Objective: Investigation into the alleviation of long-term effects of infant colic on the toddler is a neglected area of research. The aim of this study was to document any behavioral or sleep disturbances experienced by post-colicky toddlers who were previously treated with chiropractic care vs those who had not experienced this treatment as an infant.
Methods: Two groups of children were sampled from clinic records from a chiropractic clinic and from a child care center in similar regions of England. Patients were classified in the treatment group if they had been treated for infant colic with routine low-force chiropractic manual therapy. The nontreatment group consisted of post-colicky children in the same age group who had received no chiropractic care for their diagnosed colic as infants. A survey of parents of 117 post-colicky toddlers in a treatment group and 111 toddlers in the nontreatment group was performed.
Results: Toddlers who were treated with chiropractic care for colic were twice as likely to not experience long-term sequelae of infant colic, such as temper tantrums (relative risk, 2.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.3-3.0) and frequent nocturnal waking (relative risk, 2.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.5-2.8) than those who were not treated with chiropractic care as colicky infants.
Conclusion: Untreated post-colicky infants demonstrated negative behavioral patterns at 2 to 3 years of age. In this study, parents of infants treated with chiropractic care for excessive crying did not report as many difficult behavioral and sleep patterns of their toddlers. These findings suggest that chiropractic care for infants with colic may have an effect on long-term sequelae.