As a parent myself, I know firsthand how distressing it is to hear your baby cry incessantly.
When it’s just a little whimper, we want to jump right in and comfort them, but when it’s all
day, every day, and they’re writhing in discomfort and can’t sleep, it’s excruciating to
witness. This could be a sign of colic. Unfortunately, many pediatricians tend to dismiss colic
as just normal crying and may tell you they’ll grow out of it. But if your gut is telling you that
something isn’t right, it’s time to dig deeper.
Colic is a common catch-all term used to describe a baby who is crying excessively and is
unable to sleep or eat comfortably. It affects about one in five babies, but I believe that
number may even be higher. The challenge with colic is that it’s often dismissed as just
normal baby behavior, leaving parents feeling helpless and frustrated.
We want to help parents understand the root causes of colic and what they can do to
alleviate their baby’s discomfort. We’ll take a closer look at a case study of a baby we
helped named Nicholas, who was experiencing digestive issues, torticollis, and extreme
discomfort. His mom knew that something more was going on and sought out chiropractic
The #1 Missing Link: The Nervous System
One contributor to colic can be nutrition. Certain foods may be more difficult for babies to
digest, whether through formula or breastfeeding. However, the biggest missing link that
many parents and pediatricians overlook is the nervous system.
The nervous system is the foundation for all other systems in the body, including
digestion, immunity, and motor function.
The nervous system was certainly the missing link for Nicholas, as well as thousands of
other babies with colic we’ve been able to take care of at our practice. I’m passionate about
helping parents understand the root causes of colic and how they can help their babies find
relief. Let’s dive deep into the science behind colic and provide some practical tips for
Babies Do NOT Grow Out of Colic
I first want to address a common misconception about colic. It is not something that babies
simply grow out of. If your parent gut is telling you that something is not right, you’re
absolutely correct. There is something going on within your baby’s body that you CAN
Many times, parents are told to just let their babies cry it out or to make dietary changes.
However, these solutions usually don’t work. In fact, they may be causing more stress for
you as a parent. Breastfeeding mothers may feel like they have to give up certain foods in
order to help their baby, which can be very stressful during a time when they need to focus
on their own healing and nervous system.
What is so disheartening about this for so many families is that not only has their baby been
crying nonstop, but they’ve tried everything. They’ve gone all in on diet changes and tried
probiotics, gas drops, and herbal, natural, and nutritional remedies. After all that, their baby
is still crying, arching, and uncomfortable. This is exactly what happened with Nicolas.
What Is Subluxation, and How Can INSiGHT Scans Help Detect It?
The reality is that there is something deeper going on, and that’s where subluxation comes
in. Subluxation is simply a nerdy chiropractic word that means stress stuck on. When
babies are colicky and inconsolable, it’s often because their nervous system is stuck in fight
or flight mode. What we want is for them to spend more time in parasympathetic rest,
digest, and poop mode.
Babies are supposed to eat, sleep, poop, and be cute. If they’re not doing these things and
seem to be uncomfortable, then there is most likely subluxation present. I want to dive into
Nicholas’s case and scans to explain this further.
These INSiGHT neurological scans are an incredible technology designed to detect and find
stress on the nerves and muscles that control everything within your baby’s body. These
scans are crucial because they help us understand how your baby’s nervous system is
functioning and can identify subluxation.
The digestive system is the first thing that needs to develop for an infant, and it’s controlled
primarily through the parasympathetic nervous system, which means rest and digest. The
number one nerve that controls the parasympathetic and digestive motility function is a
nerve called the vagus nerve, which branches from the upper cervical brainstem area.
Unfortunately, the vagus nerve is most easily subluxated either through a breach or
abnormal positioning while the baby is still in utero or, most especially, through birth
interventions such as forceps, vacuum, and C-sections where we twist, yank, and pull a
baby out into the world. This subluxation causes misalignment in the upper cervical
brainstem area, which is where the vagus nerve branches from.
The vagus nerve needs to make its way down through the cervical spine, thorax, and into
the abdomen. It opens up the esophagus and activates the stomach and small intestine in
our digesting processes. Any areas where there are tons of green, blue, and red in the scans
indicate areas of built-up stuck tension, which is caused by subluxation.
The built-up and stuck tension are levels of subluxation that interfere with the function of
the gut, motor developmental system, ears, throat, and lungs. Children who end up with a lot
of colic and torticollis may develop ear and respiratory infections later on.
For instance, Nicholas’s initial scans showed significant subluxation in multiple areas, which
caused stress in his neuro-digestive function, leading to colic and torticollis. However, after
receiving gentle, neurologically focused adjustments, we were able to release and unwind
the tension from his nervous system. Nicholas started sleeping longer hours, and his neck
and torticollis were resolved. His digestive system went from jammed up to kicking butt and
pooping on the regular.
Chiropractic Care Can Help Your Colicky Baby
A pediatric chiropractor’s primary goal is to understand and address the root cause of colic
in infants. We don’t treat or cure colic – we use thermal scans and other technologies to
locate and quantify the subluxation and sympathetic stress that are causing the issue. With
this information, we can develop a personalized care plan that includes gentle, safe
adjustments to release the subluxation and reduce the stress on your child’s nervous system.
That is what our office is trained to do. The result is a happy, relaxed baby who can eat,
sleep, and poop like they’re supposed to.
Colic is a serious issue that can lead to chronic ear infections, behavioral challenges, and
delays in gross motor, fine motor, and speech development. That’s why it’s important to
address it as early as possible. When the nervous system is under stress, it interferes with
the vagus nerve and gut function. By making gentle, effective neuro-tonal adjustments, we
can help your child sleep better, poop better, and be more relaxed overall.
If you’re a new parent dealing with colic, I hope this is helpful to you. Please share this
information with other parents who may be struggling with similar issues. Our Website has
more information on colic, subluxation, and the scans we use to locate the root cause of
these issues. If you think that your child is likely experiencing stress on their nervous system,
we encourage you to give us a call to schedule an appointment so we can take a deeper
look into your baby’s nervous system.
By identifying and addressing the root cause of colic, we can help your child thrive and
reach their developmental milestones.
So don’t wait – take action today and give your child the best possible start in life.