What is Colic?
Colic is defined as an intense infant crying for hours at a time, which seems like it’s for no reason at all. Obviously, babies cry a lot, especially when they are hungry. Colic is so much more than a hunger cry. Mothers are unable to console their colicky babies. Also, you can tell your baby is in severe discomfort or it may even seem like they are in pain. While it is mostly at night, it can happen at any time during the day. Colic does not discriminate and boys and girls, along with breastfed and formula fed babies, all have the same chances of suffering from colic. Approximately 25% of all babies’ experience colic.
What Causes Colic?
While there is no solid proof on what causes colic, or if colic is even a real thing, doctors have an idea of things that could cause it. Possible causes of colic are:
- Your baby may be allergic to cow milk protein, which causes inflammation of their intestines
- Acid reflux
- Tobacco / Nicotine Exposure
- Your baby may be overstimulated by their environment
- The baby is extra gassy and the extra gas is causing discomfort
Symptoms of Colic
If you think your baby is crying more than what is considered normal, watch your baby and look for signs of colic such as:
- Your baby cleanses their fists while crying
- Your baby seems like they are in pain
- Your baby arches their back while they’re crying
- Your baby extends their legs or pull them close to their belly
- Your baby’s face becomes red or flushed while crying
Ways to Treat Colic
Before figuring out how to treat colic, doctors must first make sure that the colic is the issue at hand. The baby will be assessed to make sure that there is no underlying issues or conditions. The doctor will assess how long the baby was crying, and when it seems to happen after their feedings.
- Help your baby swallow less air: There is now bottles that are specifically used to help prevent colic. Your baby may need a nipple with a smaller hole. Try to prop up your baby while they are eating and always burp your baby during and after their feedings.
- Swaddle: While sleeping, babies may flair their arms and legs. By doing so, it may set off a crying fit. By swaddling your baby, their arms and legs are confined and hopefully will keep them from a crying fit.
- Try a warm bath
- Give your baby an infant massage
- Give your baby a pacifier before they begin a crying fit
How Can Chiropractors Help with Colic?
When you think of chiropractic treatment, you probably don’t associate it with pediatric care. However, chiropractic care for treatment of colic is becoming extremely popular. Chiropractic treatment has a 94% success rate, according to most studies. Colic can be treated by a chiropractor at any age. A chiropractic appointment for colic care looks the same as an adult seeking out chiropractic care. Your chiropractor will discuss a full history with the parents, along with a physical examination. Range of motion, inspection of skin, vital signs, muscle strength, and more are tested. If need be, the chiropractor will order any orthopedic tests if necessary.
Chiropractors believe that the cause of colic is vertebral subluxation, which causes nerve irritation. By restoring normal function to the babies’ nervous system, the chiropractor helps the babies’ digestive tract and organs more efficiently receive nerve supply from their brain.
Studies on Efficiency of Chiropractic Care for Colic
In a research study completed in 1999, researchers split infants with colic into two control groups: one group received spinal manipulation and the other group received dimethicone, a medicine used to help treat colic, for two weeks. They were assessing their results based off daily hours of crying. From days 4-7, the dimethicone group reduced 1 hour of crying, while the spinal manipulation group reduced crying by 2.4 hours. Days 8 – 11, the dimethicone group again decreased by an hour, while the spinal manipulation group reduced crying by 2.7 hours. The results of the study show that spinal manipulation can be effective in the treatment of colic.
Chiropractic Care Success Story – Sierra’s Story
One mom was dealing with a severely colicky baby. She states that her son was crying 98% of the time and nothing would soothe him. She tried rice, formula, breastfeeding, gripe water – you name it, she tried it. She was on every mom website and blog she could find and finally decided to try chiropractic care. She had her own successful experiences with chiropractic care, such as her chiropractor helping to turn her son, who was breech, into his head down position in just one visit. While she was worried because her baby was young, she decided she had already tried it all so to give it a go. After one visit, she couldn’t believe the results. She felt like she had come home with a new child. He had issues with vomiting—after his chiropractic treatment, he came home, ate, and no throw up. He got gas out in two huge burps. He put himself to sleep and slept a lot better. Sierra’s story is proof that chiropractic care can be beneficial in helping your baby battle their colic and that you will see successful results.
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