Babies cry. Everybody knows that. Crying is one of the ways babies communicate before they learn to form words. If something hurts, they cry. If they went to the bathroom in their diaper, they cry. If they’re hungry, they cry. If they just want to be held, they cry. When they’re hot, cold, scared, or sick, they cry. And sometimes they cry because they just feel like crying. Who knows why they cry? As parents, all we know is how to try different methods in hopes of finding a remedy for the crying. That’s right, we hope to find a remedy because “rebellions are built on hope.”
We try it all:
- Pick up the baby.
- Check the diaper.
- Check the skin for rashes or bug bites.
- Take the baby’s temperature.
- Put the baby in the car and drive around the block–or drive to the next state.
- When all else fails, we cry with them. (Okay, maybe I’m the only one who did this.)
According to Norine Dworkin-McDaniel, a pediatric writer from American Baby Magazine, “some newborns, about 15 to 25 percent, cry a whole lot more than others.” When there is no remedy for the crying and the baby is simply inconsolable, pediatricians call that colic. Colic can be described as comfortless bouts of inconsolable crying by infants for hours at a time.
Unfortunately, there is no absolute way of knowing the cause of colic or a remedy, but there are many ways to comfort a baby when they have colic. The most common treatments for colic include changes in diet, medication, changed bedding, and even through pediatric chiropractic care. Actually, most parents wouldn’t think of chiropractic care for their baby, and some might even be a little scared to take their newborn to a chiropractor, which is natural because most people fear the unknown. However, chiropractic care is one of the safest forms of natural, alternative health care in the world, so taking your baby to a chiropractor who is experienced in pediatric chiropractic has the potential to help your baby feel some relief from colic.
A study that was published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine investigated the impact of chiropractic care on infants with colic. There were two groups of infants tested: one was given medication and the other was given chiropractic care. “Toddlers who were treated with chiropractic care for colic were twice as likely to not experience long-term sequelae of infant colic, such as temper tantrums and frequent nocturnal waking than those who were not treated with chiropractic care as colicky infants” (Miller and Phillips, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, 2009). Essentially, the study revealed that 38 percent of babies in the study group decreased crying through medication and 67 percent of babies decreased crying through chiropractic care. The main result that researches took from this study was not only did chiropractic care improve the comfort levels of infants with colic, but the gentle touch of a pediatric chiropractor helped to soothe the babies.
How does a Chiropractor treat infants for colic?
Chiropractors generally focus on restoring proper function and movement to the joints so the pressure from stress can be released from the spine. With babies, a chiropractor does the same thing, only they perform these techniques with a lighter touch since a baby’s back and bones are still fragile.
A chiropractor will gently lay the baby face down on their mother’s chest to expose the baby’s back. Some pediatric chiropractors prefer to hold the baby or lay them down on a soft cushion. Then the chiropractor will gently examine the bones and joints of the back and spine, noting any abnormalities. Crying causes the body to tense up, even as an adult, which can cause stress to the back, and that is what the chiropractor will be able to feel when feeling for the tense and tight areas on the baby’s back.
Once the chiropractor identifies those areas in the baby’s back, he or she will apply light chiropractic adjustments to the baby’s back so the pressure can be released. The chiropractor may or may not combine these adjustments with light massage motions to help soothe the baby. Pediatric chiropractic adjustments can help restore motion in the baby’s joints as a way of eliminating pain and discomfort from colic, which may or may not have resulted from irritated nerves in the baby’s body.
Irritated nerves are typically the main cause of discomfort in babies because they also cause interruptions in the stomach, intestines, and other abdominal organs. This is also why many people believe that gas is the cause of colic. However, the buildup of gas is really a side effect of irritated nerves causing dysfunction in the body.
Fortunately, many babies experience instant relief and comfort from chiropractic adjustments. It is an amazing sight to see babies go into a chiropractic office fussy and uncomfortable, only to rest completely content in their mother’s arms after a chiropractic adjustment.
If your baby is experiencing colic symptoms, a chiropractor may be able to help provide some relief to your baby. Call your local chiropractor to schedule an appointment today.