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All About Colic

colic baby

Calling all parents of colicky babies…
how many nights have you found yourself thinking ‘this ends, right?!’

A few months ago, Hilary Duff showed her social media followers that she too was a struggling parent when she posted that quote along with a plea for any magic tricks to help soothe her 2-month old daughter.

Quickly her comment section was filled with thousands of understanding parents giving their best recommendations. One specific recommendation came up time and time again, with many parents suggesting she bring her newborn to, you guessed it, a chiropractor!
For many parents in our office this is an all too familiar story; being exhausted and helpless, asking for suggestions, and eventually being led to us at River Shores Chiropractic.

Colic is often defined as when, an otherwise healthy infant, is inconsolable for prolonged periods of time for unexplained reasons. The most commonly used criteria to diagnose colic is a baby who cries for more than 3 hours a day, at least 3 times a week, for at least a 3 week period of time.¹

Though there are many speculations, there is usually no concrete diagnosable cause of colic. A list of possible culprits include gas due to digestive problems, sensitivity to breastmilk or formula, food allergies, or unsettlement due to environment.

Since there is no official cause of colic, it can be difficult to treat and we often hear parents being told to wait it out and that the infant will grow out of this stage. Gas medications have also been prescribed to colicky babies, most commonly Simethicone and Mylicon. But in recent years that practice has decreased due to multiple studies finding that the use of Simethicone for colic is ineffective compared to placebo effects.⁴ Other common strategies are elimination diets in breastfeeding moms, switching to sensitive formulas, introducing probiotics or the use of gripe water. Holistic options, such as chiropractic adjustments, are also being highly recommended due to their effectiveness.

A case study of 316 babies with colic found that when the babies were getting adjusted by chiropractors, 94% showed successful rates of improvement over a 2 week period of care.³

In our office, we utilize nervous system scans to assess stress on the nervous system which could be causing a large array of symptoms. The birth process, though amazing, can be a stressful entrance into the world. Even natural unassisted births can put 60-90 pounds of axial traction on a newborn’s head and neck as they are delivered.¹

Not surprisingly, misalignments and nerve dysfunction can then be found in a newborn’s upper cervical region (the highest portion of the neck closest to the skull). These misalignments and nerve irritations, also known as subluxations, do not allow the newborn’s brain and body to communicate how it should.

Pediatric chiropractic care is becoming more and more prevalent as parents are sharing how safe and effective care has been for their family with other parents. Gentle adjustments, using no more than the amount of pressure used to check a ripe tomato, can help reduce stress on the spine and nervous system.²

Rather than getting to know and enjoy their newborn the first few months, we often hear parents of a colicky baby describe feelings of helplessness and anxiety. They want nothing more than to soothe their beautiful baby but are feeling stuck and overwhelmed.
Having a colicky infant does not have to define your first few months with your baby. It’s our job at River Shores Chiropractic to empower and explore as many holistic health options as possible to ensure we can create the best possible environment for your baby to find their highest level of calm.

One of our favorite parts of having a family based practice is seeing the amazing changes that can occur in families with simple adjustments; whether it be a happier newborn, or less stressed parents. We could tell you all day about the success stories we have seen, but one of the mom’s in our office put it best for you below:

“When our daughter was just shy of three months of age, the thought of returning back to work after maternity leave was terrifying! From the day she was born, she was a very unsettled baby. She would cry constantly, never wanted to be put down, was stiff as a board 90% of the time and had a horrible time sleeping and eating. I was exhausted and knew we needed to try something to help her. Soon after starting care at River Shores Chiropractic things improved quickly and now our daughter is a content, happy baby! So many areas of our lives have been impacted by the help of River Shores Chiropractic, but the greatest of all is our family dynamic. Our daughter is a completely different baby which helps all of us, including our toddler who couldn’t understand why she was constantly crying. I am so grateful to all of the staff at RSC for your kindness and patience with us at every visit.”

Parents, if this sounds all too familiar and it’s time to explore other options, we take great pride in acting as a supportive resource! Don’t hesitate to reach out if it’s time to find a calmer norm for your family!


  1. 1. Barham-Floreani, Jennifer. Well Adjusted Babies: a Chiropractic Guide for Holistic Parenting from Pregnancy through to Early Childhood. Vitality Productions, 2009.
  2. 2. Gutman, G. Blocked Atlantal Nerve Syndrome in Infants and Small Children. International Review of Chiropractic.1990 July/Aug. 37-43.
  3. 3. Klougart, N., Nilsson, N., Jacobsen, J. Infantile colic treated by chiropractors: a prospective study of 316 cases. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1989 Aug. 12(4):281–288.
  4. 4. Metcalf, T., Irons, T., Sher, L., & Young, P. Simethicone equals placebo in infant colic. Inpharma Weekly. 1994. 94(1):29-34.


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