The most widely accepted definition of "colic" is uncontrollable crying in babies, especially from the ages of 0-3 months, and often lasting for more than three hours a day, more than three days a week for three weeks or more.
No matter how long the condition lasts, parents know that struggling with a colicky child can be frustrating and exhausting. But there is hope, and it could come from your doctor of chiropractic.
A recent study divided 50 infants with colic into two groups. The first group received chiropractic spinal manipulation for two weeks; the second group received traditional drug treatment (dimethicone) over the same two weeks. Results revealed that the chiropractic group improved more than the drug group (less hours spent crying) after the first five days of the study. After day five, the dimethicone group showed little or no reduction in average colic hours per day.
Days 4-7: Hours of crying were reduced by a total of 2.4 hours in the manipulation group compared with only one hour in the drug group.
Days 8-11: Hours of crying were reduced by 2.7 total hours in the manipulation group, compared with one hour in the drug group.
Even more revealing, five infants in the dimethicone group dropped out before the end of the study, described by their patients as having "worsened" or "much worsened" colic. The authors suggest that if these severe cases had been included in the results, drug intervention would have appeared even less effective than chiropractic for reducing the symptoms of colic.
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 blinded observer. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, October 1999: Vol. 22, No. 8, pp517-22.