In the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research is the result of a case study published on January 23, 2019, showing the resolution of a case of laryngopharyngeal reflux which is also known as silent acid reflux.
There are two different types of reflux: acid reflux (GERD) and the less commonly known Laryngopharyngeal Reflux, which is also known as silent reflux. In both types, stomach acid escapes into the esophagus. However, in laryngopharyngeal reflux, the acid escapes into the back of the throat and can cause damage to the larynx, vocal chords and lungs. This type of reflux usually does not have the typical symptoms of GERD such as heartburn.
It is estimated that approximately 70-85% of infants will have some form of acid reflux. In most cases, this problem will self-resolve after one year. However, in many cases, the symptoms from reflux will have a significant impact on the quality of the baby’s life.
In this case, a 9-week-old baby boy was brought to the chiropractor by his mother. The boy’s mother reported that her son had been suffering with acid reflux and congestion since birth. His pediatrician had given the boy a diagnosis of silent acid reflux. His mother noted that her son had difficulties sleeping on his back or being placed in his car seat without regurgitation. He was also was barely able to keep down breast milk.
The history also noted that the infant was not sleeping more than 4-5 hours a night and his skin color was very pale with dark circles under his eyes. The boy’s pediatrician prescribed Zantac, but his mother did not see any improvement from the treatment.
During a chiropractic examination, it was noticed that the infant had a noticeable left head tilt. It was also noted that the muscles on the left side of the infant’s spine were tighter and there was restricted motion of some of the neck vertebrae in normal neck rotation. It was determined that subluxations in the infant’s neck were present and a specific form of age appropriate adjustment was given.
The night following the infant’s first adjustment, the infant slept for 6 hours continuously without reflux symptoms according to his mother. It was also reported that the boy rolled over from his back to his belly for the first time ever. On the second night, the infant slept for 7 hours followed by 9 hours the third night, each without any reflux.
The study reports that by the third day, the infant had no acid reflux issues at all and was able to sit in a car seat without any reflux issues. It was also observed that his skin color was more pinkish and there were no dark circles under his eyes. Additionally, the mother reported that her son was more alert and less agitated, so she then discontinued the Zantac medication as she felt her son’s problem was solved.
In their conclusion, the authors stated, “This case report provides supporting evidence on the effectiveness of chiropractic care in infants with bothersome gastroesophageal reflux (GER), silent or otherwise.”