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What is colic?
Infantile colic was first described as indigestion.
While different diagnostic criteria have emerged since then,
there has never been complete agreement on what colic is,
what causes it, or how to treat it.
The most widely accepted
definition of colic today is "unexplainable and uncontrollable
crying in babies from 0 to 3 months old, more than 3 hours
a day, more than 3 days a week for 3 weeks or more, usually
in the afternoon and evening hours."
Who suffers from
It has been widely estimated that between
8% and 49% of newborns suffer from colic, or an estimated
average of 22% of all newborns who suffer from colic at some
time. The condition is regarded as self-limiting, disappearing
spontaneously at three months of age; however, studies have
shown that many cases of colic will persist until six and
even 12 months of age, causing considerable distress and frustration
for both children and parents.
What are some of
the symptoms of colic?
The most common symptom of colic is "excessive
crying" -- more hours of crying and more stretches of crying
per day than non-symptomatic children. The crying may also
have a higher frequency/pitch than normal babies. Other possible
symptoms include motor unrest (flexing of the knees against
the abdomen, clenching of the fists, and extension or straightening
of the trunk, legs and arms).
What can chiropractic
For years, chiropractors have cared for children with colic
symptoms, and with apparently good results. In fact, the benefit
of chiropractic for managing infantile colic was clearly illustrated
in a recent study that compared the short-term effects of
spinal manipulation vs. drug intervention (a drug called "dimethicone").
Results not only showed that chiropractic adjustments were
effective in reducing colic symptoms, most notably the average
hours per day spent crying, but also that the use of drugs
was not particularly effective, and certainly less effective
than chiropractic care. Your doctor of chiropractic can evaluate
your child's condition and recommend the best approach for
maximizing health and wellness.
Other Resources :
More You Know About Colic
More You Know About Pediatric Health
Articles on Infantile Colic
Nordsteen J, Nilsson N. The short-term effect of spinal manipulation
in the treatment of infantile colic: a randomized controlled
clinical trial with a blinded observer. Journal of Manipulative
and Physiological Therapeutics, 1999:22(8), pp517-522.
Barr RG, Rotman A, Yaremko J, et al. The crying of infants with colic:
a controlled empirical description. Pediatrics 1992:90,
Rubin SP, Prendergast M. Infantile colic: incidence and treatment
in a Norfolk community. Child Care Health Dev. 1984:10(4),
Stahlberg MR. Infantile colic: occurrence and risk factors. European
Journal of Pediatrics 1984:143, pp108-111.
Parkin PC, Schwartz CJ, Manuel BA. Randomized controlled trial of
three interventions in the management of persistent crying
of infancy. Pediatrics 1993:92(2), pp197-201.
Klougart N, Nilsson N, Jacobsen J. Infantile colic treated by chiropractors:
a prospective study of 316 cases. Journal of Manipulative
and Physiological Therapeutics 1989:12(4), pp281-88.
Biedermann H. Kinematic imbalance due to suboccipital strain in newborns.
Journal of Manual Medicine 1992:6, pp151-56.
Nilsson N. Infantile colic and chiropractic. European Journal of
Chiropractic 1985:33, pp264-65.
Hewson P, Oberklaid F, Menahem S. Infant colic, distress and crying.
Clin Pediatrics 1987:26(2), pp69-76.
Moesgaard K, Rasmussen LR. Children in Danish chiropractic clinics:
a descriptive questionnaire study. European Journal of
Chiropractic 1989:37, pp117-124.