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Colic & Chiropractic

infant holding a persons fingerI often see babies for colic. Honestly I don’t think most people even know the word colic, much less what to do about it until they have a colicky baby of their own. “Colic is frequent, prolonged and intense crying or fussiness in a healthy infant.”1 The way the medical doctors approach colic is with patience, medication, controlling diet, improving burping technique, and so on. Ultimately colic has to go away with time as the baby matures.

What Does Chiropractic Have to do with Colic?

Well, simply put if colic is just “crying” then chiropractic isn’t going to be much help. But with parents that bring their babies in to see me, they often talk about how they can tell their baby is really uncomfortable, and their tummy obviously hurts them, and that’s why they cry. If that (or something like that) is the case, then chiropractic care can often be really helpful, and sometimes really fast.

How It Works

When a baby is born, their nervous system is still extremely immature, and developing at an extraordinary rate (literally 1-4 million neuronal connections every second!). So when they come out, they are extremely vulnerable, and obviously unable to communicate a need in any other way than by crying. When an injury is present at birth, which is extremely common2, It causes a lot of stress in their little still-forming nervous system, and this has a tendency to shift their brain and body into a fight-or-flight response. The problem with that is if left unchecked, their neurology literally develops itself around this stress response in the long term, which can create other developmental issues, and in the short term, allocates the body’s resources away from the digestive and repairing organs (like the intestines, liver, etc.) and toward the heart, lungs, and skeletal muscles. This often leads to a hyper-vigilant, “strong” baby who is constantly trying to lift her/his head up to look around from day 1, may have a hard time settling down, may spit up a lot, may have a hard time pooping, and/or have a gassy, bloated, tight, uncomfortable belly. Most colicky babies have a bloated, stiff tummy painfully full of gas. Every baby is different, but that’s often the cause.

How Chiropractic Can Help

We often get great results through specific, gentle adjustments of the spine3. In brand new babies, it’s often an easy no-force technique to check and adjust their necks (it doesn’t look like a “traditional” adjustment), and low force for everything else, tailored just for your baby’s size and needs. The beauty is that we often get results in as little as one adjustment, but depending how severe, or how long the injury has been there, it may take 1-3 weeks to get the injury calmed down to where everyone (mom and baby and Dr. E.) is happy.

If you have any questions about colic or other childhood problems that chiropractic may help, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.


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