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Fussy Babies and Fascial Tension

Fascia has become more of a buzz word in the last several years when treating adults with chronic pain and injury. Did you know that fascial strain in the body can begin as early as in the womb or during the birth process? Birth trauma, multiple births, wrapped/tight umbilical cord, a long labor, a difficult delivery and the use of forceps or vacuum suction can result in fascial strain. This strain can cause breastfeeding issues, colic, gas, arching in infants. and manifest as allergy, asthma, earache, headache, enlarged tonsils or adenoids and learning disorders in childhood.


What if we could address these fascial strain patterns early on after birth to optimize function resulting in happier and healthier infants, toddlers, teenagers and adults? Several treatment modalities to include craniosacral therapy (CST), cranial osteopathy and myofascial release work have been found to be successful in treating infants and adults. Barry Gillespie is a periodontist who developed an approach rooted in both cranial osteopathic and myofascial release principles. He studied 332 infants with a variety of concerns from breastfeeding issues to gas/colic/reflux to assess the effectiveness and safety of his approach. His findings indicated that this approach was safe and effective at correcting these issues for 92% of infants (Click here for link to study).

How do I know my baby has fascial tension?

  • Diagnosed with tongue or lip tie

  • Arching excessively

  • Keeps hands fisted and near mouth

  • Keeps arms/legs flexed

  • Moving one arm/leg more than another

  • Difficulty changing diaper

  • Dislikes tummy time

  • Dislikes car seats or containers

  • Excessive gas or constipation

  • Feeding difficulties

  • Flat spot or misshapen head

  • Reflux/colic/gagging/vomiting

If your answer was YES to any of those listed above your baby likely has tension in their body. You've heard it said: "Everything is connected" and indeed it is true! Fascial lines connect one area of the body to another. The picture illustrates how the deep middle fascial line connects the tongue to the big toe! A tight tongue can lead to a tight body or vice versa. This is why when a baby is diagnosed with a tongue tie, lactation consultants and pediatric dentists often recommend bodywork prior to and after a release.



Be Still Physical Therapy focuses on serving all babies utilizing some of these techniques, especially those who present as fussy (easily agitated, restless, unhappy), those who exhibit any of the above signs or diagnosed with tongue-tie. If you are local, contact us with questions or book an appointment if you have concerns that your baby may be exhibiting any of these symptoms or btehaviors.


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