A preliminary assessment of the impact of cranial osteopathy for the relief of infantile colic

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2006 May;12(2):83-90. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2005.12.005. Epub 2006 Feb 8.


In this open, controlled, prospective study, 28 infants with colic were randomized to either cranial osteopathic manipulation or no treatment; all were seen once weekly for 4 weeks. Treatment was according to individual findings, and administered by the same practitioner. Parents recorded time spent crying, sleeping and being held/rocked on a 24-hour diary. A progressive, highly significant reduction between weeks 1 and 4 in crying (hours/24h) was detected (P<0.001) in treated infants; similarly, there was a significant improvement in time spent sleeping (P<0.002). By contrast, no significant differences were detected in these variables for the control group. Overall decline in crying was 63% and 23%, respectively, for treated and controls; improvement in sleeping was 11% and 2%. Treated infants also required less parental attention than the untreated group. In conclusion, this preliminary study suggests that cranial osteopathic treatment can benefit infants with colic; a larger, double-blind study is warranted.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Colic / etiology
  • Colic / prevention & control*
  • Colic / psychology
  • Crying
  • Delivery, Obstetric / methods
  • Female
  • Head*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Behavior / physiology
  • Infant Behavior / psychology
  • Intestinal Diseases / etiology
  • Intestinal Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Intestinal Diseases / psychology
  • Irritable Mood
  • Male
  • Manipulation, Osteopathic / methods*
  • Manipulation, Osteopathic / standards
  • Parents / psychology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Research Design
  • Sleep
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome