Your baby is crying relentlessly, and you have tried everything to soothe it. You have had very little sleep, and are at your wit’s end to finding a way to find relief for your ears, and more importantly for your baby. Conventional medicine has yielded little results, and you are wondering what natural things that you can do to help your baby feel better. Sound Familiar? For many families, after ruling out several other diagnoses, it is possible that your baby is suffering from Colic.
Researchers have defined Colic as “A healthy, well-fed infant who cries for more than three hours per day, for more than three days per week, for more than three weeks”, or better known, as the “Rule of 3’s.” Colic can be a misunderstood condition, and there are several factors involved. Typically, a baby with colic, or “colicky baby”, cries at very loud piercing levels, has tension in their abdominal region, bent legs and clenched fingers. These symptoms can last from infancy to about 6 months in age, and affects anywhere from 10 to 20% of infants. There has been little evidence to show any differences in prevalence between boys and girls.
Some of the possible causes of colic include stomach pains due to adverse reactions from consumption of lactose and dairy proteins, intestinal gas and bloating, hypersensitivity due to environmental factors such as loud noise and light, and the infants natural reaction to the traumas and vigor of the birthing process, causing subluxations and misalignments in the spinal column, contributing to muscle spasms, nerve impingement, and pain. There is wonderful news for panic-stricken mothers and fathers of colicky babies: Chiropractic care. Research has shown that Chiropractic, a safe, natural, drugless, and surgery free profession, has yielded some of the best results for colicky infants. According to the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, it was found that “spinal manipulation is effective in relieving infantile colic.” The infants who received chiropractic care showed a 67% decrease in crying while the babies on medication showed a 38% decrease in crying. Another study showed a 94% improvement rate with chiropractic adjustments.
More and more parents are bringing their infant to be checked by a chiropractor. When a pediatric chiropractor gently adjusts an infant’s spine, often at times they use their index finger to feel for muscle spasms in the infant. This in turn can elicit a response in the infant, as they squirm their body in response due to the subluxation of their spine. By applying gentle pressure and adjusting the baby, this can alleviate the infant’s pain, as well as the intestinal gas out of the baby. This can also help the motility of the baby’s bowels, supporting their digestion, and ultimately helping the infant sleep and remove the pain that it is suffering.
As a related case study, I recently had a 4 week old infant visit my office, presenting with irritability, sleep deprivation, bloating, and associated muscle spasms in its mid-back area. Its mother had told me that her child had not slept for more than 2 hours at a time since it was born, and hadn’t had a bowel movement in a week. After gently adjusting the infant, it immediately had a bowel movement, and within thirty minutes of the office visit, slept for 6 hours! If you or someone you know has a colicky baby, seeking a pediatric chiropractor is a great option for natural care.