Chiropractic Care for
Colic is a bit of a mystery to both parents and scientists. There is no
complete definition of colic or its causes, but it is generally seen as “unexplained and
uncontrolled crying in infants from 0 to 3 months of age, for more than 3 hours per day, more
than 3 days per week, for more than 3 weeks, usually in the afternoon or evening
Colic is usually assumed to disappear spontaneously around 3 months of age.
However, studies have shown that colic can continue in some infants until 6 or even 12 months
of age. The excessive crying and general unrest can cause great stress and frustration in a
household, and may have long-term consequences such as temper tantrums and frequent night
waking. Understandably, parents are continually seeking treatments that can help.
Research on colic and its solution is limited. However, medications have not
been shown to be particularly effective in treating colic, so some parents have turned to
chiropractic care instead. Chiropractors have been treating colicky babies for many years and
with significant success. The theory is that when babies are born, the neck and back
vertebrae may become misaligned during the compressions and stretches of the birthing
process. If interventions are used to assist the birth, such as forceps or vacuum suction,
these misalignments can be even worse. These misalignments or subluxations can disturb normal
physiological processes such as digestion, causing significant infant discomfort and can lead
to colic. Chiropractors experienced in treating infants use a gentle, “no-cracking”
adjustment process that is relaxing and comforting.
A recent study examined behavioral and sleep disturbances experienced by
post-colicky children who had been treated with chiropractic care versus children who had not
received such treatment. Results showed that toddlers who had been treated with chiropractic
care were two times as likely not to experience long-term consequences of colic than those
who had been treated with chiropractic care.
Another study showed a reduction in crying of 1 hour in babies treated with a
drug called dimethicone, and a reduction in crying of 2.4 hours in babies treated with
In conclusion, chiropractic care for infant colic is effective in many cases. Be sure to select a
chiropractor that is experienced in treating babies and in particular, babies with colic
Wiberg JMM, Nordsteen J, Nilsson N J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1999 (Oct);22 (8): 517-522).
Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10543581?dopt=Abstract