Research News Staff
New Research on Birth Trauma & Reflux in Infants

Chiropractic Helps Suffering Infant

Recent research reported in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic on an infant with severe gastroesophageal reflux, sleep dysfunction, constipation, developmental delays and torticollis following birth trauma reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in managing these infants. The literature included supports the role of chiropractic in infants suffering from birth trauma and calls for more research in this area. “Numerous case studies and some clinical studies are revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system and the various health challenges that infants experience following birth trauma” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study.

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McCoy added “In the case report presented, the infant was suffering from severe reflux, constipation, torticollis, skull deformity, developmental delays, and sleep disturbances that resolved under chiropractic care because of the nature of the nervous system and its relationship to the spine.” 

According to researchers the nervous system controls and coordinates all functions of the body and structural shifts in the spine can occur that obstruct the nerves and interfere with their function. By removing the structural shifts, chiropractic improves nerve supply and function. 

The 8-month-old infant in this case was delivered via cesarean section after being stuck in the birth canal.  There were four failed vacuum extractions leaving him with four large hematomas on his head.  As a result of this birth trauma, he began to experience severe reflux, constipation, torticollis, plagiocephaly, and sleep disturbances.  His developmental delays included issues with rolling over, sitting unassisted, and crawling.  Prescribed medications did not help him and physical therapy was not effective.  He often slept out of exhaustion as his symptoms made sleeping difficult. 

The chiropractor examined him and found structural shifts in his neck, mid back, lower back, and sacrum.  Significant decrease in range of motion and muscle spasms were noted in the neck.  X-rays revealed a deformity in the mid back.  Additional testing confirmed these findings.   These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct. 

Following chiropractic care he experienced complete resolution of his reflux, torticollis, and constipation.  He regained neck motion and better control.  He began reaching developmental milestones, sleeping better, and was able to avoid an unnecessary surgical consult.  He began walking after five weeks of chiropractic care and was no longer constipated. 

The study’s author called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in this population.

Contact Information: 

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH
Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic
McCoy Press