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Whoa! Newborn baby gets its back cracked

Colic and reflux can be extremely distressing for both baby and parent. In some cases, it can take a while to find the best form of relief, and as an alternative to prescribed drugs, parents may consider holistic remedies such as herbs and nutritional supplements.

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Chiropractic care is another treatment some parents opt for, hoping to relieve their infant’s discomfort, but Australian doctors are warning against it after a controversial video of a chiropractor cracking the back of a 4-day-old baby girl was posted on YouTube. As a result, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners is telling members not to refer patients to chiropractors.

The video shows Melbourne chiropractor Ian Rossborough manipulating a premature baby’s spine to treat colic and reflux. After watching the footage, President of the College of General Practitioners Dr. Frank Jones called the treatment “an unnecessary and seemingly almost cruel process that there is actually no evidence to support.” Dr. Jones said it “should not be practiced” because it may put the baby at risk of fractures and other soft tissue damage.
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However, Dr. Rossborough has defended his practice, responding to criticism with another video posted to his YouTube channel in which he demonstrates the process on his own week-old daughter, Isla. “We don’t crack anything. It’s not a crack, it’s a very specific, it’s the end of my fingers… and it’s about that much pressure,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Chiropractic Board of Australia has flagged concerns about the number of chiropractors who claim that manipulating the spine can treat disease and infection, particularly in relation to claims relating to babies and children. The board stated that there is “insufficient scientific evidence to support these claims.”

The stress of having a colicky baby who never stops crying can be unbearable, and it’s understandable that parents at the end of their tether are willing to try anything to find relief. But until there is some solid scientific evidence to support claims that manipulating the spine can successfully treat colic and reflux, stick to gently rubbing your baby’s back, not cracking it.

For more information about colic in babies, visit HealthDirect Australia.

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