Chiropractic care recommended for infants?

Q: What do you think of chiropractic care for babies? I’ve heard it can cure colic and help with many other infant problems. 

A: There are a variety of opinions regarding the effectiveness of chiropractic care for infants. 

I believe if the purpose of the care is mainly to help with soothing, muscle relaxation and using muscle groups differently, then chiropractic care can be safe and helpful. 

As a pediatrician in practice for a number of years, I’ve found it can be challenging to see how spinal manipulation will give the promised results, especially with conditions such as acid reflux, ear infections, sleep problems or troubles with breastfeeding.

On the other hand, some parents claim that a series of visits to a chiropractor can be life-changing, producing infants who appear to be much happier after their treatments. 

Others warn that there are risks associated with such treatments and little research to back up claims. 

Many chiropractors are now specializing in infant care. As with any type of care for your infant, do your homework ahead of time and find out what your child’s clinicians recommend for treatment options. 

Then, if — despite treatment — your child doesn’t seem to be improving or is getting worse, talk to your clinicians right away to see if you should consider another diagnosis or a different treatment.


Dr. Peter Dehnel is a board-certified pediatrician and medical director with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. Send questions to drdehnel@mnparent.com. This column is intended to provide general information only and not medical advice. Contact your health care provider with questions about your child.