Childbirth is frequently a difficult process that can result in damage to the newborn. One example is: a child born with an injured upper cervical, the uppermost vertebra between the back of the head and the remainder of the spinal column. This injury is often the result of vacuum extraction during childbirth, or it could be due to the baby’s umbilical cord wrapping around its neck.
A byproduct of this type of injury is acid reflux, a painful condition caused by liquid from the stomach draining back into and irritating the esophagus. Most associate acid reflux as a condition reserved for adults who eat heavily, however, more and more infants are receiving this diagnosis in their young lives. Symptoms of a baby with acid reflux include arching of the back, spitting up, crying after feeding, gas and refusing to feed from the breast or a bottle.
Oftentimes, mothers seek the assistance of a pediatric GI doctor, who, as it appears, simply prescribes the infant a dose of ranitidine or lansoprazole, to attempt to address the symptoms, but not correct the core of the condition.
The Upper Neck Connection
In recent studies, though, researchers have noticed a trend that links birth injuries of the upper cervical together with acid reflux. A number of mothers of babies with acid reflux experienced a troubling child delivery, meaning that labor may have been prolonged or the fetus was in an abnormal position, both complications that often result in cesarean sections. With these observations, researchers have investigated the matter further.
In Hillary Marek’s (2010) book, Understand Colic, the author cites a study reported by Dr. Erin Elster, D.C., regarding sixteen infants who had upper cervical chiropractic treatment to eliminate acid reflux disease. It was concluded that: “A casual link between birth trauma-induced upper cervical injury and the onset of acid reflux…appears to exist. Correcting the injury to the upper cervical spine through the use of IUCCA (International Upper Cervical Chiropractic Assoc.) protocol appears to reverse…acid reflux” (n.p.).
Though the study had been administered with only sixteen infants, all of them were relieved of acid reflux. The study noted that further research is needed, but with a 100% recovery outcome, it is hard to deny the work of the upper cervical chiropractic.
If you are a mother who had a difficult or prolonged labor, and your infant is suffering the symptoms of acid reflux, realize that a pediatric GI specialist will only turn to drugs. It might be wise to first consult with an upper cervical chiropractor.
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Dr. Pete Tsiglieris of Advanced Spinal Care in Redwood City, California is an Upper Cervical Specialist trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). His upper cervical clinic also serves San Mateo, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, San Carlos, and Sunnyvale. They are uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems, including migraines and other headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pain, back pain and shoulder pain and weakness. More information can be found on our website at http://www.bayareanuccacare.com/.