Developmental Delay? - Missing Arm Support in Prone Position

A boy was brought to my clinic at the age of seven months, with the question whether a developmental delay existed because he made no attempts to prop himself up on his hands in the prone position.

He merely laid there on his stomach, one arm placed alongside the body, the other by the head. He began to whimper fairly quickly, which the parents described as normal for him when he was lying on the stomach. When lying on the back, he showed age-appropriate movements of the arms and head, and his verbal development was normal as well - all in all an alert little guy, who only disliked lying on the stomach.

The pregnancy and delivery had gone without complications. Shortly after delivery, he had developed a preferential posture to the right, but at the time of treatment in my practice, he was moving his head spontaneously to both sides. I was able to passively move the head to both sides into maximum rotation.

When examining the spinal column, I found a blockage in the upper thoracic spine. Because this area of the spinal column is strained and must move along during all arm movements and especially when using the arms for support in the prone position, I suspected that this blockage was troubling the young man, preventing him from propping himself up.  Thus I released the blockage and requested a follow-up visit two weeks later. During this visit, he performed the arm support in the prone position without any problems. The parents reported that he had successfully propped himself up not even a whole day after the first treatment and had developed additional motor skills since then.