You’ve been a parent for all of two months. Right now, you’re pacing the living room floor with your baby girl, Marie, in your arms. For the past hour or so, said baby has been screaming for all she’s worth. You checked all the obvious things — dirty diaper, hunger, needing a nap — but none of these is the problem. Unfortunately, this has been happening a lot lately. You’re spending several evenings a week pacing the floor, wondering what to do. You and your spouse have tried everything to comfort little Marie, but nothing works.
What you’re dealing with may be a case of colic, a painful ailment that affects babies. Unfortunately, little is known about what causes colic and how to cure a colicky baby. Your pediatrician may offer some medication to help your baby’s colics.
However, there is another, lesser-known option available: chiropractic treatment! Today’s article will discuss what colic is, how it’s usually treated, and how chiropractic treatments can provide solutions other methods can’t offer.
What is Colic?
Colic is defined by extensive bouts of intense crying in an otherwise perfectly healthy baby. More specifically, it’s when the baby cries for at least three hours a day, at least three days a week for at least three weeks. There is no apparent reason for this, so parents are often baffled and frustrated because their child is suffering, and they cannot make it better.
Most colic incidents happen between the ages of six weeks and four months. It’s estimated that between 10 and 20% of babies experience colic.
What are the Symptoms of a Colicky Baby?
A colicky baby may exhibit symptoms such as:
- Loud, inconsolable crying for no obvious reason
- Tense body
- Bloated abdomen
There may also be fussiness after the crying is over and a reddened face from tension and crying. The crying bouts are often predictable, most likely happening late afternoon or early at night.
The exact cause of colic remains a mystery. There is some speculation that it may be a matter of:
- An underdeveloped digestive system
- Food allergies
- Over- or underfeeding
- Stress and anxiety in the household
Also, colic symptoms may be a sign of other illnesses, so a trip to the pediatrician is always a good idea to rule out other causes.
Treating Colic in Babies
Without a clear cause of colic available, it’s not easy to develop an effective treatment for it. Some doctors prescribe medication, such as dimethicone, which breaks up gas bubbles in the digestive system. Also, parents use a mix of water and herbs called Gripe Water as a home treatment. Unfortunately, within the practice of traditional medicine, there’s not much else to offer colicky babies and their stressed-out parents.
Chiropractic Solutions for Colic
Medical doctors don’t often recommend chiropractors for colic, and it’s not something that comes easily to mind for frustrated parents. However, research supports the use of spinal adjustment to effectively reduce colic symptoms. This includes a clinical trial published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, where 94% of parents reported improvements.
Another study of babies aged 2 to 14 weeks suggested a small positive effect of chiropractic care on infantile colic. A third study found that toddlers who, in the past, received chiropractic care for colic exhibited less negative behavior, such as tantrums, long-term.
Why Would Chiropractic Care Work for Colicky Babies?
Babies have incredibly flexible bodies, but they leave the comfort of the womb by squeezing, twisting, and rotating their way into the world. On the way through the birth canal, a great deal of force on the spine can easily throw it out of alignment, disrupting the proper working of the nervous system. As a result, some muscles are unbalanced, so they tighten or get overworked. Meanwhile, some nerves are compressed and lose a significant portion of their normal function. They may even create gas and bloating in the digestive system. This may be contributing to the baby’s colic.
Chiropractic Care Can Help Colicky Babies!
If you’ve ever seen chiropractic adjustments for adults, you may be alarmed at the thought of that much force applied to a tiny baby’s body.
But treatment for infants is much more gentle. Techniques are modified for babies’ more delicate and flexible physiology.
Adjustments consist of a small amount of gentle finger pressure on the spine, neck, and joints to bring vertebrae back into alignment. This approach reduces stress, restores normal range of motion, and eliminates pressure on the nervous system. Furthermore, it helps restore full function to the digestive and other body systems, alleviating colic symptoms.
Chiropractic care does not employ medication, so the baby is not subjected to any side effects of prescription drugs.
Here is an example of a chiropractic exam and treatment for a baby. As you will see, the touches are very soft and soothing. The chiropractor is careful not to cause the baby distress while providing effective manipulations. Also, the typical popping and cracking noises you hear with adults are absent.
Bring Your Colicky Baby to Bergen Chiropractic!
At Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our chiropractic team, under the leadership of Dr. Gregory Doerr, adheres to the highest and most professional medical standards to provide superior chiropractic help. Our mission is to provide unparalleled patient care in a comfortable, healing atmosphere.
Access our contact form or call us at (201) 945-4075 to learn more about our chiropractic care services! Our offices at 532 Anderson Avenue, Cliffside Park, NJ 07010, and 62 Summit Ave, Hackensack, NJ 07601, are ready to welcome you as we proudly serve the areas of New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, PA, and Baltimore, MD. Also, feel free to access our blog, Facebook, and Instagram pages for more information on chiropractic adjustments!
- “Colic.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/colic/symptoms-causes/syc-20371074. Accessed 12 Oct. 2022.
- Holm, Lise Vilstrup, et al. “The Effect of Chiropractic Care on Infantile Colic: Results from a Single-Blind Randomised Controlled Trial – Chiropractic & Manual Therapies.” BioMed Central, BioMed Central, 19 Apr. 2021, chiromt.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12998-021-00371-8. Accessed 12 Oct. 2022.
- “Long-Term Effects of Infant Colic: A Survey Comparison of Chiropractic Treatment and Nontreatment Groups.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19836599/. Accessed 12 Oct. 2022.
- “Omar Hajji.” Enlightened Chiropractic, enlightenedchiropractic.com/blog/if-your-infant-suffers-from-colic-chiropractic-can-help. Accessed 12 Oct. 2022.