If you are a parent with an infant that struggles with colic, it can be heartbreaking. No matter what you do, and no matter how much affection you give your child, you are unable to soothe them. Not only is your baby in pain and uncomfortable, but this leads to stress and exhaustion from sleepless nights for the you the parent as well. Colic is estimated to affect around 20% of infants. While most people don’t know what to do and just wait it out, gentle chiropractic care can help.
What is colic and what are the signs?
Colic typically shows up around 2-3 weeks old. Colic is frequent, prolonged and intense crying or fussiness in an infant. It is defined as crying for 3 or more hours a day, for 3 or more days of the week, for 3 or more weeks. Simply put, your baby cries A LOT.
Here are some typical signs:
- Intense crying that may seem more like screaming
- Crying for no apparent reason, unlike crying to express when they are hungry or need a diaper change
- Extreme fussiness even after crying has stopped
- Predictable timing with most episodes usually occurring in the evening
- Bodily tension – pulled up or stiffened legs, clenched fingers, arched back, becomes flushed, tense abdomen
- Sometimes they may feel better after passing gas or having a bowel movement. Gas is likely the result of swallowed air during prolonged crying
What can I do to help my baby?
During a clinical trial published by the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics in 1999, researchers found that spinal adjustments are effective in relieving colic in infants. In this study babies were in two groups. One group had an anti-gas medication, and the other group received chiropractic adjustments from a pediatric chiropractor. The medication group showed a 38% decrease in the amount of crying, but the babies that received chiropractic adjustments showed a 67% decrease in crying.
It should be noted that chiropractic isn’t a ‘treatment’ for colic. Chiropractic assesses the spine for subluxations, which are misalignments of the spine that interfere with the proper function of any part of the body. When the subluxation is removed, the body is able to heal itself and function optimally. There can sometimes be tension and stress on the nervous system after birth, so it is always good to get the spine checked as soon as possible so that things like colic don’t occur. A lot of people will say, “they’ll just grow out of it”, but if the root cause of the problem is still there and never removed, they won’t grow out of it, they’ll grow into something else.
Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about how chiropractic care can help your colicky baby or to set up an appointment.