What Is A Structural Shift?
There is no escaping the fact that child birth is physically rough on both mom and baby. Sometimes, when there is trauma from birth, the baby’s head and neck can get shifted out of place. We at Structural Spinal Care call this a Structural Shift. In the medical field they call it KISS (Kinematic Imbalance due to Suboccipital Strain) or Craniocervical Junction Disorder. No matter which name you choose, a birth does not need to be exceptionally horrible in order for a baby to have a Structural Shift.
Sometimes this Structural Shift of the head and neck happens during seemingly normal, unremarkable births. The baby’s head could get turned in the canal, putting twisting strain on the neck during a contraction. The baby’s head could be pressed at an angle against the cervix during labor, which would put abnormal stress on the baby’s head and neck. There are many unavoidable and unpredictable scenarios where this shift could happen without anyone knowing, and if you add in induction medications like pitocin, it increases the force of contractions and amplifies the stress and strain on the baby’s head and neck.
Virtually all babies who are born C-section, vacuum, or forceps have their head and neck shifted out of place, since they are being pulled out by the head and extreme strain is placed on the ligaments of the head and neck. Breech births commonly create Structural Shifts of the head and neck as well.
Ligaments are like the ropes that hold the head and neck in place, and when there is some type of birth trauma, those ligaments can get damaged, which is what forces the head and neck to shift out of place. This shift then starts to effect the Nerves and Brainstem, which can result in many Secondary Conditions. In the picture below, the Brainstem is in pink.
Most of the time, this Structural Shift is subtle, so most health care providers and parents overlook it or miss it if they are even checking for it. This is why Dr. Slagel has done so much training in identifying which babies do and do not have this shift.