Chiropractic Management of a Four-Month Old with Periventricular Leukomalacia and Irritability

Heidi L. Henrickson, DC, DACCP


Objective: To discuss the case of a patient with Periventricular Leukomalacia who underwent chiropractic care to reduce severe irritability with additional symptoms of reflux, eczema and disrupted sleep.

Clinical Features: A four-month-old boy presented to a chiropractic office with severe irritability, reflux, eczema and disrupted sleep since 12 weeks of age. With a history of traumatic preterm birth at 31-weeks following maternal HELLP syndrome (a life-threatening form of eclampsia), the patient was unresponsive at birth for 8 1/2 minutes leading to cystic formation in the germinal matrix of the periventricular space of the cerebrum.

Intervention and outcome: Specific spinal manipulative therapy and
craniosacral therapy were delivered primarily to the occiput and cervical spine. The mother monitored changes in demeanor and irritableness. After 9 visits, the infant was less irritable and continued to make improvements in quality of life over the next 5 months of care.

Conclusion: Chiropractic care should be considered for infants with side
effects from Periventricular Leukomalacia including irritability. Larger studies of this nature need to be done to show the effectiveness of chiropractic care.

Key Indexing Words: Periventricular Leukomalacia, chiropractic adjustment, reflux, and irritability