chiropractor wilmington nc

Chiropractors in Wilmington NC: Musculoskeletal Milestone

One of the primary concerns for parents with a newborn is ensuring that the baby grows and develops normally. This is extremely important, since growth in the first year has a significant impact on the overall health and well-being of a child in later years. For parents, this means paying attention to musculoskeletal milestones in addition to weight and length. Our chiropractors in Wilmington NC explain more.

According to the Mayo Clinic’s Infant and Toddler Health Center, “From birth to age 6 months, a baby may grow 1/2 to 1 inch (about 1.5 to 2.5 centimeters) a month and gain 5 to 7 ounces (about 140 to 200 grams) a week. Expect your baby to double his or her birth weight by about age 5 months.

From ages 6 to 12 months, a baby may grow 3/8 inch (about 1 centimeter) a month and gain 3 to 5 ounces (about 85 to 140 grams) a week. Expect your baby to triple his or her birth weight by about age 1 year.”

The musculoskeletal system represents the physical foundation for the baby’s growth and development. Most adults have 206 bones, but babies begin life with around 300 bones and cartilage elements, which fuse together as the baby develops. A baby’s cranium actually originates as several separate pieces, which allows the baby’s head to change shape as the bones slide over each other. Called molding, this process allows a baby to pass through the narrow birth canal to be born.

Known as the anterior and posterior (i.e., front and back) fontanelles, the two soft spots on the baby’s head are the gaps between the plates. According to the National Institutes of Health, “The fontanelle in the back of the head (posterior fontanelle) usually closes by the time an infant is 1 to 2 months old. The fontanelle at the top of the head (anterior fontanelle) usually closes between 7 to 19 months.”

A baby’s bones begin as cartilage, developing in the womb. After birth, the baby has some bones, but many are still cartilage at that point. As the baby grows, a process called ossification occurs, which hardens the cartilage into bone, which is joined by a nutrient artery to help it develop further. At six weeks, bone starts to develop as tightly wound chains of collagen, a protein. The minerals in the blood, along with the protein structure, start solidifying into the astonishingly resilient living material that is bone. The intricate joint mechanisms that lend the skeleton its elasticity and range of motion continue to mature long after birth.


For most parents, there are five musculoskeletal milestones that are particularly exciting, and it’s common for healthcare professionals who work with infants to ask about them:

  • Lifting and supporting his or her head (sometimes called “head control”). Most infants can lift their heads slightly when they’re about a month old and hold it up when they’re placed in a sitting position at around four months. By 6 months, head control is usually steady.
  • Rolling over. Some babies might be able to flip from belly to back around the 4-month mark, but most are able to master this maneuver at about 5 or 6 months. The back-top-front flip usually takes longer, though, because more neck and arm strength is needed.
  • Remaining upright in a sitting position. Babies achieve this milestone at anywhere from 4 to 7 months. Most can sit well for several minutes without help by the time they’re 8 months old.
  • This typically happens sometime between the ages of 7 and 10 months. Some babies will also use other approaches to start getting mobile—bottom-sliding, belly-crawling and rolling are all common!
  • First steps usually happen between 9 and 12 months and many babies are walking well by 14 or 15 months. However, it’s not unusual for a baby to start walking when they’re 16 of 17 months old.


As you’re watching for these milestones, it’s important to keep in mind that babies develop at different rates. In order for these processes to occur, proper nutrition and—yes—physical activity is essential. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, “A healthy musculoskeletal system—consisting of bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles—is essential to a child’s growth and development. Decisions made regarding children’s diet and levels of physical activity will not only affect them now, but also as they grow into adults.”

Chiropractic physicians are experts in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal problems in patients of all ages. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s musculoskeletal development, please call or visit our office.

If you are looking for chiropractors in Wilmington NC, please call or visit our office today. We’ll be happy to explain our approach and answer any questions. Remember-we’re here to help!




chiropractors in leland nc

Chiropractors in Leland NC: Muscle Atrophy

What is Muscle Atrophy and What Can You Do to Prevent It? Our chiropractors in Leland NC explain more.

As the old cliché goes, “Use it or lose it”. This is a very, very simplistic way to explain muscle atrophy. Plainly put, muscle atrophy is the partial or complete loss or “wasting” of muscle tissue. This phenomenon can occur in two different ways: neurogenic atrophy and disuse atrophy. Neurogenic atrophy relates to disease or injury that affects the nerve attached to the muscle. Neurogenic atrophy often comes on rather swiftly and is the more severe of the two types. Disuse atrophy-the second type-is the result of a little or no physical activity. In short, muscles will diminish when they are not used. This is a substantial worry for people who are bedridden or confined to a wheelchair. Read on to learn more about these two types of muscle atrophy and what you can do to prevent them. Our chiropractors in Leland NC explain more.

* Neurogenic muscle atrophy can be caused by a number of injuries and diseases. When a nerve attached to a muscle is damaged, its signal is disrupted and it cannot reach the brain, the peripheral nerves, or the spinal cord-which leads to an inability to use the muscle correctly. Nerve damage from an injury, such as compression, can also cause reduced blood flow to the nerve, resulting in the muscle atrophying. describes several potential causes, including neuromuscular diseases such as spinal cord atrophy, multiple sclerosis (MS, a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord causing weakness, coordination, balance difficulties, and other problems), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, a severe neuromuscular disease that causes muscle weakness and disability), and Guillain-Barre syndrome (an autoimmune nerve disorder). Diabetic neuropathy, nerve damage associated with diabetes, may also lead to atrophy of the muscles.

* Disuse muscle atrophy is caused by a sedentary lifestyle-that is, one that involves little or no physical exercise. The less the muscles are used, the more likely it is that they will atrophy. Unfortunately, this can also cause heart problems-after all, the heart is a muscle too, and it can break down if it is not regularly exercised. According to, “Other common causes of disuse atrophy include medical conditions that decrease mobility, such as rheumatoid arthritis (a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by joint inflammation) or osteoarthritis (the thinning and weakening of the bones), and injuries such as broken bones…The aging process often leads to slow but progressive muscle atrophy.”

Sometimes muscle atrophy can be an indication of severe malnutrition or alcohol-related muscle disease. Damage to nerves due to an injury of the spinal cord, long-term corticosteroid therapy, muscular dystrophy, osteoarthritis, polio, rheumatoid arthritis, or even burns can also result in muscle atrophy.
Prevention of muscle atrophy involves two separate but complementary approaches to keeping your muscles healthy: eating a nutritious diet and exercising safely and regularly.

In terms of nutrition, eating a healthy, balanced diet that has sufficient protein is the first step. Depending on your specific requirements, a nutritionist or other healthcare professional may also recommend supplements that support muscle growth and development, such as creatine, whey and/or glutamine. Researchers at Colorado State University have also found that a low-sugar diet may also be quite effective. “When insulin levels are chronically high, your body’s cells attempt to limit its effects by decreasing their numbers of insulin receptors, a condition known as insulin resistance. In advanced cases, insulin resistance results in a swing to the opposite extreme, whereby cells become starved for amino acids and glucose and, as a result, muscle protein break downs. To keep your insulin levels on an even keel, avoid processed carbohydrates and opt for whole grains. Also, choose fresh fruits over dried or canned.”

Chiropractors in Leland NC Recommend Daily Exercise 

As for exercise, most people will benefit from low-impact physical activities like walking and swimming. Others may safely increase the size and strength of their muscles through simple body-weight exercises that also build coordination and balance. If you’re currently suffering from any type of medical condition or haven’t been physically active for an extended period of time, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor before starting a new fitness regimen. He or she will be able to evaluate your health and recommend an appropriate fitness program for you.

If you are looking for chiropractors in Leland NC, please call or visit our office today. We’ll be happy to explain our approach and answer any questions. Remember-we’re here to help!