Infantile Colic and Chiropractic Care
Infantile colic can be as troublesome for the parent as it is for the child experiencing the condition. Characterized by a multitude of symptoms, the child suffering from infantile colic does not usually respond to simple comforting methods and exhibits periodic fussiness that can last over hours or days.
In many cases, the infant appears to be in pain and will pull up his/her legs. At times, the child's abdomen will be hard and distended. Occasionally the passage of flatus will give relief, yet these attacks may last for hours. To make matters more complicated, this condition rarely responds to traditional health care. This leaves many parents troubled as an infant's episodes of crying and fussiness persist.
A New Approach
Many parents of babies with infant colic are wary of some of the traditional medical approaches to treat colic because they fear the possible side effects of certain medications. And rightfully so. If you have a choice between a pharmaceutical solution and a natural solution for colic relief, why wouldn’t you choose the natural approach? After all, it’s certainly safer and more effective than many of the controversial alternatives!
While many may still believe that chiropractors deal only with pain in the back and neck, this simply isn’t true. In fact, they help many people – infants, children, adolescents, teenagers and adults – to discover the healing abilities of their own bodies after any nerve interference that prohibits natural healing is located and removed.
Many infants with colic suffer from nerve interference because of the birth process itself. During delivery, a great deal of pressure may be exerted on an infant’s fragile neck and spine. If any type of delivery assistance, including forceps, is used, the pressure can be so great that it causes the spine to become misaligned and the misplaced bones interrupt normal nerve function to many different parts of the body.
Although there is a great deal of debate regarding the causes of colic, many colicky babies who receive chiropractic care soon find relief from their colic symptoms, as do their very grateful parents.
Two chiropractic studies relating to infantile colic are of particular interest. The first study was done by a group of Danish chiropractors who revealed positive results when spinal adjustments were given to a group of colicky infants. (1) A second study involving a group of 316 infants diagnosed with colic reported 94% successful resolution within the first two weeks of chiropractic care. (2)
Although chiropractic care does not treat the symptoms of colic specifically, Doctors of Chiropractic have found, after hundreds of adjustments, that most babies will respond within the first few weeks. (3) Nerve supply is vital to the proper function of every system of the body, including that of the stomach, intestines, and other abdominal organs, and any vertebral subluxations (spinal misalignments) causing interference to the nerves in this area could adversely affect gastric function and result in discomfort, gas, and other colic symptoms.
As the infant with colic responds to chiropractic care, parents usually note that the child sleeps for longer periods without fussing, and requires less comforting. (4) As a parent you can do your part to help your child by keeping your child's appointments and following your Doctor of Chiropractic's instructions. Remember, healing takes time. Chiropractic is a natural science in that it neither stimulates nor inhibits bodily function, but instead gradually allows the normal function to take place once again. As chiropractic helps to restore normal function in your child's nervous system, your infant's digestive tract and other related organs have a better opportunity to receive nerve supply from the brain, bringing it back to full normal potential. The result is a content baby and a happier you.
1. Klougart N, Nilsson N, Jacobsen J. Infantile Colic treated by chiropractors: A prospective study of 316 cases. J manipulative Physiol Ther 1989; 12: 281-288.
2. Netter F. The Ciba collection of medical illustrations. Vol 1 Nervous System, part 1 Anatomy and Physiology. 1986
3. Nilsson N. Infantile colic and chiropractic, Euro J Chiro 1985; 33: 624-665
4. Peet, JB: Infantile Colic, Baby Talk Newsletter, Volume 2, No. 3 1993.