A case study published in the July 2006 issue of the peer-reviewed, scientific publication, the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics (JCCP) documented the effects of chiropractic care on a 9-month-old infant girl with a history of disturbed sleep. The JCCP is the official publication of the Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics of the International Chiropractors Association.

The study article starts off by noting that the average 9-month-old should sleep approximately 14 hours per day. In this case study, a 9-month-old infant girl was presented for chiropractic care with a history of severely disrupted sleep and infant colic symptoms.  Additionally, the infant was refusing to breastfeed on one side and exhibited, what was called a generally unsettled behavior.

It was also noted that the child would not turn her head to the left. The study mentioned that these problems had been occurring since birth.

After a physical and chiropractic examination, it was confirmed that the infant had a reduced range of neck motion to the left with a significant amount of muscle tension within the left and upper neck regions. Upon touching the neck, the child exhibited signs of being in pain by crying and moving away.

It was determined that subluxations (misalignment) were present and an appropriate course of adjustments was initiated.

The results in this case were very impressive. The study noted that on the afternoon after the infants first adjustment, the baby girl fell asleep for five hours. This was followed by nighttime sleep of two periods of six hours each.  Over the next three weeks of care, the daytime sleep got shorter, but the nighttime sleep remained between six and eight hours. 

In addition to the dramatic sleep improvement, the child also improved her range of neck motion and was able to turn her head to the left in response to sound on the left side.  Additionally, the infant began to feed freely and comfortably. 

 In their conclusion, the authors of the case study noted that the dramatic improvements after just one adjustment indicated that the vertebral subluxation (spinal misalignment) found in this case was at least in part responsible for the disrupted sleep pattern.

You see misalignment of the spinal bones cannot only cause interference to the nervous system causing dysfunction in the body’s natural functions, but it can also cause structural changes producing pain and lack of movement within the problematic region.

So if you or your child is experiencing any of the above described symptoms, make sure to have him/her evaluated by your family chiropractor for possible subluxations.

Dr. David Strickler is employed with Cadogan Chiropractic in Clinton.