The scientific periodical, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, published a case study on February 6, 2012, documenting the resolution under chiropractic care of a 9-month-old infant with constipation. The child had developed constipation at nine months of age after the mother had stopped breastfeeding.
The study authors begin by noting that constipation is the slow or difficult movement of feces through the large intestines. They also reported that, "Chronic constipation is among the most common digestive complaints in the United States." The highest number of these cases occurs in both pediatric and geriatric age people. The authors also report that it is a common misconception to believe that constipation resolves itself near puberty for many children with the problem, noting that studies show more that 50 percent eventually become chronic.
In this case, a 9-month-old girl was brought to the chiropractor with the chief complaint of constipation. The mother advised the doctor that her daughter had been suffering with the problem for about 5 months since she discontinued breastfeeding. It was noted that the baby would go as long as two days without a bowel movement, and that movements involved straining, and were painful to the child.
The infant was born via forced labor, was born with a heart murmur, and had a history of repeated ear infections. A chiropractic examination was performed with the results finding subluxations in the upper neck (atlas) and at the base of the spine (sacrum). Care was initiated at the rate of one visit per week. Chiropractic care consisted of specific adjustments to the atlas and sacrum when warranted. The adjustments were age specific for the infant to correct the subluxation in her spine.
The reported results showed that after the first visit, the child's bowel movements increased in frequency. After three weeks, the mother reported that her child's constipation problems were infrequent. By a five month follow-up, the constipation was resolved and the child's stools were normal.