Chiropractic Management of an Infant Patient Experiencing Colic and Difficulty Breastfeeding: A Case Report
By Janet M. Cuhel, D.C., D.I.C.C.P. and Mike Powell, D.C.

Objective: The purpose of this case study is to discuss the essential spinal and nutritional considerations in the management of infant who is experiencing colic and difficulty breastfeeding. This report also emphasizes the importance of communication between all health care providers attending to a patient.

Clinical Features: A twelve-day-old male was presented for chiropractic examination and treatment by his mother. The mother related difficulty in feeding on the right breast. She also stated that he seemed "fussy" and had been producing excess bowel gas. Twenty-four hours after delivery, a Depo-Provera injection was administered to the mother. Initial chiropractic examination of this infant included palpation and motion studies which revealed decreased movement at the right atlanto-occipital joint, and as prominent transverse process on the right side of the atlas.

Intervention and Outcome: Following history and examination, a chiropractic adjustment was performed to the atlas. Over the course of this patient's care, additional chiropractic adjustments were performed. This course of treatment was met with limited success. The patient history was reviewed for a second time. This prompted the mother to add that an injection of Depo-Provera had been administered 24 hours after the delivery. The parent was advised that this injection may have been a contributor to the infant's problem. Acting on this advice the mother did not receive the next injection as scheduled. Nutritional supplementation was utilized, and adjustments were continued. The infant's pattern of breastfeeding and bowel function normalized.

Conclusion: This case involves the chiropractic management of an infant experiencing colic and difficulty breastfeeding. This case demonstrates the possible effectiveness of chiropractic intervention with this patient. It also demonstrates the importance of a thorough history and communication with other health care providers. The use of the injectable contraceptive, Depo-Provera, may have contributed to the difficulties this infant was experiencing. More research in this products' use in breastfeeding mothers; as well as more effective communication between the manufacturer and prescribing doctor are needed. (JCCP, Volume 2, Number 2, October 1997)

Key Terms: adjustment, breastfeeding, chiropractic, coli, Depo-Provera, infant, nutrition