Infant colic may be harmless to a baby but the excessive crying can be very stressful for the parents, can affect the bond between parent and child, and could be considered a risk factor for child abuse (Kingston, 2007). There is some speculation that a misalignment of the spine and neck can contribute to the colicky symptoms.
Chiropractic care has been used to treat infant colic. Chiropractic is a field that manipulates the muscoloskeletal system. The main emphasis of chiropractic care is working on a misaligned spine and its effects on the nervous system (Freeman, 2009). Chiropractic care is a hands on, medication free alternative practice for certain medical problems. Chiropractic care is considered a highly skilled treatment and for children it must be gentle. Chiropractors offer a drug free treatment to typical childhood illnesses and they complement traditional pediatric services.
The American Chiropractic Association (2009) stated that a survey indicated that chiropractic care in minors had increased 8.5 percent since 1991. The American Chiropractic Association’s site reported that a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that nearly 3 percent of children in the US had been treated by chiropractors or osteopathic manipulation in 2007.
One study compared two groups of children, one group of infant/toddlers who had received chiropractic care for colic, and the other group was a non- treatment group. The non-treatment group was post-colicky children who had not received chiropractic care while colicky as infants. The results of the study showed that infants treated with chiropractic care for colic were less likely to not experience long term colic. The study also looked at long term effects as well. The study determined that infants treated with chiropractic care for colic were also less likely to have temper tantrums and nocturnal walking when compared to the non treatment group (Miller & Phillip,2009).
More studies need to be conducted to show the efficacy of chiropractic care for infants. Studies so far have should benefits however it is still an underused method of medical care for children in general.
Miller, J., & Phillips, H. (2009). Long-term effects of infant colic: A survey comparison of chiropractic treatment and nontreatment groups. Journal Of Manipulative And Physiological Therapeutics, 32(8), 635-638.