The short-term effect of spinal manipulation in the treatment of infantile colic: a randomized controlled clinical trial with a blinded observer

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1999 Oct;22(8):517-22. doi: 10.1016/s0161-4754(99)70003-5.


Objective: To determine whether there is a short-term effect of spinal manipulation in the treatment of infantile colic.

Design: A randomized controlled trial.

Setting: A private chiropractic practice and the National Health Service's health visitor nurses in the suburb Ballerup (Copenhagen, Denmark).

Subjects: Infants seen by the health visitor nurses, who fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for infantile colic.

Intervention: One group received spinal manipulation for 2 weeks, the other was treated with the drug dimethicone for 2 weeks.

Outcome measure: Changes in daily hours of crying as registered in a colic diary.

Results: By trial days 4 to 7, hours of crying were reduced by 1 hour in the dimethicone group compared with 2.4 hours in the manipulation group (P = .04). On days 8 through 11, crying was reduced by 1 hour for the dimethicone group, whereas crying in the manipulation group was reduced by 2.7 hours (P = .004). From trial day 5 onward the manipulation group did significantly better that the dimethicone group.

Conclusion: Spinal manipulation is effective in relieving infantile colic.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight
  • Colic / drug therapy
  • Colic / therapy*
  • Crying*
  • Denmark
  • Emollients / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Manipulation, Spinal*
  • Maternal Age
  • Simethicone / therapeutic use*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Gain


  • Emollients
  • Simethicone