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Colic and Chiropractic

Colic is a word I hear frequently from moms but unfortunately it is not well understood and it is not clearly defined so it’s hard to understand just how to help our little newborns! The most accepted criteria to define colic are 1) crying for 3 hours a day 2) for more than 3 days/ week 3) for a minimum of 3 weeks. It is theorized that these newborns may have an immature nervous system that doesn’t allow for them to properly regulate the stimuli they are experiencing in both their little bodies as well as their surrounding environment. Examples of these stimuli that may cause crying episodes include negative stimuli such as hunger, gas, fatigue and also positive stimuli such as music, voices, handling. One of the medical management approaches to infantile colic has been Simethicome, however, studies show that this approach may not be any better than a placebo which makes sense because it is simply attempting to mask some of the presenting symptoms rather than addressing the nervous system and how the baby perceives stimuli. That’s where Chiropractic comes in. If there is a disconnection between a baby’s brain and body, Chiropractic can help to reestablish this connection. A study in the Journal of Manipulative Physical Therapy did a comparison of the effects of Chiropractic versus dimethicone as a treatment strategy. After a week, the results were a 2.5 hour reduction time in crying for the Chiropractic group and a 1 hour reduction time in crying for the dimethicone group. Did you know that yet another JMPT study reported that toddler aged children who received chiropractic care were twice as likely not to experience the long-term sequelae of infantile colic such as temper tantrums and frequent nocturnal waking. Lastly, a significant study to mention is one from 2010 in the Pediatrics journal in which probiotics were seen to help reduce crying time by 50% in 7 days. So the answer to helping our little babies ➡ Chiropractic + Probiotics (specifically Lactobacillus reuteri). In my practice, I have seen a lot of success in treating colicky babies with gentle and specific treatments.  If you know a family with a colicky baby, please share so we can help!

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