Colic

Colic is a symptom complex in infants consisting of crying or irritability which does not respond to soothing, signs of gastric discomfort, including gastric distension, pulling legs to belly, excessive gas, and facial expressions indicating discomfort. The duration and quality of the infant’s crying is a hallmark of colic. Traditionally, the duration of symptoms should be 3hrs /day for 3 days /week for 3 weeks. Even if the duration does not meet these criteria, the quality of the cry may be indicative of colic. Most cases begin sometime in the first month of life and peak at 2 months, and even
untreated, resolve by 4-5 months of age.

Cause/Aetiology

Theories suggest food sensitivities, gut and nervous system immaturity and dysfunction with symptoms arising the way in which many processes manifest as a headache Gastrointestinal-related symptoms are associated as are hyperactivity and irritability.

Symptoms

Inconsolable crying, signs of gastric discomfort, including gastric distension, pulling legs to belly, excessive gas, and facial expressions indicating discomfort, hyperactivity and irritability

Osteopathic Treatment

Osteopathic treatment focuses on the potential root of these issues mainly with very gentle pressures to:-

The Occiput (back of the skull)- to improve the balance of the nervous system and to aid the nerves of digestion/peristalsis (vagus). The diaphragm – to improve gut motility and function. And the sacrum (triangular bone, at the base of spine) – to improve the function of the colon.

Final words

Many of these factors mature by 4 or 5 months which coincides with the time at which untreated colic resolves. Nevertheless, Osteopathic treatment of associated findings may help the infant to compensate until these systems mature, and give parents a much needed break.

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