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Colicky babies grow up calmer after chiropractic

Colic is the most common problem for which parents seek professional advice in the first year of a baby’s life. In fact, up to 21% of all babies suffer from frequent periods of unstoppable crying. The problems don’t end in infancy: colicky babies are more likely to have sleeping problems and tantrums as toddlers.

Chiropractic is often used to treat infant colic, though most parents imagine that its benefits are limited to immediate relief of the colic symptoms. A new study follows children 2-3 years after the resolution of their colic symptoms, and suggests that the benefits of chiropractic for infant colic may continue long after treatment.
Researchers in England conducted follow-up studies with 228 children, ages 2-3, who had experienced colic prior to 12 weeks of age. The treatment group included 117 toddlers who had received low-force manual chiropractic care to relieve colic symptoms. The non-treatment group consisted of 111 children who had not received chiropractic care.

Parents completed a survey about their todders’ habits in three categories:

* Frequency of temper tantrums;
* Ability to fall asleep within 20 minutes; and
* Ability to sleep through the night.

The information was analyzed anonymously, and the statistician who graphed the results was blinded as to purpose of the groupings in order to prevent unconscious bias.

The differences between the two groups were huge. Children treated with chiropractic as infants were:

* More than twice as likely to fall asleep within 20 minutes (78% vs. 38% of untreated children);
* More than twice as likely to sleep through the night (68% vs 33% of untreated children); and
* Half as likely to have daily temper tantrums (40% vs. 73% of untreated children).

This study suggests that the benefits of infant chiropractic for colic can extend far beyond resolution of colic symptoms. A lifetime of health can begin early in life with appropriate chiropractic treatment.

Miller J, Lane Phillips H. Long-Term Effects of Infant Colic: A Survey Comparison of Chiropractic Treatment and Nontreatment Groups. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics – October 2009 (32:8, 635-638).