Is your baby having restless sleep and not feeding well?
Were there any complications during delivery? (examples: prolonged labour, use of forceps or caesarean)
Is your baby showing signs of restricted motion in the neck?
Does he or she abnormally prefer turning the neck towards one side over the other?
If your answer was "YES" to any of the questions above, it's possible that your baby is suffering from KISS syndrome.
Please note: This is one of our most highly ranked article in Google/BING with large number of page views. This clearly suggests that there is lack of appropriate information online regarding KISS syndrome despite its high prevalence. To match the demand, this article was updated with more accurate information on March 2018.
What Is KISS Syndrome?
A study published in the Journal of Manual Medicine identified a specific upper cervical dysfunction (upper neck) in newborns that only chiropractors are fitted to examine and correct. It's called, Kinematic Imbalance due to Suboccipital Strain, also known as KISS syndrome. It was found that many signs and symptoms commonly seen in newborns were a direct cause of this syndrome.
In the study done by Biedermann (1992), the most common symptoms of KISS syndrome were:
- torticollis (head tilted to one side),
- asymmetric muscle tone,
- cervical scoliosis (sideway curvature of spine),
- retarded development of hip joints,
- opisthotonos (severe hyperextension/backward-tild of the neck)
- deformities of the feet,
- restless sleep and,
- poor feeding habits
There are two types of KISS syndromes, type 1 and type 2. Refer to the table below for more details.
Related Reading: Chiropractic Care For Kids: Benefits vs Risks
What Causes Kiss syndrome?
Suboccipital strain (upper cervical subluxation) or KISS syndrome is caused by:
- intrauterine malposition of the fetus
- use of forceps, c-section or vacuum extraction
- prolonged labour
- multiple fetuses (twins, triplets)
When first measured in the U.S, caesarean birth rate was 4.5% (1965) but in 2013 the rates of caesarean birth was 32.7%, well above the "medically necessary" target of 10 to 15 percent by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
This means that despite its consequences (to both mother and child), almost a third of every newborn are delivered through c-sections; dramatically increasing the risks and prevalence of upper cervical subluxations among children.
KISS syndrome is described as "Silent Killers" because they are oftentimes disregarded, misdiagnosed and overlooked by many physicians. Biedermann states that:
"the pathogenic importance of asymmetric posture in infants and young children is often disregarded, with the condition either being dismissed as unimportant or not recognised at all."
This is a major concern for two reasons:
- Signs and symptoms of KISS syndrome are very common among newborns, however, the diagnosis of upper cervical subluxations are largely dismissed. This lack of awareness results in the administration of irrelevant treatment(s) that do not address the underlying problem.
- If upper cervical subluxation is left undiagnosed and untreated for a long time, it becomes a chronic condition which may inflict more harm to the child as he/she matures.
Related Reading: The 7 Hours of Highly Sick Teenagers
What Can and Should You do about kISS syndrome?
The identification of suboccipital strain (upper cervical subluxations) requires the expertise of a doctor who is proficient in the palpation and analysis of the spine.
Biedermann's research team recommends chiropractors and chiropractic adjustments to the upper cervical area to correct the underlying problem of KISS syndrome.
Several case studies are presented in Biedermann's paper where chiropractic care was found to relieve the signs and symptoms quickly without the need for extensive physiotherapy or other invasive treatments. According to his studies, a frequent comment by parents was that their child ate and slept better after each chiropractic adjustments.
Related Reading: What Does A Chiropractor Really Do?