A recent study showed chiropractic helping correct motor development delay in a 15-month old baby. The documented study was published in January 2018 in the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics. The study titled, "Improvement in motor developmental delay in a 15-month old male following chiropractic care to correct vertebral subluxation: A case report," was conducted in Auckland, New Zealand, with the assistance of the New Zealand College of Chiropractic, in Auckland, New Zealand.
The study authors begin by defining the issue. "Developmental delay is defined as a child who is not meeting a range of milestones at the expected rate of development." They go on to explain the areas of delay by saying, "Typically, this involves multiple areas of development including cognitive skills, social and emotional skills, speech and language skills, fine and gross motor skills and activities of daily living."
Developmental delay is measured against six areas defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as "windows of achievement." Each of these have different age ranges depending on the level advancement for the age of the child. These achievements include sitting without support, standing with assistance, hands-&-knees crawling, walking with assistance, standing alone, and finally walking alone. Not being able to achieve these tasks within the timeframe set forth in the WHO guidelines is considered developmentally delayed.
In this case, a 15-month-old boy who was suffering from developmental delay was brought to the chiropractor. The boy was unable to crawl or creep in any way. He was unable to pull himself up to stand, or to stand alone or walk. From around 6 months of age, he was able to sit upright, and from around 9 months old, he was able to roll. This level of ability was way behind what should be expected which would allow the boy to be considered to be developmentally delayed. The boy's speech was not advanced but was not considered to be delayed in any way for his age.
A chiropractic examination was performed which revealed multiple areas of spinal and pelvic restrictive movement and alterations of muscle tone. The boy exhibited reduced ability to balance and difficulty in supporting himself on his hands and knees.
With consent from the parents, chiropractic care was started on the boy for correction of vertebral subluxations with multiple visits per week being performed in the initial stage of care.
The study results showed that, following the first two adjustments, the child started to crawl on his hands and knees by himself without needing assistance. After one additional visit, the boy was able to pull himself up to a standing position. Progress continued as it was reported that after the sixth visit, the boy was able to crawl on his hands and knees with ease and began letting go while in a standing position. After seven chiropractic visits, the boy began to take unassisted steps with increasing confidence. During the entire time of the chiropractic care, it was reported that there were no adverse reactions identified or reported.
In their discussion, the authors of this case study summed up the results by saying, "Motor development improvements were reported in a 15-month-old male over the course of 16-weeks of chiropractic care. The child had initially presented with motor development delay, with inability to crawl in any manner, stand or walk unassisted."