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Back Pain and Pregnancy: Colic and Chiropractic

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Colic and Chiropractic

Do you have a baby with colic? We had one, and it still sends shivers down my spine! He is a healthy well adjusted 10 year old now, but there was a time we called him our “incredible screaming machine”. Nothing else can pierce your very soul like a screaming, hurting child. You are desperate to help him and helpless at the same time.We tried all of the various medications (we didn’t know what else to do) and they each were relatively ineffective and we worried about side effects.

When our 3rd son was born, he was set to rival number 1, but I was armed this time with a chiropractic degree and a lot of experience. We didn’t use drugs, I adjusted him a few times and gradually the screaming for hours on end diminished.

Colic is defined as unexplainable and uncontrollable crying in babies from 0 to 3 months old, more than three hours a day, more than three days a week for three weeks or more, usually in the afternoon and evening hours. In other words, no one really knows what causes it or what it really is. I think it is probably mostly gastroesophogeal reflux with a  few other unknown conditions thrown in. (But that’s just my best educated guess!)

Colic is such a common condition of childhood that it is said to affect some 16% to 26% of children in their first year of life. Most parents are told that this is a harmless rite of passage for your baby, however the condition is stressful to both parents and baby alike. Parent-child interactions have been found to be less than optimal when a child has colic. Afflicted families experience more problems in their daily functioning than families without colicky infants.

If you visit your child’s pediatrician you will most likely be given simethicone drops, some form of an antacid, or a stronger drug like Prevacid. (We tried them all, and to no avail.)  There are a couple of problems with this treatment.

1) No drug is without side effects (Adverse effects associated with these medications include drowsiness, constipation, and diarrhea, as well as more serious effects such as apnea, seizures, and coma.)

2) Randomized controlled clinical trials have found them to be ineffective!

At this point, you are probably crying right along with your baby…but don’t despair.

Chiropractic treatments have been found to reduce colic symptoms and severity.
Here are 2 of the studies:
·        A study conducted by N. Nilsson, interviewed parents of 132 infants with colic, found that 91% of the parents reported an improvement following an average of two to three patient visits and one week after initiating care.
·        M. Klougart and colleagues described 316 infants suffering from colic receiving chiropractic care. Based on an analysis of diaries kept by their mothers and parent interviews, 94% percent of the patients benefited from chiropractic care.
This is great news for parents and babies.  As a parent I saw, first-hand, the difference. As a chiropractor I have seen the difference in my patients again and again. Visit my office at

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