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Chiropractic Care and Colic

Any parent who has had a newborn that suffers from colic will tell you how heartbreaking (and frustrating) it is to see your child in pain and be unable to soothe him or her. While colic affects an estimated 20-25 percent of infants, experts aren’t entirely sure of the root cause. However, families have found relief through chiropractic adjustments for colic symptoms.

Is My Baby Fussy or Colicky? How to Identify Colic

The main marker of a colicky baby is intense crying episodes. All babies cry, of course, however the cry of a colicky baby is different. Your otherwise healthy, well-fed baby may be diagnosed with colic if he or she fits what many doctors call the “Rule of 3s”:

  • Loud, piercing cry that begins around 3 weeks old
  • Lasts more than 3 hours a day
  • Occurs more than 3 days a week
  • Continues for over 3 weeks

What is Colic?

There is no consensus on the exact cause of colic, however, many experts suspect that the issue arises from the gut (the term “colic” stems from the Greek word “kolikos,” meaning “suffering in the colon”). Some possible issues could be an immature digestive system/gas, infant acid reflux, food allergies or sensitivity and more. Other nondigestive issues could be overstimulation or tobacco exposure.

Parents, Here’s What You Can Do for Colic Relief

Chiropractic care is one of the safer, more natural methods of colic relief. Schedule an appointment with your local chiropractor as soon as possible. Often chiropractors help with conditions that have difficult to identify causes or are difficult to treat, such as fibromyalgia. The simple reason is this: Chiropractors address underlying issues in the central nervous system and spine—namely a condition called subluxation. Subluxation is a misalignment in one or more of the vertebrae of the spine. This misalignment prevents the nervous system from functioning properly, which can cause stress or dysfunction in all parts of the body—including your infant’s digestive system and gut.

A chiropractor can remove the subluxation through a gentle and safe chiropractic adjustment, treating patients as young as minutes old. The chiropractic physician will perform a light adjustment to your infant’s spine, typically with him or her lying on the parent’s chest. This will help to remove subluxations and restore motion. Often parents see an immediate change in the baby’s demeanor as he or she relaxes and stops crying. (See an infant adjustment!)

The Research on Chiropractic and Colic

Supporting research demonstrates an important link between chiropractic care and the relief of colic symptoms. A study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics demonstrated a significant improvement in symptoms with chiropractic for colic adjustments. Based on parent reporting, the three-month long study showed that there was a positive improvement in 94% of the cases.

Another study published in the same journal saw a 67% decrease in crying for babies who were treated with chiropractic, versus a 38% decrease in crying for babies treated with the anti-gas medication, dimethicone.

Make an appointment to talk to a chiropractic doctor about chiropractic care for colic relief. .

Read more about newborns and chiropractic.

Read on to learn more:

Chiropractic Care for Children [ABSTRACT], Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine Journal, April 2000

Colic Research, International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, accessed April 2017

Efficacy of chiropractic manual therapy on infant colic [ABSTRACT], Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Oct 2012

Infantile Colic Treated by Chiropractors: A Prospective Study of 316 Cases, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Aug 1989

The safety and effectiveness of pediatric chiropractic [ABSTRACT], Explore (NY), Sep-Oct 2009

What’s Colic? Does Your Baby Have Colic? How to Tell, Ask Dr. Sears, accessed April 2017

Why Should Children Have Chiropractic Care? International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, accessed April 2017


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