Traumatic births and colic: What’s the connection? Part 1 of 2

Colic, Traumatic Birth, Baby, CryingIn the November 28, 2012 issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, Dr. Ron Castellucci documents the case of an eight week old infant suffering from colic after a traumatic birth. And how this baby's parents were able to get to the cause of the problem and get rid of the colic forever.

Infant colic is characterized by episodes of inconsolable crying in a baby for which no apparent reason can be found. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center infantile colic is suspected if the baby exhibits the following:

  • Cries for more than 3 hours
  • Generally the same time each day
  • At least three days a week
  • Baby pulls the legs up and makes tight fists when crying
  • May exhibit a hard abdomen
  • May burp and pass gas often
  • The crying sounds are as though the baby is in great pain
  • The baby spits up frequently after feeding.

An 8 week old female patient presented with symptoms of colic which included crying for up to five hours. The crying often started at 10 am and would last well into the night, which persisted for 7 weeks prior to the first adjustment.

The patient was unable to sleep or breastfeed due to the crying. The patient also exhibited signs of pain with bowel movements which is described as high pitched crying and wincing.

Often the patient would awaken during the night crying and in obvious distress or was unable to fall asleep. The patient also had diarrhea which was accompanied with screaming and crying. The patient was prescribed Hyoscyamine (marketed under the trade name Levsin) which is used to control symptoms associated with disorders of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

Prior to birth, the patient and her mother were in distress after 18 hours of labor and were transported to the emergency room where the mother was given ptocin to induce labor and an epidural for the pain. Other drugs prescribed in the ER were for nausea and migraine. The patient eventually delivered via cesarean section because the baby failed to turn and engage in the birth canal.

The patient was crying and in obvious distress during her first visit. She was examined and found to have obvious misalignments within the spine. On her initial visit, the patient was crying and in obvious distress. She left the office, after her first adjustment, crying less and with less distress. She was scheduled for a second visit on the following day.

On this visit the patient was sleeping and there were no signs of distress. The parents reported the following:

“after her first visit, she slept the entire night. She did not have the crying spells and we reduced the medication to once per day. After two weeks of chiropractic care the parents reported the following “she (the patient) no longer takes her medication. She is now a happy baby. She eats, sleeps and has regular bowel movements with no pain. For the first time since she was born, she slept through the night.”

Complete resolution of the colic symptoms was seen after 8 visits over 4 weeks. A follow up discussion with the patient’s parents found that the colic symptoms have not returned and the patient has been very healthy.

In the next blog post we will look at other research showing the difference chiropractic makes in the health of babies with colic.
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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

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