Are You and Your Baby Suffering From Colic?
Colic is defined as comfortless crying in a baby and/or 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. That sounds terrible for all involved! Colic type behavior generally starts around three weeks of age and lasts until around three months but sometimes lasts for as long as six months. This inconsolable crying has to meet 3 basic criteria to be “traditionally” diagnosed as colic:
More than three hours a day
Three days a week or more
For three weeks or longer
Approximately 10-20% of babies are affected by colic. Despite the research done on colic there is no known cause, which can make treating colic and helping moms and their babies incredibly frustrating.
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. Any chiropractor can treat children and infants, however Dr. Jamie Cortese with Healthmax Chiropractic of Hudson has additional training and is certified as a pediatric chiropractor through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association(ICPA). ICPA has a data bank of chiropractors who work with infants as well as tons of resources for parents.
Research on chiropractic treatment and colic has shown remarkable benefits over other treatments such as dietary changes, medication, and infant positioning. One such study was published in PubMed on the efficacy of chiropractic manual therapy on infant colic and found that children under chiropractic care improved crying times and behavior while under care.
Another 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 of chiropractic care.
Chiropractic care at any age is making sure the brain can communicate and provide health and function to the body. When there is a bone out of place, the body will not function at its highest level. With infants our job is to remove any interference to the nervous system so their little bodies can calm, rest, digest and have normal body functions.
People may wonder how a chiropractor adjusts babies. I can promise you the adjustment is NOT the same adjustment we give to adults. It is so gentle and babies enjoy it so much they fall asleep! Infant chiropractic adjustments are gentle, soft and typically only consist of a sustained contact on the misaligned vertebrae. Most parents do not realize we are adjusting and then I hand the baby back in a calm relaxed state…. Moms and dad are blown away!
I remember one of my first colicky babies was this adorable little boy. Mom, a nurse, who had never been seen by a chiropractor herself, but heard chiropractic could help her baby. She was desperate for her son but also for her own mental health. She came into the clinic and right away I noted she looked unwell. Her skin was an unhealthy color, bags under her eyes and a frantic high anxiety feeling was coming off her in spades! I did what I do – I assessed her son, we did a thorough health history and by the end of my assessment her son was asleep in my lap. She looked at me with aw and skepticism. I saw them the next day and mom looked radiant. Her skin was a healthy pink, her eyes were clear and she was smiling. Her son slept straight through the night for the first time in 5 months, and she slept too!
If you and your baby are suffering from colic, we would love to get you in, do a thorough health history and examination. Call us today to get scheduled! Don’t wait and stop suffering. You are not alone!