Research Shows Chiropractic May Help Infants with Constipation
“Research is revealing that minor disturbances to spinal alignment and function may be a factor in a number of disorders. These disturbances lead to nerve interference and can result in a host of disorders such as constipation and other gastrointestinal disorders” stated Dr. Joel Alcantara, one of the authors of the study. Other chiropractic researchers have reported on similar results and reviews of the scientific research reveal numerous other studies that have shown a similar connection.
“It makes a lot of sense when you think about it” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study, “If you damage or compress the neurological structures in the spine this can have far reaching implications on the functioning of the body. Through research reports like this we are finding that correcting the misalignments or abnormal motion associated with these spinal problems reduces the nerve interference and these kids improve.”
Ordinarily infants suffering from constipation may be given medications that in many cases have not been fully studied in children. Finding the cause of the gastrointestinal issues is a much better strategy. One such cause is thought to be spinal misalignments and/or abnormal motion, termed vertebral subluxations by chiropractors, which result in structural and neurological interference to the spine and nerve system. It is this interference that may cause symptoms such as those seen in this study and chiropractors correct or reduce this interference.
History and examination of the child revealed that in addition to constipation as a complaint, the child also suffered from irritability and frequent waking from sleep that was attributed to acid reflux. The attending pediatrician placed the child on Gaviscon, a nonprescription medication for the treatment of heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). According to his mother, he became "grumpy" and displayed excessive crying after taking Gaviscon. Losec was instead prescribed by the medical doctor as a response. When the patient presented to the chiropractic office, he was still suffering from constipation and frequent "wake-ups."
The infant was evaluated and cared for using chiropractic protocols to reduce vertebral subluxations in the child’s spine. His mother reported the infant had a bowel movement on the day following his first chiropractic adjustment and following each feeding. Furthermore, she reported that since starting chiropractic, he has been able to evacuate his bowels with much greater ease. The patient was also able to sleep longer during the night with less wake ups, crying, and general irritability.
According to Dr. McCoy, these results suggest a possible link between gastrointestinal disturbances and spinal subluxations. Correcting the subluxations through the use of specific chiropractic adjustments appears to have returned this child’s gastrointestinal function to normal. The authors call for further study in a controlled environment.
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