapy sessions to religiously doing home exercises—only to see little to no progress. If your child is still having a hard time sitting up, crawling, or walking despite months of effort, tires out quickly, slouches like it’s a new fashion trend, and dodges physical activities like they’re the plague, you’re in good company. Many parents are in the same boat, wondering why their child’s motor skills seem to be on an extended vacation.

But here’s a twist—what if we told you the real reason behind your child’s challenges might be something traditional therapies often overlook? The root cause of gross motor delays in kids can go way beyond just low muscle tone and a weak core. Let’s explore what’s really going on and find some solutions together!

The Importance of Gross Motor Skills

Gross motor skills are absolutely essential for a child’s overall development and those day-to-day adventures. These skills involve big movements that require the entire body, mainly using the large muscle groups like the arms, legs, and core. But here’s the kicker—there’s a set of nerves and muscles that often get left out of the party when talking about gross motor skills: those in the neck and neurospinal system.

Gross motor development usually follows a predictable sequence, starting with head and neck control, which is crucial for latching and nursing (and we all know how important those midnight snacks are). As your little one grows, they begin to develop trunk control through tummy time and learning to roll over (hello, baby gymnastics!). Next, they start activating their core muscles to sit up independently—because who needs help when you’re mastering the art of sitting? From there, your child progresses to army crawling and regular crawling, which are essential for brain development (think of it as baby boot camp). Finally, they master the art of furniture cruising and take those unforgettable first steps.

So, let’s give a shout-out to those hardworking neck and neurospinal muscles that are often the unsung heroes in our child’s journey to becoming a little mover and shaker!

The Missing Piece: The Role of the Neurospinal System

While traditional therapies focus on strengthening muscles and improving coordination, they often overlook the critical role of the nervous system, particularly the neurospinal system, in gross motor function. If we want to get to the root cause of any neuromuscular or gross motor challenge, we must first address the “neuro” part. This is where Neurologicaly-Focused  Chiropractic Care comes in, as it can access and improve Central Nervous System function in a way that PT and OT cannot.

Subluxation and sympathetic dominance, or increased tone, often set up shop in the neck and neurospinal system. These issues are most commonly caused by breech positioning or birth interventions like forceps, vacuum, induction, or c-section. The resulting hyper or high tone will remain stuck in those regions until adjusted and cleared out of the way. In other words, the original cause of “low tone” or a “weak core” is actually tension and subluxation in the neck and neurospinal system.

A Real-Life Example: Joseph’s Story

Let’s talk about Joseph, a 12-year-old boy who sought help with his daily challenges associated with autism, ataxia, and chronic constipation. What caught his doctor’s attention immediately were his significant gross motor delays and struggles. 

Joseph’s mom shared, “He will always find a way to slouch, no matter what we do.” Joseph struggled to sit up straight, stand tall, and move around without exhaustion. His body was simultaneously “wound up and worn out,” leading him to seek additional movement stimulation through constant stimming and other behaviors. As a result, they had stopped all PT and OT and pretty much “given up” that his gross motor function and posture would ever get back to normal.

However, within the very first week of getting Neurologically-Focused Chiropractic Care, Joseph’s gross motor function and endurance took off like a rocket. He was asking to go to the gym, work out, hit the treadmill, and go to the park to play! Mom was ecstatic, and so was his doctor.

The Path Forward: Neurologically-Focused Chiropractic Care

If your child has been struggling with gross motor delays and you feel like you’ve tried everything without lasting results, it’s time to look deeper. Subluxation, excessive sympathetic tone, and the lasting effects of birth trauma could still be at play.

At Harrington Family Chiropractic, we can help you find out how your child’s gross motor function is doing down to the very core. Once we understand exactly what is going on, we tailor an adjusting care plan made just for your child. This approach can help your little one finally get past that plateau or stuck point and get back on track with their gross motor development. If you are not local to us, check out the PX Docs directory to find a PX Doc office near you. 

Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. By addressing the root cause of your child’s gross motor delays through Neurologically-Focused Chiropractic Care, you can help them unlock their full potential and thrive. Don’t give up hope – there are solutions available that can make a significant difference in your child’s life and can help your child overcome their gross motor challenges and achieve the milestones they deserve.

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