Failure to crawl and low back pain later in life.
Could there be a link?

Bernard R. Sañudo-Diez, DC, DACCP, CCST, CCSP, FABS


Objective: To establish the possible relationship between failure to crawl and prevalence of low back pain in a 13-year-old girl.

Clinical features: A 13-year-old female patient was brought for chiropractic care complaining of severe low back pain and sciatica on the left leg. On prenatal history it was stated by the patient’s parents that their daughter did not develop the ability to crawl when she was an infant. Upon radiographic examination a 26° Ferguson’s angle was found in the lumbo-sacral region.

Intervention and outcome: After performing history and examination, the
patient received chiropractic intervention for structural rehabilitation of the spine. The patient was seen 23 times with reevaluations every 8 visits over a 2 year period. The treatment consisted in specific chiropractic spinal manipulation on the sacrum and pelvis using high velocity- low amplitude manoeuvres. The patient’s symptoms resolved completely and radiographically her Ferguson’s angle increased to 39° from a 26° degrees angle. A 50% increase.

Conclusion: Several researchers have written about the importance of infant crawling, nevertheless, not much has been researched about the important motor development and biomechanical effects it produces in the infant’s spine. This case describes the favourable response to chiropractic care of a 13 year old girl with low back pain and sciatica who did not develop the ability to crawl when she was an infant. Further studies should be conducted in order to determine if failure to crawl, and its effects in motor development and spinal biomechanics, is and early predictor for low back pain later in life.