Colic? Find Out How Chiropractic Can Help Your Child
It’s every parent’s nightmare – your beautiful newborn is in obvious distress and you can’t figure out how to console your little monkey. The suffocating array of parental advice may be leaving you confused. So what do you do when your baby has colic?
What is Colic?
When a baby cries inconsolably for more than three hours per day, more than three days per week, for longer than three weeks this is known as ‘infantile colic’. Aside from being stressful, tiring, even heart-breaking for parents, infant colic can cause both physical and psychological symptoms in parents and can lead to marital tension, social disruption and child abuse. The causes of infantile colic are still unknown and traditional medical intervention is often ineffective. The traditional medical management for colic involves prescribing drugs such as simethicone drops or proton pump inhibitors. However, systematic reviews have consistently shown that these interventions are no more effective than placebo.
Why try Chiropractic?
As many as 40% of all babies suffer from colic. A study conducted in the UK looked at the effectiveness of chiropractic care in affected children. The researchers observed 104 babies who were randomized into three groups. The first group of babies were given chiropractic care and their parents knew they were seeing a chiropractor. The second group also received chiropractic care, but their parents didn’t know whether their baby was receiving the care, or the control intervention. And the third group didn’t get checked by the chiropractor; instead they received the control intervention. These parents also didn’t know whether their baby was receiving care or the control. Parents were asked to complete a 10-day ‘crying diary’. The findings from this study suggest that even without chiropractic care, crying time reduced. However, babies under chiropractic care cried up to 3 hours less (~50% improvement) compared to those who did not receive care. Interestingly, the parent’s awareness of whether their baby was receiving chiropractic care, or the control did not matter. This confirms previous studies that have also shown chiropractic care in babies with colic responding well to chiropractic care. It suggests that the child’s improvement is probably due to chiropractic; and not parent bias or parent placebo effect. Further, this study found that excessively crying babies were (at least!) 5 times less likely to cry if they received care, compared to not receiving care. It’s very likely that chiropractic care really does help at least some babies who are suffering from colic. Remember that the chiropractor isn’t directly trying to treat the colic. Instead they’re trying to improve spinal function with the aim of improving your child’s brain’s ability to process what’s going on in their body, and for some kids, this seems to result in less crying time! This must be a good thing for the whole family! No serious effects were noted, so you can trust that your baby is in safe hands and gets the best possible start in life. When modern chiropractic care is appropriately applied, it is very safe for all members of our society, irrespective of their age.