Colic is defined as comfortless crying in a young child or a baby and the child exhibits periodic fussiness that can last over hours or days. Colic is characterized by problems of loud piercing cry, tensed abdominal muscles, flexed legs, and clenched fingers. It generally starts around three weeks of age and lasts until around three months but sometimes lasts for as long as six months. Approximately 10-20% of babies are affected by colic. Despite the research done on colic there is no known cause, which can make colic treatment difficult. Chiropractic care has given some of the best results, with 94% of colicky babies showing improvement with chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractic care is a gentle, conservative, and highly successful option for treating infants with colic. Chiropractic adjustments for infants are gentle, specific, and safe.
Research on chiropractic treatment and colic has shown remarkable benefits over other treatments such as dietary changes, medication, and infant positioning. A clinical trial published in 1999 in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that “Spinal manipulation is effective in relieving infantile colic”. For this study the researchers randomly put infants diagnosed with colic into two groups. One group was given the anti-gas medication dimethicone for two weeks and the other group received chiropractic care for two weeks. The babies in the chiropractic group showed a 67% decrease in crying while the babies on medication showed a 38% decrease in crying. Another study with 316 children also showed great improvement in colic as a result to chiropractic care. This study used diaries from mothers of colicky babies to track the amount of crying. These better results showed up after an average of only three chiropractic adjustments within two weeks. The International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association has a data bank of chiropractors who work with infants.
Chiropractic is a natural science, in which it neither stimulates nor inhibits body function, rather gradually allows normal body function to take place properly once again. Parents of infants with colic are also reported to have significantly higher stress levels than parents whose babies don’t have colic. The frustration and stress of trying to soothe a colicky baby may interfere with mother-baby bonding and can increase the risk of postpartum depression. In addition, colicky babies are more likely to be victims of shaken baby syndrome and child abuse. Many parents are cautious of taking their small, young babies to see a chiropractic doctor. The main reason being the “Snap, Crackle and Pop” sociology that chiropractic invokes. But in reality, Chiropractic care can be very valuable in helping to calm the colic tendencies.
Any vertebral subluxation causing disturbance to the nerves in stomach, intestines, and other abdominal organs could adversely affect gastric function and result in discomfort, gas and other colic symptoms. The Chiropractic doctor specializes in the detection and correction of subluxations. As chiropractic helps to restore normal function in a child’s nervous system, the 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 happy and content baby.
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