Published in the July 9, 2020, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health was a case study with the title, “Resolution of Severe Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Chronic Constipation, Sleep Disturbance & Developmental Delays Following Chiropractic in an Infant with Birth Trauma.” Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is more commonly known as GERD. The American Academy of Allergies Asthma and Immunology describes GERD as “Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder that occurs when acidic stomach juices, or food and fluids back up from the stomach into the esophagus. GERD affects people of all ages—from infants to older adults.”
The authors of this case study begin by explaining the purpose of this study by saying, “For many people, chiropractic is a vastly misunderstood concept. This challenge, along with explaining the benefits and safety of pediatric chiropractic care to parents, can prove to be very difficult. In a chiropractic office, children can present with multiple symptoms of both musculoskeletal and non-musculoskeletal complaints. In an effort to provide more evidence on the benefits of chiropractic care for children, we are describing the successful chiropractic care of a pediatric patient who had multiple co-morbidities. These included severe gastroesophageal reflux disease, chronic constipation, severe torticollis, developmental delays, abnormal sleeping patterns, and plagiocephaly.”
In this case, the mother of an 8-month-old boy brought her son to the chiropractor to see if he could be helped with a variety of health issues. At that time, the baby boy was suffering with severe GERD, frequent vomiting, constipation and problems sleeping. It was also reported that the boy had developmental delays in language, cognition, and movement/physical development. The boy had suffered through a very difficult birth process that resulted in his head being misshaped due to the forced used.
A chiropractic examination noted that the boy had significant loss of muscle tone causing him to be able to only hold his head up for about 10 seconds before he would become extremely fussy. He was also unable to turn his head to the left. Neck x-rays, thermal scans and spinal palpation were also performed. It was determined that the boy had multiple areas of spinal subluxation in his neck.
With consent of the parents, specific, age appropriate forms of chiropractic adjustments were rendered to the boy’s neck to address the subluxations. After the boy’s second chiropractic visit, his mother reported that he had had normal bowel movements and was no longer constipated. She also reported that his sleeping had improved. By the fourth chiropractic visit, his GERD had improved to the point where his mother was able to remove him from the medications the MDs had given for his GERD. She also reported that her son was able to tolerate tummy time for much longer; improving from 10 seconds of being on his tummy to 15 minutes.
As care continued, the boy regained full range of motion of his neck, and by the 14th chiropractic visit, he had improved developmentally achieving some important developmental milestones including being able to roll over and hold himself up on his hands and knees. After five weeks of chiropractic care, the boy had met many more developmental milestones and was able to reach for objects, crawl forward, pull himself up on furniture, and sleep throughout the entire night. After two months of care, he began walking unassisted.
In their conclusion the authors wrote, “This is a case report of successful chiropractic care of an 8-month-old male with both subjective and objective complaints consistent with GERD, constipation, abnormal sleeping patterns, torticollis, developmental delays, and plagiocephaly. This study gives evidence of improved and resolved symptomatology involving both musculoskeletal and non-musculoskeletal conditions after chiropractic care; it suggests the possibility that patients dealing with similar conditions may also benefit from chiropractic care.”