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.