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Sixteen Infants with Acid Reflux and Colic Undergoing Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care to Correct Vertebral Subluxation: A Retrospective Analysis of Outcome

by Erin L. Elster, DC. Journal of Pediatric, Maternal and Family Health Chiropractic. May 2009.

Abstract

Objective: The objective of this article is to explore the diagnosis and treatment of trauma-induced injury to the upper cervical spine through the use of protocol developed by the International Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (IUCCA) and to investigate the potential for improving and eliminating colic and acid reflux through the correction of upper cervical injury.  Date from 16 infants who presented with upper cervical injuries and received care according to the above protocol are reviewed.

Clinical Features: Each patient was examined and cared for in my private practice in a non-experimental environment without control subjects.  The 16 infants were diagnosed by their physicians with acid reflux (9 infants) or colic (7 infants).  Ten of the 16 mothers reported difficulty in their child's birth (mechanical forces) that could have caused upper cervical injuries, such as the use of vacuum extraction or the wrapping of the umbilical cord around the infant's neck.

Intervention and Outcome: Two diagnostic tests, paraspinal digital infrared imaging and laser-aligned radiography, were performed according to IUCCA protocol. These tests objectively identify trauma-induced upper cervical subluxations (misalignments of the upper cervical spine from the neural canal) and resulting neuropathophysiology. Upper cervical subluxations were found in all 16 infants and all 16 cases were resolved with IUCCA upper cervical care.

Conclusion: A causal link between trauma-induced upper cervical injury and the onset of acid reflux and colic appears to exist. Correcting the injury to the upper cervical spine through the use of IUCCA protocol appears to reverse infantile colic and acid reflux. Further study in a controlled, experimental environment with a larger sample size is recommended.

Key Indexing Terms: upper cervical spine, chiropractic, colic, acid reflux, birth trauma, thermography, subluxation