Colic, Birth Trauma & the Neck

Colic, Birth Trauma and the Neck

Children with colic are more likely to grow up with migraines. The connection can be a neck strain from birth. Upper cervical care can help treat the cause. Clear Chiropractic is an upper cervical specialist practice in Spokane, Washington that is a natural choice in healthcare without twisting, stretching or cracking.

Colic in a newborn or infant is NOT normal. And it is NOT something that kids just “grow out of” either. Babies cry for a reason: hungry, scared, wet diaper, etc. So when a baby cries for hours on end, something is wrong.

One of the most commonly misdiagnosed problems in children with colic is actually a neck trauma from birth. Not broken bones or dislocations, mind you, but a neck strain that injuries the delicate muscles and ligaments that support a newborn’s head.

Even for newborns and infants, there is a gentle, natural and safe approach that can help restore the neck balance so that your little one (PLUS mom and dad!) can start life on the right foot. It’s a different approach to chiropractor that does not use any twisting, stretching or cracking.


Neck strains at birth

A normal newborn’s head is about 25% of its normal adult size (~ 8 pounds). So that means about 2 pounds. However, a “normal” delivery uses approximately 50-80 pounds worth of force.

That’s about 10x its normal body weight! So imagine that someone grabbed you by your head and pulled 10x your body weight as an adult. Do you think it’s possible that could cause some damage?

Let alone a difficult birth:

  • Breech
  • Cesarian
  • Forceps
  • Vacuum
  • Induced birth
  • Labored birth (e.g., 24+ hours)

Personal Note: I was born with forceps in the early 1980s. My parents always wondered if this injury could have caused symptoms I experienced later in life including food allergies, headaches, vertigo and TMJ problems (that didn’t really appear until I was 30 years old). It’s a LONG story saved for another time, but having examined diagnostic imaging of my skull and neck as an adult, there are signs of structural changes that can only happen when a child is EXCEPTIONALLY young. So is there a connection? Probably yes!

Colic is NEVER normal

The top two bones support the entire weight of a baby’s head. However, these bones do not fully form until a child is around 6-12 years old. Even up to 6 years of age, the bones are still quite flexible and susceptible to injuries.

Especially if these top two vertebrae (C1 and C2) aren’t moving properly, they can disrupt circulation, function and normal development of the brain itself. Furthermore, there is a very important nerve that exits the brainstem directly in front of the C1 and C2 vertebrae. It is called the vagus nerve, which coordinates the functions of all your vital life organs: heart, lungs, digestive, immune and hormone systems.

The vagus nerve also contains a branch that detects sensory inflammation of the tissues that protect the brain and upper spinal cord. If this particular branch is irritated, it can cause migraines.

Now, there is an interesting phenomenon we know from the research. Children with colic grow up with a much higher likelihood of experiencing migraines.

For this reason, specialists in this field of upper neck healthcare believe that when a child experiences colic, THEY ARE ACTUALLY EXPERIENCING A MIGRAINE. But of course, a newborn can’t say, “Mom, Dad, my head hurts.” All they can do is cry … inconsolably!

Although colic is often attributed to food intolerances or ear infections, if the cause is physical, a chemical solution only treats the symptoms.


Signs of an Upper Neck problem in Newborns

If your child experiences other symptoms in addition to colic, they can point toward a vagus nerve and upper neck strain:

  • Torticollis (i.e., abnormal neck movements)
  • Chronic Ear infections
  • Neurodevelopmental Delays
  • Reflux
  • Constipation
  • Constant sickness*

(* Kids are supposed to get sick a lot. It’s part of their normal immune development. The same goes with crying. However, just as there is a difference between crying and colic, there is also a difference between getting sick and being relentlessly sick. The sign of a healthy immune response in a child is a fever for a day, and then feeling again the next day.)

Of course, there are a range of other factors that contribute toward colic and sickness in kids. Diet is a HUGE factor. So is the normal development of their digestive and immune system. An emotional safe and stable home environment is another HUGE factor.

Nevertheless, if your kids live in a healthy, happy home but STILL aren’t well, it’s possible that the problem could actually be coming from their neck.


A Different type of Chiropractic Care for Children

Did you know that there are 40 different mainstream forms of chiropractic care?

You may be familiar with the general style that involves twisting or cracking the spine. However, that is NOT what the majority of techniques use. At Clear Chiropractic, we use a different approach that does NOT involve any manipulation, stretching or twisting.

As we mentioned before, a newborn or infant’s bones in their neck don’t fully form until the child is around 3-years old. This means that you don’t have to use much force at all to reseat the normal motion of the vertebrae in the neck.

In fact, fingertip pressure is usually all that is needed. In other words, chiropractic care can be safe and gentle even for newborns.


Side note: As a test of authenticity for any medical or healthcare provider you EVER work with, when they make a care recommendation, ask them if they would recommend this exact same care for members of their own family. When it comes to our doctors at Clear Chiropractic (and most all chiropractors we know personally as well), all of us with children of our own have had our babies checked and adjusted (when needed) within hours after they were born.

We take your own child’s health as serious as we do ours.

If you are looking for a chiropractor in Spokane, visit our home page more information. To schedule a new patient appointment with our Mead (north Spokane) or South Hill offices, complete a new patient request form here or call us direct at 509-315-8166.