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Have You Heard? Children Need Chiropractic Too!

Blocked Atlantal Nerve Syndrome in Babies and Infants


This is the title of a most interesting paper by Gutmann which was published in German in Manuelle Medizin in 1987 and has now been reviewed in the September 1988 issue of Journal of the Australian Chiropractors’ Association.


In the abstract to his paper Gutmann, a prominent specialist in manual medicine from Bad Sassendorf, West Germany, concludes:


· Blocked nerve impulses at the atlas cause many clinical features from central motor impairment to lower resistance to infections – especially ear, nose and throat infections.

· Chiropractic and radiological examinations are “of decisive importance” for diagnosis of the syndrome.

· Chiropractic can often bring about successful results, because the therapy aims at the cause of the problem.


Gutmann reports examination and adjustment of more than 1000 infants with the atlas blockage or subluxation. Three case reports are given. One describes a boy of 18 months with early relapsing tonsillitis, frequent enteritis, therapy resistive conjunctivitis, frequent colds and earache, and increasing sleeping problems (fear of lying down or sleeping, falling from exhaustion, screaming during the night). After the first specific adjustment of the atlas the child demanded to be put to bed and slept peacefully until morning. The conjunctivitis cleared completely, and previously disturbed appetite returned to normal.


From his and other German Medical studies Gutmann concludes that approximately 80% of all children are not in autonomic balance and that many have atlas blockage or subluxation. He has been “constantly amazed how, even with the lightest adjustment with the index finger, the clinical picture normalizes, sometimes gradually, but often immediately.”


His colleague Frymann, he reports, examined a random group of 1250 babies 5 days past partum. 211 suffered from vomiting, hyperactivity and sleeplessness. Manual examination revealed cervical strain in 95% of this group. Release of this strain by specific manipulation “frequently resulted in immediate quieting, cessation of crying, muscular relaxation and sleepiness.”

Gutmann’s highly significant conclusions are:


i) “Observations of motor development and manual control of the occipito-atlanto-axial joint complex should be obligatory after every difficult birth”; and

ii) With any developmental impairment this joint complex “should be examined and, if required, specifically adjusted….the success of adjustment overshadows every other type of treatment.”


‘Blocked Atlantal Nerve Syndrome in Babies and Infants’, Gutmann G. Manuelle Medizin (1987) 25:5-10. ‘A Priceless Legacy – Lost, Strayed or Forfeited’, Peters R and Chance M, J Australian Chiropractors Association (September 1988) 18(3):81-84

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