When new parents come home from the hospital with their baby, they don’t just bring a child home with them–they bring a huge to-do list as well. Buying formula, baby proofing the house, getting baby clothes, and making it to all of the baby’s doctors appointments are elements of the list. Although many parents prepare for the birth of their child, most don’t know what to do when their new baby cries and is fussy for hours on end nearly every day. In short, most new parents do not prepare to handle a baby with colic.
Colic, a condition that affects infants, is when an otherwise healthy baby cries excessively. The most popular definition puts numerical values on “excessive” and declares that a baby has colic if it cries for more than three hours per day, for more than three days per week, for more than three weeks. Colic affects about 20% of babies and terms like “colicky” have become common in describing infants that are constantly crying. Even though colic is relatively common, research has not determined its cause. Several possible explanations are that digestive problems, acid reflux, hypersensitivity, or immaturity of the nervous system cause colic in babies.
People with infants whose behavior qualifies them as having colic should take their children to a doctor before proceeding with treatment. This is because sometimes other problems are causing a baby’s bad behavior. Often, issues like infections, eye problems, hernias, and bone breaks cause infants to cry excessively, making it seem as though they have colic. Before diagnosing a child with colic, it is important to ensure that the baby is healthy and is not crying because it is in pain or uncomfortable.
When serious medical conditions are ruled out, parents will often try several intervention methods to stop their child’s crying. Swaddling the baby, playing white noise in the background, and changing the baby’s formula are common treatments. However, chiropractic care has become an extremely popular treatment for colic, and research on the subject has generated positive results.
Chiropractors believe that a misaligned spine is the root of colic. If a baby’s spine is not aligned properly, the nervous system will not work at it’s best capacity and the baby is more susceptible to disease and other ailments. Babies can get misaligned spines in several ways. For example, a baby can get a misaligned spine if it is positioned awkwardly in the womb, causing stress on the spinal column. In addition, the birth process itself is very stressful and turns and tweaks during this event can cause spinal misalignment. Even positions the baby is placed in after he or she is born can cause incorrect spine alignment. By aligning the spine and allowing the nervous system to operate at its full capacity, chiropractors believe colic will cease. Chiropractors are qualified to perform spinal manipulations such as those required to relieve colic in infants, so anyone who has a child with excessive crying should visit a chiropractor and get relief.