The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of chiropractic care on an infant with vacuum extraction induced birth trauma, infantile colic, and acid reflux. Approximately 5% (1 in 20) of births in the United States involve forceps or a vacuum device to help the mother deliver the fetus vaginally. Research has demonstrated that vacuum devices are responsible for more neonatal injuries. Vacuum assisted devices are known to cause scalp lacerations, intracranial hemorrhage, facial nerve palsies, retinal hemorrhage, and more, in the fetus.
The current study involves a case narrative of a 6-week-old male infant under chiropractic care with infantile colic, acid reflux, difficulty sleeping, general irritability, and more. The patient’s mother described that since birth he had been fussy, restless, and persistently tense and frustrated.
During the patient’s first six weeks of life, when he was awake, he would scream and could not be comforted. When he was asleep, he would moan and whimper. His parents sought a medical doctor who diagnosed him with acid reflux and infantile colic and labeled him as a “high needs baby.” The patient was prescribed and given Zantac for his colic and reflux.
The patient’s mother described her pregnancy and birth to the doctor of chiropractic. His mother said the patient was her first child and that her pregnancy was easy and uneventful. The patient was born in a hospital attended by an OB/Gyn. His mother described how she did not have any contractions before labor began and that she pushed for about 17 minutes until the baby’s heart rate started decreasing. An episiotomy (surgical cut of the perineum) was performed and the baby was delivered with the assistance of a vacuum extractor.
After birth, the patient had a large bruise at the top of his skull, a large hematoma near the large bruise, and a left head tilt. The doctor of chiropractic performed a physical examination of the infant and found that the hematoma and bruising of the skull were still quite evident even six weeks after birth. Through examining the patient’s spine, the doctor of chiropractic found that his lower back was misaligned.
The doctor of chiropractic began a care plan for the patient using the Activator instrument (small hand-held instrument that delivers a gentle impulse force to the spine to restore motion to a specific area of the spine) with an infant-specific tip to adjust his lower back. In addition, the doctor used gentle sustained pressure with his index finger to adjust the atlas (lower back of the head, connected to the neck). The patient received chiropractic care over seven weeks for a total of seven visits.
After the first visit, his mother said that he had the longest nap to date. Over that weekend, the patient’s parents and family saw the following changes in him: six large bowel movements within 36 hours of being adjusted, less fussy and gassy, sleeping more soundly, and overall happier and more comfortable.
At the 5th visit, his mother said that he continues to show improvements every day. The patient’s head shape was improving and the bruising was decreasing. After his final visit, he was having no digestive problems and his parents were able to stop his medication.
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MLA Citation: Spear, David, & Alcantara, Joel. “Resolution of Birth Trauma Sequelae Following Adjustment of Vertebral Subluxations in an Infant.” Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, & Family Health. 2016.1 (2016):28-31.