Infantile colic is a condition used to describe colicky symptoms in babies. Infantile colic has been used to describe the excessive or persistent , often violent crying behaviour in an infant for no apparent reason.

Although the definition of infantile colic has not been completely agreed upon in the medical literature,  it is generally defined as babies who  cry for more than three hours a day, for more than three days a week and for at least three weeks. These babies appear otherwise healthy.(1)

What Are The Symptoms Of Infantile Colic?

The symptoms of Infantile colic is the most common concern for which parents seek medical advice during an infant’s first year.

  • Prolonged periods of crying often in the late afternoon and for no obvious reason.
  • At times a high pitched or piercing cry.
  • legs pulled up to the stomach, a red face, clenched hands and passing gas.

Is Infantile Colic Common?

Infantile colic is common affecting approximately 10% to 40% of infants.

What Is The Cause Of Infantile Colic?

In spite of many theories, the cause still remains unknown and it is estimated to affect about 20% of all infants.

Less than 5% of infants who cry excessively turn out to have any medical conditions (2).

At What Age Does Infantile Colic Occur?  

Infantile colic usually peaks around the age of six weeks , however may occur any time from early infancy to 6 months of age.

How Long Does Infantile Colic Last?

Symptoms typically resolve by three to six months of age.

 What About Chiropractic Treatment?

The majority of the chiropractic trials indicate that the parents of infants receiving treatment reported fewer hours crying per day than parents whose infants did not.(3)
More double blinded controlled studies are needed .
In a study of 316 infants suffering from colic, 94% showed dramatic improvement following Chiropractic treatment. (4)

Another study compared Chiropractic  treatment and the drug Dimethicone. It showed that Chiropractic was significantly better in alleviating colic than the drug Dimethicone. (5)

A Recent study found 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 (6).

Musculoskeletal Birth trauma occurs commonly and frequently escapes diagnosis. A baby who is suffering with musculoskeletal soreness may present with irritability and crying mimicking colic. Chiropractic treatment and Elimination of musculoskeletal soreness may lead to a happier and more content baby.

 (1).Kheir, AE (Jul 23, 2012). “Infantile colic, facts and fiction.”. Italian journal of pediatrics 38: 34.

(2). Roberts, DM; Ostapchuk, M; O’Brien, JG (Aug 15, 2004). “Infantile colic.”.American family physician 70 (4): 735–40.

(3).http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858. 

(4) Klougart. N, Jacobsen. J, Niels, K (1989). Infantile Colic Treated By Chiropractors: A Prospective Study of 316 Cases. JMPT 12:4: 281-288.

(5) . Jesper. M, Wilberg. M, Nordsteen. J and Nilsson.N. (1999). The short term effect of spinal manipulation in the treatment of infantile colic: A randomized controlled clinical trial with a blind observer. JMPT. 2

 (6). Long-Term Effects of Infant Colic: A Survey Comparison of Chiropractic Treatment and Nontreatment GroupsJ Manipulative Physiol Ther 2009 (Oct); 32 (8): 635–6382: