From the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics comes a case study published in the March 2014 edition that reviews the case of an infant with gastro-esophageal reflux disease improving while under chiropractic care. The author, Dr. Andrew Chuang, a chiropractor in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, notes that prior to this study available literature discussing the use of chiropractic for cases of gastro-esophageal reflux (GER) and gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) was sparse with a limited number of case reports showing up in scientific literature.
Dr. Chuang begins by highlighting the frequency of these problems by reporting, "Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is common during the first year of life, peaking at 4 months of age." In noting a prior study he writes, "Regurgitation of at least 1 episode per day was reported in half of 0- to 3-month olds."
In this case, a 4-month-old female infant was brought in for chiropractic care by her mother. According to the infant girl's mother, her baby had been vomiting after feedings for the past 2 months. A prior visit to her MD yielded a diagnosis of gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). The medical doctor then recommended the infant be placed on Ranitidine for the condition. Her mother was hesitant to start her baby on medication at such a young age, and chiropractic care was sought as an alternative.
A physical examination revealed no physical abnormalities in development, except the child had not gained any weight in the past two months. A chiropractic examination which included a postural examination as well as static and dynamic palpation of the spine was performed. From this chiropractic examination, it was determined that the child had multiple subluxations in her neck.
Specific chiropractic care was begun to correct the spinal issues. The mother reported that after the first adjustment, her infant girl had a large bowel movement, and slept for a longer period of time than normal. The study further noted that over the next 3 weeks both the number of episodes of vomiting and reflux per day decreased, and the number of days with vomiting decreased. After 4 weeks of chiropractic care, the mother reported that her baby was no longer having any episodes of reflux and vomiting.
In his conclusion, Dr. Chuang wrote, "In the case described here a 4-month-old patient’s GERD resolved while under chiropractic care. This study suggests to the possibility that similar patient groups may benefit from chiropractic treatment."