Infantile Colic

Have you ever been in a situation where after weeks or months of suffering you find out that there was a remedy to your dilemma but you never knew about it? The whole time you are going through this ordeal, feeling frustrated and helpless, you could have been on the path to resolution. I ran into an old friend last week whose child has been suffering from colic for the last two months. My heart ached because they did not know that chiropractic adjustments can help babies who suffer from colic.


Research on chiropractic care and colic has shown significant benefits over other treatments such as dietary changes, medication, and infant positioning. A randomized clinical trial published in 1999 in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that “Spinal manipulation is effective in relieving infantile colic”. For this study the researchers randomly assigned infants diagnosed with colic into two groups. One group received chiropractic care for two weeks and the other group was given the anti-gas medication dimethicone for two weeks. The babies in the chiropractic group showed a 67% decrease in crying while the babies on medication showed a 38% decrease in crying.


Another study with 316 children also showed significant improvement in colic in response to chiropractic care. This prospective study used diaries from mothers of colicky babies to track the amount of crying. The three month long study showed a “satisfactory result of spinal manipulative therapy in 94% of the cases”. The improvements occurred after an average of only three adjustments within two weeks.

In resent research there is growing evidence that infant colic is a type of migraine headache. The results of a new meta-analysis linking the 2 conditions suggest that “colic is an age-sensitive phenotype of migraine,” according to lead researcher Amy Gelfand, MD, assistant professor, Clinical Neurology and Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, and child neurologist, University of California, San Francisco, Headache Center. One of these studies was conducted by Dr. Gelfand and colleagues. In it, the researchers analyzed 154 surveys and found that infants whose moms had migraine were 2.6 times more likely to have colic.

sad baby

While chiropractic care does not “treat” colic, it looks for underlying conditions that may irritate the baby which in turn may cause long episodes of crying. The adjustments are very safe and age appropriate for the babies. There is some evidence that has shown a correlation between traumatic births and colic. By clearing up the subluxations that may have occurred at birth, the baby’s body can function more as it was intended to.


It is my hope and wish that no parent has to go through weeks or months of unnecessary episodes of hearing their baby cry. If find yourself in this situation or know of someone who is, please let them know that chiropractic can help.