Introduction: Instrument-assisted delivery occurs regularly in Australia. This study aims to determine if there is a higher prevalence of restricted cervical spine range of motion (ROM) in infants born via instrumental delivery or Caesarean section compared to vaginal delivery without instrument assistance.
Methods: Data was collated from all 176 infants under 112 days of age in a paediatric chiropractic clinic. Details regarding method of delivery and instrumental assistance were obtained. Passive ROM assessment was recorded as either “Full” or “Reduced”.
Results: Reduced cervical spine ROM was apparent in 76.1% of infants born vaginally without intervention (n=88), 75.0% with forceps assistance (n=16), 88.9% with vacuum-assistance (n=18), 100% born with vacuum and forceps (n=3), and 82.3% born via Caesarean section (n=51).
Conclusion: Vacuum-assisted delivery and Caesarean section delivery were associated with a higher prevalence of reduced cervical spine ROM when compared to vaginal delivery without assistance. Further research in prospective studies is recommended.
Author keywords: Cervical Range of Motion; Infants; Prevalence; Chiropractic
Author affiliations: CF: Chiropractic Children’s Healthcare, 9 Lower Plenty Road, Rosanna, VIC, 3084; BK: Chiropractic Children’s Healthcare, 9 Lower Plenty Road, Rosanna, VIC, 3084
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