Pediatric Fine Motor Skills Development, Coordination, & Chiropractic Care in New York City

Coordination problems can affect a child’s ability to obtain and perform skilled movements. Clumsiness, tumbles and falls are all part of growing up as a child develops and fine tunes their movement skills.  However for some children this clumsiness extends well past the usual time period into late childhood and coordination issues can be a precursor to other developmental delays. Even though Neuro-Developmental Delay (NDD) is not something that is diagnosed until the child reaches three years of age, signs of motor coordination difficulties can be spotted earlier that can, which can also affect a child’s confidence and behavior, ability to focus and retain information, social development, fine and gross motor development, and postural tone.  A child with coordination problems may exhibit:

  • Lack of processing information
  • Lack of hand-to-eye coordination
  • Slow to acquire physical skills and need to rely heavily on visual aids to help learn
  • Uncoordinated running style
  • Balance issues
  • Awkward posture
  • Slow response to their surroundings – e.g. slow response if a ball is kicked towards them
  • Frequent tripping over or bumping into things
  • Lower athletic ability compared to peers
  • Fine motor skill problems such as untidy writing 
  •  Poor spatial awareness
  • Difficulty learning how to ride a bike

Children who have difficulty with coordination often show a delayed attainment of gross and fine motor skills. These skills vary from running and catching balls to balancing and tying shoelaces. This is usually a hindrance when it comes to compulsory sport at school and even lunchtime play in the school yard. Many sufferers also experience speech difficulties, learning disabilities and reluctance to form friendships. For children with coordination problems their awkwardness interferes significantly with their daily activities. This not only causes physical suffering, but also mental and emotional distress from feeling (and perhaps being told) that they are different from their peers.

Chiropractic is useful in addressing coordination problems by targeting any central nervous system and mechanical issues that may restrict movement.   In almost all children with developmental delays, spinal subluxations (misalignments) are present.  A spinal misalignment is a twisted, turned, or out of place vertebra. This may not seem like a significant problem, but spinal misalignments cause nerve interference that leads to dysfunction within the body.  Without proper nerve communication, the brain can’t properly send messages to the rest of the body. The development of children is affected because of this, whether it be motor skills, speech, or physical growth.  After a gentle adjustment, these misalignments are corrected and spinal health is restored. Normal nerve function can resume and the body can once again function as it should. Movements will become smoother for those with fine or gross motor problems, concentration improves for children who struggle to focus, and immune system function improves for happier, healthier children.

A study in the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics titled, “Improvement in motor developmental delay in a 15-month old male following chiropractic care to correct vertebral subluxation: A case report,”  begins with the authors defining the issue. “a child who is not meeting a range of milestones at the expected rate of development is ‘delayed.”  Explained are the areas of delay stating, “multiple areas of development including cognitive skills, social and emotional skills, speech and language skills, fine and gross motor skills and activities of daily living.”

Developmental delay is measured against six areas defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “windows of achievement.” Each of these have different age ranges depending on the level advancement for the age of the child. These achievements include sitting without support, standing with assistance, hands-&-knees crawling, walking with assistance, standing alone, and finally walking alone. Not being able to achieve these tasks within the timeframe set forth in the WHO guidelines is considered developmentally delayed.

In this study, a 15-month-old boy was unable to crawl or creep, unable to pull himself up to stand, or to stand alone or walk. From 6 months of age, he was able to sit upright, and from around 9 months old, he was able to roll.  These ability limitations were significantly behind expected milestones and why the boy was considered to be developmentally delayed.  

A chiropractic examination was performed which revealed multiple areas of spinal and pelvic restrictive movement and alterations of muscle tone. The boy’s ability to balance was reduced with difficulty in supporting himself on his hands and knees.

Chiropractic treatment commenced for correction of vertebral subluxations (spinal misalignments) with multiple visits per week being performed in the initial stage of care.  The study revealed following the first 2 chiropractic adjustments, the boy started to crawl on his hands and knees by himself unassisted. After a 3rd visit, the boy was able to pull himself up to a standing position.  After the 6th visit the boy was able to crawl on his hands and knees with no difficulty and began standing unassisted. After 7th chiropractic visit, the boy began to take unassisted steps with increasing confidence. In their discussion, the authors of this study summed up the results by saying, “Motor development improvements were reported in a 15-month-old male over the course of 16-weeks of chiropractic care”.  

Chiropractic treatment when approached with an open mind can offer great benefits to the pediatric population, without the risks which chiropractic has proven throughout its history on safety, has the lowest malpractice insurance across the Country.

About Dr. Kaminsky & Craniosacral Therapy

Dr. Kaminsky is a 1999 graduate of the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic. He is licensed to practice in NY and has completed close to three thousand hours of professional continuing education since becoming licensed in March of 2000.

The primary approach used in his office is Craniosacral Therapy (CST) which is a method focusing on the cranium (head) and sacrum (a large bone at the base of the spine) scientifically proven to control life sustaining fluid flow throughout the body.

Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle, non-invasive, hands-on manual therapy approach that brings about healing via the fluidity of the body. The existence of the Craniosacral System was first discovered by Osteopath Dr. William Sutherland in the early 1900’s, calling it Cranial Osteopathy.  And later rediscovered, validated, and developed by Dr. John Upledger in the late 70’s early 80’s, who renamed it Craniosacral Therapy after doing five years of research at the Michigan State University, School of Medicine. In 1983 Dr. John, as he was fondly called, established a teaching institute in Palm Beach, Florida, to teach this cranial sacral method to all healthcare providers. The Upledger Institute is still very active today.

The craniosacral mechanism pumps fluid which is produced in the brain, called cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF), through the fascial network of the body, the purpose of which is to lubricate joints, muscles, organs, all cells and all tissues. It is the driving life force for your body’s systems to function properly, CSF also carries healing properties to bodily traumas, injuries and past surgeries.

The proper function of your cranial sacral mechanism, via CSF flow, maintains the normal tone of your muscles, provide nutrients to your organs, and keeps you out of pain. It sustains human life and allows your nervous system to stay responsive to challenges of daily living and your mind-body life experiences. The better your craniosacral mechanism functions, the better the flow of this life sustaining fluid, the better your body can handle physical and emotional stress. The uninhibited flow of this fluid throughout your body allows you to thrive, opposite of survival mode.

CSF is part of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) brain and spinal cord), which is physically encapsulated within the dural membranes of the spine and head.

One of the functions inside of your brain is to automatically generate energetic rhythmic impulses that function to pump CSF throughout your body, regulating your peripheral nerves, nervous system and organ systems, which in turn, sustain your function (physiology) and life. It is an important force that maintains everything functioning in your body. This is what we call the Craniosacral System, or Craniosacral Mechanism. It is the hydraulic, energetic and rejuvenating system of your body.

This measurable life force of moving fluid is palpable to a trained craniosacral therapist, like the heart rhythm, pulse rhythm, breathing rate, that can all be felt, so too can the Cranial Sacral Rhythm (CSR) be palpated and measured. It is the foundational diagnostic tool in real-time used to evaluate your current state of well-being (or lack thereof), and potential for health improvement and healing.

Compromises of your rhythmic impulse, correlates to CSF flow restrictions in the system which the body is unable to self-correct or overcome on its own. This is the reason why over time we develop pain, dis-ease, symptoms, conditions, mind-body disconnect and basically all human physical and psychological ailments.

When the fluid isn’t flowing optimally, your bodily rejuvenation is affected, and this is where the skill of an experienced craniosacral therapist becomes valuable. By placing his or her hands on your body, most commonly on your head and sacrum, for diagnostic purposes, the practitioner can detect, feel, evaluate, and rate the SSQAR (strength, symmetry, quality, amplitude, rate) of the rhythm; then bring forth correction of any limitations with subsequent experienced hand placements on different parts the body during a session.

A craniosacral therapist helps your rhythm reset, restore and renew allowing for healing to take place of the mind-body connection, musculoskeletal tightness and spasms, neurological deficits, autoimmune issues, organ function, many common conditions, and of course pain. Through a practitioners properly focused and attuned touch, your body is facilitated to release channels of fluid stagnation and flow restriction, which ultimately breakthrough, overcome and improve CSR and the function of vital fluid flow.

Dr. Alex Kaminsky is an advanced practitioner of Craniosacral therapy, having studied up to advanced levels including SER and pediatric courses. He has built a solid foundation with many years of experience, treating babies, children and adults.

To learn more, visit the other pages on this website. Call to schedule your appointment with Dr. Kaminsky.