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Colic and Chiropractic

A recent study performed in Denmark compared the effects of daily doses of the drug dimethicone to chiropractic adjustments for purposes of treating infantile colic. The study included 50 infants who met the criteria for colic and after 2 weeks of treatment, researchers concluded, "spinal manipulation has a positive short-term effect on infantile colic."

Infantile colic is a condition effecting an average of 22.5% of all newborns. The condition causes uncontrollable crying in infants from 0-3 months of age, and usually occurs "more than three hours per day, more than three days a week for three weeks or moreĀ…." Colic can last up to the age of 12 months in some babies.

After being screened for colic, the infants were randomly divided into 2 groups over a two-week period. One received the drug dimethicone daily, while the other received spinal manipulation by a local chiropractor. On average, the second group received 3.8 adjustments over the two-week period, and most misalignments occurred in the upper and mid-thoracic region of the spine.

The infants who received the drug decreased from 3.4 hours of colic per day to 2.4 hours per day. Infants who received the chiropractic manipulation treatment started with approximately 3.9 hours of colic per day that was reduced to 1.2 hours per day. This dramatic decrease in the occurrence of colic demonstrates the fact that chiropractic care is effective for more than just back pain, and can be useful in treating systemic, as well as musculoskeletal conditions.


Wiberg JMM, Nordsteen J, Nilsson N. The Short-term effect of spinal manipulation in the Treatment of infantile colic: A randomized Controlled clinical trial with a blind observer. Journal of Manipulative Physiologic Therapeutics 1999; 22:517 - 522.