Colic and Chiropractic

By Dr. Jessica Caruso, Prenatal & Family Chiropractor and Reiki Practitioner

Colic is a disorder in which an infant has episodes of uncontrollable crying. It occurs in about 10-20% of infants less than 4 months of age. Colic is not only detrimental to the infant’s health but can create a tremendous amount of stress on the entire family unit.

The exact cause of colic is not known, but has been linked to gas in the intestine, dietary issues and birth trauma.

Research has shown that chiropractic care can help. A randomized clinical trial by Wiberg, et al. has concluded: “Spinal manipulation is effective in relieving infantile colic.” The research team enrolled infants diagnosed with infantile colic into two groups. For 2 weeks half the infants received chiropractic spinal manipulations (adjustments) , while the other half received the drug dimethicone.  At day five of the trial the group receiving spinal manipulations did significantly better than the group on the drug. Over the course of the entire trial, the infants receiving chiropractic care had a 67% reduction in crying noted, compared to only 38% reduction in the infants on dimethicone. (1)

There is a growing body of research that supports the efficacy of chiropractic care for children with colic.  In a prospective study of 316 children satisfactory improvement was noted within 2 weeks in 94% of the infantile colic cases being treated by a chiropractor. 51% of the infants in this study had previously unsuccessful results using drug therapy. (1, 2)

Chiropractic is not designed to treat disease, but rather to remove spinal nerve stress from the body. Spinal nerve stress (AKA subluxation) is misalignment of the spinal column, cranium, hips and related structures that interferes with the proper function of the nervous system. The nervous system controls the function of the entire body. Therefore, subluxations can weaken internal organs,  organ systems and the immune system as well. (3)

Subluxation can be caused by physical, chemical and/or emotional stress. Physical stress may begin with the baby’s positioning in utero. It may also present during a difficult or traumatic birth which can cause stress to the baby’s skull, spinal column or pelvic structures. (3)

The chiropractic adjustment is designed to remove nerve interference, allowing the immune system to function more efficiently, increase resistance to disease and improve the overall functioning of the body.  Even though parents may bring their children to the chiropractor with a symptom and/or a disease, the chiropractor does not treating the symptom but rather frees the body of nerve interference. This allows  the body to access its innate ability to heal from within and function optimally. (3)