Having a newborn is an incredible experience, but it’s also a time of sleep deprivation and high emotion. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed with a new baby in the home, and that’s especially true if your baby has colic. Estimates vary, but somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of new babies deal with this condition, which drives overwhelmed new parents to search for solutions. Is chiropractic one of them? Here’s what to know about the benefits of chiropractic care for babies with colic.
WHAT IS COLIC?
According to the Mayo Clinic, colic is described as frequent, prolonged, and intense crying or fussiness in an otherwise healthy infant. All babies cry, but colicky babies cry intensely for three or more hours a day, three or more days a week, for three or more weeks.
It’s a particular kind of cry that seems to suggest an expression of pain and involves bodily tension – pulled up or stiffened legs, stiffened arms, arched back, tense abdomen, and clenched fists. Colic is miserable for babies and parents alike. Parents of babies with colic have reported higher stress levels, which can interfere with critical bonding and increase the risk of postpartum depression.
CHIROPRACTIC RESEARCH ON COLIC
In 1999, the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics published a clinical trial that found spinal manipulation to be an effective way to relieve colic in infants. Researchers sorted infants diagnosed with colic in two random groups. For two weeks, one group was prescribed the anti-gas medication dimenthicone, while the other group received chiropractic care.
Babies in the chiropractic group showed a 67% decrease in crying, compared to a 38% decrease in the medicated group. Another study in MIDIRS Midwifery Digest found a correlation between chiropractic care for infants and improvements in sleep and feeding, and a demonstrated reduction in pain and discomfort.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Chiropractic care is considered a natural science, because it doesn’t stimulate or inhibit bodily functions. Instead, it’s intended to gradually restore normal function. When it comes to chiropractic and colic, the issue seems to be vertebral subluxations that cause disturbance to the nerves in the stomach, intestines, and other abdominal organs. This can have an adverse affect on gastric function, leading to gas, discomfort, and other symptoms of colic. The chiropractor detects and corrects these subluxations, restoring proper function to the nervous system.
If you’re in Reno and your colicky baby – and you! – need a break, a visit to the chiropractor may be just what you need. Learn more about what to expect at your first visit with Dr. Lynelle McSweeney, and schedule an appointment today.