Kids and Colic

Last updated on February 13, 2023

WHAT IS COLIC?

Colic may be characterised when infants experience intense, frequent and prolonged crying. Generally for 3 or more hours a day. This can be quite distressing and frustrating for parents due to the infant crying for no apparent reason. This often occurs in the evening time. Episodes of colic are commonly seen in infants about 6 weeks old and may disappear by 3-4 months.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF COLIC MAY INCLUDE:

  • Intense sudden crying (screaming) or crying for no reason. Each crying episode may last for a few minutes or hours
  • Usually happens at the same time, late afternoons or evenings
  • Often their faces become red and flushed
  • Extreme fussiness
  • Body tension, such as pulled up or stiffened legs and arms, clenched fists, arched back, or tense abdomen
  • Not sleeping well, waking up intensely crying
  • Passing of wind may occur during those intense crying episodes

POSSIBLE CAUSES FOR COLIC:

It is yet still undetermined the exact cause for colic. One of the most common reasons for colic may be due to the digestive system not being fully developed as well as a still-developing nervous system. Other possible causes and contributing factors for colic include: 

 

  • Imbalance of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract 
  • Food allergies or intolerances 
  • Overfeeding, underfeeding or infrequent burping


Untreated colic may lead to developmental and behavioural problems, such as sleeping issues, sensory processing abilities, poor concentration, hyperactivity and temper tantrums. 

CAN CHIROPRACTIC HELP WITH COLIC ?

Chiropractic care may be beneficial with reducing symptoms associated with colic. A study done in 2009, demonstrates that chiropractic treatment of infant colic can help improve long term behaviour problems in children. Children who have received chiropractic treatment for colic had fewer temper tantrums, fell asleep quicker and stayed asleep longer than the group who had colic that were untreated.

Gentle manipulation and mobilisation of the muscle and spine is performed that may help stimulate the small intestine to mimic the natural movement of the muscles in the body to help with the movement of fluid and gas. Chiropractic care may be able to help newborns, toddlers and older children digest and process food without any problem, therefore reduce symptoms of colic.

REFERENCES: 

 

Colic. Mayo Clinic. 2018. The short-term effect of spinal manipulation in the treatment of infantile colic: a randomized controlled clinical trial with a blinded observer. JMPT 1999.


Chiropractic Care for Children [Internet]. ACA. [cited 2022 Oct 10]. Available from:

https://www.chiro.org.au/patients/about-chiropractic/chiro-and-kids/

 

Vallone SA, Miller J, Larsdotter A, Barham-Floreani J. Chiropractic approach to the management of children. Chiropractic & osteopathy. 2010 Dec;18(1):1-8.

 

Miller RI, Clarren SK. Long-term developmental outcomes in patients with deformational plagiocephaly. Pediatrics. 2000 Feb 1;105(2):e26-.

 

Quezada DO. Chiropractic care of an infant with plagiocephaly. Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics. 2004;6(1):342-8.

 

Birth Injuries – Pediatrics [Internet]. MSD Manual Professional Edition. Available from: https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/perinatal-problems/birth-injuries

Alcantara J, Alcantara JD, Alcantara J. The chiropractic care of infants with breastfeeding difficulties. Explore. 2015 Nov 1;11(6):468-74.

 

Holm LV, Jarbøl DE, Christensen HW, Søndergaard J, Hestbæk L. The effect of chiropractic treatment on infantile colic: study protocol for a single-blind randomized controlled trial. Chiropractic & manual therapies. 2018 Dec;26(1):1-9.

 

Miller JE, Phillips HL. Long-term effects of infant colic: a survey comparison of chiropractic treatment and nontreatment groups. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics. 2009 Oct 1;32(8):635-8.

 

Ernst E. Chiropractic spinal manipulation for infant colic: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials. International journal of clinical practice. 2009 Sep;63(9):1351-3.

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