A case study published in the May 2016 issue of the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics documents the recovery of a infant suffering with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) under chiropractic care. According to the Mayo Clinic GERD “…occurs when food backs up (refluxes) from a baby’s stomach, causing the baby to spit up.”
The author of the study begins by noting that medical care for gastroesophageal reflux disease has not been shown to be effective. One study showed that the most common type of medication used for GERD has been shown to be no more effective that a placebo. Because of this, alternative care such as chiropractic is in great need for babies with this condition.
In this case, a four-month-old baby girl suffering from recurrent regurgitation after feeding was brought to the chiropractor. The baby was exclusively breastfed. The baby did not like being carried and often regurgitated after feeding. She also suffered with frequent crying, belching, interrupted sleep, choking, wheezing while sleeping, fussiness, distended stomach, and excessive intestinal gas.
The girl’s mother reported that she noticed these problems from about the second day after birth. In order to better sleep, the baby’s mother would place her on an incline mattress. The baby would also regurgitate almost every time her legs were raised to change her diapers.
A chiropractic examination was performed that included visual inspection, testing of reflexes, neurological testing, range of motion of the spine, palpation of the abdomen, and dynamic palpation of all spinal segments. Most of the test were normal. However, the abdomen was distended and areas of restriction were found in the spine. Subluxations were determined to be present and care was initiated.
The result of the care was the complete resolution of the baby’s GERD. The baby’s distended stomach returned to normal and the wheezing while sleeping stopped.
In the conclusion the author wrote, “Since current evidence fails to support traditional medicinal methods to treat GERD in infants, chiropractic care merits investigation as a safe alternative that might prove more efficient than medication and with fewer side effects.”