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Chiropractic Research Review

Treating Infantile Colic with Adjusting Instruments

The etiology of infantile colic - characterized by distress, uncontrolled crying, and screaming - is uncertain, but can be due to a condition in the colon, abdominal pain, overfeeding, or swallowing air.

This paper reported on two case studies that may show a link between chiropractic treatment and almost immediate colic relief. In each case, a PulStar Function Recording and Analysis System was utilized to direct gentle impulses (equivalent to three to four pounds of force) to the entire length of the dorsal spine at each segmental level in the two infants.

Case I: An otherwise healthy six-week-old female had cried "almost continually" since birth, and the fits were worsening, according to the mother. The child displayed flexion of thighs to chest, and spinal extension in addition to crying; a pediatrician diagnosed the infant with colic. Four sweeps were made with the PulStar device set to the lightest setting at the first treatment session, which reduced crying 50%. Four additional weekly sessions were completed with positive results.

Case II: A low birth weight, nine-week-old male with infantile colic was also diagnosed with acid reflux from continued crying. His mother had been on several medications for the first four months of pregnancy; the infant had been continually administered several medications as well in an attempt to control the colic. After four consecutive daily PulStar treatments, crying was reduced by half, according to a colic diary; all but one of the medications were discontinued.

In both cases, uninterrupted daily sleep doubled for the infants and positive results persisted at 30-day follow-ups with regular, light impulse treatment. "Natural remission seems an unlikely explanation in these cases, given the young age of the infants at the onset of chiropractic (6 and 9 weeks, respectively; natural remissions occur at 3-9 months) and the speed with which the postadjustment remissions occurred," the author states. He adds, "Further research is warranted and necessary to determine whether computer assisted devices can enhance the effectiveness and safety of chiropractic treatment of infants with colic."

Leach RA. Differential compliance instrument in the treatment of infantile colic: A report of two cases. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2002:25(1), pp. 58-62.

Chiropractic Research Review

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