Evid Based Nurs 4:77 doi:10.1136/ebn.4.3.77
  • Treatment

Chiropractic spinal manipulation did not lead to an improvement in infantile colic or reduce crying

 QUESTION: Is chiropractic spinal manipulation effective in the treatment of infantile colic?


Randomised {allocation concealed}*, blinded (paediatrician, parents, and outcome assessor), placebo controlled trial with 8–14 days of follow up.


{Outpatient ward in a paediatric department in Bergen, Norway.}*


100 thriving infants (3–9 wks) who cried ⩾3 hours/day, 3 days/week for the previous 3 weeks with no sign of lactose intolerance, no previous chiropractic treatment, and who were non-responsive to a cows' milk free diet in the mothers who breast fed or to casein hydrolysed formula for those who were bottle fed. The infants were recruited from public health clinics, the paediatric outpatient clinic at the university hospital, general practitioners, chiropractors, and maternity units. 9 infants (9%) did not meet the inclusion criteria and were excluded; 5 infants did not complete the trial. Of the 86 who completed the trial, 55% were boys and the mean birth weight was 3690 g.


46 infants were allocated to spinal manipulation and 40 to the control group. Infants in the spinal manipulation group were brought by a nurse to the chiropractor who used a very light, modified fingertip mobilisation form of spinal manipulation (no joint “cracks”). The treatment was given 3 times, at intervals of 2–5 days, for a period of 8 days. Infants in the control group did not receive spinal manipulation but were held by the nurse for 10 minutes.

Main outcome measures

The …

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