By Dr. Barry Gillespie and Michael Myers
Michael Myers discovered that the infant arching that we started seeing 10 years ago in our research has a syndrome. Sandifer syndrome is the most severe form of arching. Symptoms of Sandifer syndrome include GERD, hiatal hernia, spasmodic torticollis and dystonia. Medical treatment can include physical therapy, medication, and possible surgical intervention.
The cause of Sandifer syndrome is unknown, but we believe that it is most likely an extreme restriction of the craniosacral fascial system. We witnessed many gradations of arching in over 100 of our research babies. For many fussy babies, it was subtle, not clinically perceptible to health-care providers.
The arching back/neck strain (the fascial component) would run from the pelvis to the cranium (the craniosacral component), with occasional twisting. Most babies released completely in a few visits. We did see one memorable arching baby R, who needed 10 intensive CFT visits to help clear his strain.
We believe the root of the problem is positional compressive birth trauma. Over the years of research, we tried to figure out the specific cause for each baby. I remember that we came up with six different hypotheses, which meant we had no definitive answer. It may primarily be due to the anatomy and craniosacral fascial strains of each mother.