BY FELICITY YOUNG
Crying is a natural response for infants. They cry when they’re hungry or tired, when their nappy is soiled, and when they just need the comfort of loving arms. But when infants wail more than three hours a day, for three or more days a week, and over three weeks or longer, the baby is possibly suffering from colic.
This condition, which appears between two weeks and four months of age, presents with a variety of symptoms:
• Inconsolable, piercing crying that lasts for three hours or more, mostly in late afternoon or evening
• Clenched fists
• Legs pulled tightly into abdomen
• Tense abdominal muscles
• Rumbling stomach sounds
Colic affects about 10 to 20 percent of infants – although in a recent survey of Australian parents, 60 percent reported their babies suffered from this condition, which is painful for the infant and frustrating for the parent who can’t provide relief. Colic shows no predisposition to vaginal or Caesarean births. The cause has not been clearly determined. Some colicky babies suffer gastrointestinal distress resulting from too much gas in the intestine or intolerance to milk or formula. Their agonized outbursts could also be triggered by a reaction to something in the mother’s milk, like medication, caffeine, or nicotine. However, studies have shown that less than five percent of colic cases are due to these organic causes.
Colic has also been attributed to behavioral causes, such as anxious mothers transferring their negative energy to their babies. Feeding position has been blamed as well. Some experts believe that colic is a disorder of the baby’s central nervous system, resulting from birth trauma. The pushing, stretching, and contracting put pressure on the baby’s tiny, tender body. A prolonged delivery or the use of forceps or a vacuum can shift the infant’s neck and back vertebrae out of alignment. Because these vertebrae directly impact the rest of the body, the misalignment can create painful problems in an immature organ or system. When the digestive system is compromised by a subluxation, an infant suffers pain when trying to digest breast milk or formula. As a result, more and more parents are turning to chiropractic for treating their colicky infants.
Gentle fingertip pressure applied to the misaligned areas on the baby’s neck and spine is painless. Infants often show relaxation immediately after the treatment. This process enables the baby’s body to heal naturally, without medication.
A clinical trial reported in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics  studied two groups of infants over a period of 12 days. One group was treated with dimethicone, commonly used as a gas reliever. The other group received chiropractic adjustment. By the eleventh day of the trial, the infants that received the medication were crying one hour less. The chiropractic group’s crying reduced by 2.4 hours, which was a 270 percent improvement over the pharmaceutical approach. Over the 12 days of the study, the chiropractic group experienced a 67 percent reduction in crying and the medicated babies decreased their crying by 38 percent.
Another study  of 316 babies who were diagnosed with colic showed that 94 percent of the infants who received chiropractic treatment demonstrated satisfactory results within two weeks. Fifty-one percent of these babies had previously undergone drug therapy, with unsuccessful results. A different study  of 132 colicky infants showed that 91 percent of the parents reported improvement after an average of two to three chiropractic adjustments, within one week after the start of treatment. A 2007 study reported in the Chiropractic Journal of Australia stated, “Chiropractic care provides a potentially useful alternative for management of irritable babies.” 
While colic generally subsides when an infant reaches four months old, the baby’s discomfort should be addressed and eased as soon as possible. The parents, as well, experience frustration and fatigue while trying unsuccessfully to console their colicky infants. Chiropractic treatment provides pain – and drug-free option that lets everyone rest a little easier.
About the Author
Felicity Young was inspired by chiropractic from an early age after her experience as a child suffering headaches. After her mother intuitively took her to a chiropractor, who was able to treat and manage her symptoms, she recognized the power of chiropractic. Felicity has been an integral part of the Chirosports team for over four years in various capacities. In addition to six years of study at Macquarie University, she has completed extra studies in pediatric and pregnancy care, acupuncture, neurology, extremities and sports injuries, and is a Registered Trigenics Practitioner (Trigenics is a neurological treatment system which resets the way the brain communicates with the body to relieve pain, increase movement and strengthen muscles).
Felicity Young has been an integral part of the Chirosports team for over four years in various capacities. In addition to six years of study at Macquarie University, she has completed extra studies in pediatric and pregnancy care, acupuncture, neurology, extremities and sports injuries, and is a Registered Trigenics Practitioner. For more information and inquires, visit http://www.chirosports.com.au/clinics/coogee today.
Estudiantes de un Ciclo Formativo de Grado Superior de Educación Infantil. Asignatura “Expresión y Comunicación” IES VILLABLANCA (Vicálvaro – Madrid)
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