English (United Kingdom)French (Fr)
Home Chiropractic Research Birth Trauma 4-Month-Old Thrives After Chiropractic Care

4-Month-Old Thrives After Chiropractic Care


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the management and resolution of failure to thrive (FTT) in an infant.

 FTT is used to describe infants who are unable to maintain growth or have inadequate growth using anthropometric criteria.  Since in over 80% of FTT cases there have been no underlying medical conditions found FTT is extremely challenging to treat medically.

 In the current study, a case report on a four-month-old female with FTT was presented to a doctor of chiropractic by the patient’s mother.  Her mother described how she experienced inconsolable crying, chronic diarrhea, and was very underweight.

 The patient’s mother said her problems began when she was two-months-old and was taken to a pediatrician for a stomach virus, oral thrush (a common mouth infection in babies), and loose green stools.  The pediatrician prescribed an anti-fungal Nystatin for the thrush.

 Unfortunately, the patient’s symptoms continued over six weeks following her visit with the pediatrician.  The pediatrician referred her to both a pediatric gastroenterologist and pediatric endocrinologist.  The patient’s stool and urine were analyzed with no abnormalities detected.  Therefore, she was medically diagnosed with FTT.  The medical recommendation was to insert feeding tubes (gastrostomy) into her stomach.  This was when the patient’s mother decided to take the infant to see a doctor of chiropractic. 

At the initial visit, the doctor of chiropractic learned from the patient’s mother that the birth history was normal with a normal full term vaginal birth. Her mother mentioned that the patient’s umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck at birth, but that there were no other complications at birth.

She weighed 6 lbs. 10 oz. at birth.  At the initial chiropractic visit, the patient weight 9 lbs. 5 oz.  According to the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) clinical growth chart, the patient fell well below what a healthy 4-month old female should weigh.  The patient’s mother said that she would wake up every hour crying and that she was only content one to two hours out of a 24-hour day.

When the doctor of chiropractic examined her, face up, the patient arched her back into extension, threw both her arms out and screamed in pain.  The doctor of chiropractic found misalignments at the base of the infant’s skull and in her middle back area.

The infant began chiropractic care at three times a week. The doctor of chiropractic utilized adjusting techniques that were high-velocity, low amplitude thrusts which were appropriate for the infant’s size and weight. 

In addition to chiropractic care, probiotics were recommended to restore the bacterial balance in her gastrointestinal tract.  After the patient’s first adjustment, her mother reported that she slept a few continuous hours without waking or crying.

After three adjustments, the patient stopped arching her back and screaming as previously described.  Additionally, her stools were normal color and form.  After the first week of chiropractic care, she weighed 9 lbs 10 oz.

Eventually, the patient was sleeping through the night. She appeared to be happier. . She consistently gained weight and after seven weeks under chiropractic care the patient weighed 11 lbs 2 oz.

Due to the patient’s positive response to chiropractic adjustments, her parents decided against the gastrostomy surgery.  A long-term follow-up by the doctor of chiropractic found a healthy developing 5-year old that met all developmental milestones and was enjoying good health.

 Download a PDF copy here

MLA Citation: Neally, Rochelle, & Alcantara, Joel.  “Resolution of Failure to Thrive in a 4-Month-Old Infant Following Adjustment of Subluxation: Case Study & Selective Review of the Literature.”  Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, & Family Health2015.4 (2015): 149-153.