Infant with Colic and Torticollis Helped with Chiropractic – A Case Study

From the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health comes a case study published on March 28, 2013 documenting the case of an infant who was suffering from colic and torticollis, who was helped by chiropractic care.

The study authors start by noting that colic affects 29% to 39% of infants. According to the US government website MedlinePlus, “Colic is crying in a baby that lasts for longer than 3 hours a day and is not caused by a medical problem. About 1 in 5 babies cry long enough to be considered colicky.” The study authors also note that the signs of colic go beyond just crying, “In addition to abdominal pain and distension, the patient will have excessive bowel gas and legs held in a position drawn up toward the body.”

In this case a 3 month old baby boy was brought to the chiropractor suffering from incessant crying and torticollis. Infant torticollis is when the baby’s head is tilted to one side and the chin turned toward the other, due to muscle contraction. The baby’s history revealed he was born six weeks early by cesarean section and spent two weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. He started experiencing gastric reflux and colic in his first month of life. At the baby’s first pediatric check-up he was diagnosed with colic, torticollis and flattening of the bones on the top of his head as well as the left side of the back of his head. The boy’s mother noted that he could not turn his head comfortably to either side. His medical doctor suggested a helmet for the torticollis.

The boy cried during the entire chiropractic examination. The results of the examination showed a number of postural abnormalities and restrictions in ranges of motion. His abdomen was extremely sensitive to touch with the muscles being hard. It was determined based on the chiropractic examination that the child had a subluxation of the top bone in his neck, C1, as well as misalignments in his pelvis and mid back area. Specific chiropractic adjustments were initiated to correct the baby’s subluxations.

The case reports notes that on the second chiropractic visit the mother reported that her son was able to sleep with his head turned to the left, which he had not been able to do previously. His mother also reported that her son exhibited positive behavioral changes, noting that he was a happier baby and was crying less. By the third visit the baby was sleeping better and continued to cry less. By the fourth visit the patient’s mother stated that her son’s torticollis as well as the colic were completely resolved. The child continued to be healthy and happy from that point forward.

The authors of the study summed up the outcome by stating, “The child showed marked improvement after each chiropractic visit with complete resolution of the colic and torticollis after just four visits. This completely changed the demeanor and character of this child illustrating the positive effect of chiropractic on this child as well as his parent’s lives.”

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