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Chiropractic Care for Developmental Delays

Published Date: 
May 31, 2023
a happy baby is sitting on the floor playing with his toys.

Developmental delays can be physical, emotional, cognitive, or social. They can also be mild, moderate, or severe. Sometimes, a child with a delay will eventually catch up to their peers and won’t have any problems. In other cases, the delay is serious and leads to challenges in all stages of life if not dealt with.

There might be many things that help a child overcome a developmental delay. Chiropractic treatment is one of the best tools available because it identifies and deals with fixing the root cause of the problem.

Causes of Developmental Delays

There are several reasons developmental delays might occur. For example:

Exposure to Toxins 

This includes things the mother eats or drinks, such as alcohol or external exposure, such as environmental chemicals. It’s impossible to eliminate all exposure to toxins, but you should reduce your exposure as much as possible, especially during pregnancy.

Additionally, exposure to toxins early in life, especially during infancy, can cause delays. For example, babies exposed to lead, tobacco smoke, and certain pesticides or fertilizers are at higher risk of developmental delays.


A parent can pass on a genetic issue that causes a delay.


Not providing a baby with what it needs to survive and thrive increases the risk of developmental delays. 

Signs of Developmental Delays

Signs of developmental delays vary from child to child based on age and the cause of the delay. Some common signs of delays include:

In Babies

By the time a baby is 12 months old, in general, they should be able to:

  • Smile 
  • Sit without support
  • Wave goodbye
  • Move objects from one hand to the other
  • Transition from crawling to taking steps

Remember, not all babies develop at the same rate. Your child might run behind in one area but be okay with all other developmental milestones. Or your child might develop slowly without it indicating a serious problem. The best thing you can do is speak to a doctor about your concerns.

A baby is playing with blocks.

In Young Children

By 12 to 24 months, most children:

  • Know the names of people and/or body parts
  • Use two- to four-word sentences
  • Sort colors and shapes
  • Repeat familiar songs
  • Tell simple stories
  • Use utensils
  • Respond to facial expressions
  • Begin playing with other children
  • Follow simple directions

These are just a few milestones children should achieve by two years of age. Again, don’t panic if there’s something your child cannot do. Also, try not to compare your child to other children too much. However, if you notice that most one or two-year-olds can do several things your child struggles with, it might be time to speak to your doctor.

How Chiropractic Care Can Help with Developmental Delays

There are several ways pediatric chiropractic care for babies and children can help with developmental delays. For example:

A chiropractor is gently treating a baby with developmental delays.

Adjust the Spine to Improve Nervous System Dysfunction

A child with a developmental delay may have a spinal misalignment that causes issues with development. When something interferes with this communication, it can cause dysfunction in the body. A chiropractor can address the root cause of the misalignment and fix the problem. 

Improve Gross and Fine Motor Skills and Concentration

A chiropractic adjustment can increase neural brain development. It also relieves stress and pressure on the bones and joints, allowing your child’s body to function as it should. This makes skills like walking, climbing, brushing their teeth, holding toys, and more much easier for them.

A baby is getting a gentle adjustment from a chiropractor.

Improve Overall Health and Wellness

Regular chiropractic visits promote a healthy lifestyle and improve immunity, digestion, and sleep. Not only can it help a child overcome a delay, but it also improves their overall health.


If your child is struggling with one or more developmental delays and you are concerned that it could have long-term consequences, pediatric chiropractic treatment could help. It’s a safe, non-invasive, drug-free option that also improves overall health. Incorporating chiropractic adjustments and other treatments into your child’s health regimen could put them on track to lead their healthiest and happiest life.

Dr. Darren Faherty D.C.

In 2004, Dr. Darren Faherty graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from UWEC - University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Dr. Darren continued education at the highly esteemed University of Western States (formerly Western States Chiropractic College) where he obtained his chiropractic degree in 2007. He has been helping people recover from injuries and return to their normal lifestyles ever since.

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