The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on April 14, 2016, documenting the case of a baby girl who was suffering with a variety of digestive and neurological problems being helped by chiropractic. The baby had been diagnosed medically with Sandifer syndrome since birth.
The study reports that Sandifer syndrome is when a baby exhibits contortions of the head and neck, sometimes the chest, and abnormal postures, in an effort to relieve their symptoms from severe gastro-esophageal reflux with or without hiatal hernia. It is believed that these spasms may actually be seizures and appear as sudden extensions of the head and neck where the head may be twisted from side to side and the upper part of the trunk bent from side to side.
In this case, a 12-pound, 11-week-old baby girl suffering from reflux and digestive problems, possible seizures, and possible colic, was brought to the chiropractor. She had been diagnosed by a pediatric neurologist and pediatric GI specialist with Sandifer syndrome. Her symptoms included explosive bowel movements since birth, but she started to become constipated, going 3-5 days without a bowel movement. It was reported that the infant screamed uncontrollably during her first week of life.
The infant girl also experienced regular hiccups, vomiting, and difficulty lying flat which would cause her hands to shake, eyes bounce, face to become red, and she would scream. Due to the severity of her suffering, the baby was placed on the powerful medication Zantac twice per day.
A chiropractic examination with spinal palpation was performed. Vertebral subluxations were found and specific adjustments were done as needed. By the seventh visit, the study reports that the baby showed more frequent bowel movements, decreased reflux, decreased gagging, decreased spitting up, and was able to lay flat again.
As care continued, by the 10th visit it was noted that the patient began sleeping in her crib for six hours a night and was having bowel movements daily. On the 12th visit, the baby’s mother was asked to fill out an evaluation, form to report on the progress of her baby girl. In the evaluation, she noted that her daughter was less congested, had no more episodes of shaking, was better during tummy time, showed less fighting when eating, had better sleeping, and more frequent bowel movements. The baby girl also exhibited more energy, and an overall increase in playfulness.