For some moms memories of sleepless nights and their newborn’s inconsolable, shrieking cries flood your minds. There are moms that might be reminded feeling helpless and hopeless as their precious baby tries to communicate their discomfort. Maybe you are a mom struggling with this right now desperately searching the internet with the hope of finding help. Colic is still a medical mystery with no solid recommendations on how to prevent it or relieve it. As a family chiropractor in Murrieta, I have helped numerous babies with colic. I have also come across a possible prevention method that moms can use to hopefully prevent colic from happening, or after visiting a chiropractor, help it stay away.
During the newborn stages, parents are changing the diapers constantly, sometimes more than 10x per day! Almost every parent changes the diaper the same way, grasping both legs and pulling straight up. While this may seem relatively harmless, it could be one of the contributing factors in colic. When a baby is born, their spines have a “C” shaped curve, which is different than our adult “S” shaped curve. When a baby is on their back with their legs pulled up, the vertebra at the apex of the curve (around T12/L1) are put under stress. The spine is meant to be flexible, but when stressful movement patterns are performed multiple times every day, it could lead to interference between the digestive system and the nervous system. As an adult, we verbally explain our discomforts, but babies can only cry, and will continue to cry until the problem is fixed.
The spine is extraordinarily important because of its relationship with the nervous system. When the vertebral joints move properly, the rest of your body can perform optimally, but when there is spinal dysfunction, every other system (digestive, endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, etc) will be affected. While inappropriate diaper changing techniques might be a cause of spinal dysfunction in babies, there are others such as a stressful pregnancy, c-section or traumatic birth, or a fall from the crib or lap. These can all cause stress and unbalance in the spine and nervous system causing discomfort and dysfunction in the body. From my experience, this is could also be why colic is often accompanied by reflux, constipation, or torticollis.
While this article is not meant to diagnose or give treatment recommendations, There has been research on the effectiveness of chiropractic for colic babies. One study showed that chiropractic care resulted in a 94% decrease in colic symptoms, and another showed 67% decrease in crying compared to only 38% from a medication. Chiropractic care for infants is gentle, requiring only the amount of pressure you would use to check the ripeness of a peach to perform an adjustment. While each patient can have a different response, there are no side effects to a properly given adjustment other than healthier nervous system function. I would be happy to help you determine if chiropractic right for your family, meanwhile try using the “roll” technique for diaper changing. It can help reduce the amount of stress on the spine, and hopefully, help your baby enjoy a more comfortable life.
Dr. Chris Boman, Chiropractor