Introduction: The aim of the study was to investigate and treat infants with colic by conventional medicine followed by an investigation of the effect of reflexological treatment.
Material and methods: The investigation was prospective, followed by a randomised, single-blind, double-controlled, prospective study of reflexological treatment with an interview and diary. Sixty-three infants aged 1-3 months referred by general practitioners with crying for > 90 minutes a day were given a paediatric examination and intervention. The cause of crying was discovered in 33 infants: Vitamin D (5), elimination of cow's milk protein (3), and anal stenosis (3); counselling on feeding, sleep, reduction of stimulation, and avoidance of passive smoking (22). Thirty infants without the benefit of paediatric consultation were randomised to three groups for a duration of two weeks: A: Presumed non-effective reflexological treatment vs B: Presumed effective reflexological treatment vs C: No treatment--only observation. The most important parameter was the number of crying hours over 24 hours. Cure was defined as crying for less than or equal to 30 minutes.
Results: Examination by the paediatrician: Thirty-three of 63 infants benefited with a reduction in crying of less than 90 minutes and 13 of these infants were cured. The randomised study: In group C (control), none of the patients was cured. In groups A and B (presumed non-effective reflexological treatment and presumed effective treatment), half the patients were cured, which was significantly better than in group C. There was no significant difference between groups A and B, but B seemed better than group A. B was significantly better than C.
Discussion: Infantile colic had a significant cure rate at paediatric consultation and the children who did not benefit from this intervention had a significantly better outcome after reflexological treatment than had the observation group. Further investigations in reflexological treatment in infants are recommended.