Design: A single-blinded, randomised, and comparison trial.
Setting: Anglo-European College of Chiropractic teaching clinic.
Participants: Forty-three infants of less than 8 weeks of age who cried >3 h/day for at least 4 of the previous 7 days.
Interventions: Two weeks of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT, n = 22) or occipito-sacral decompression (OSD, n = 21).
Main outcome measures: Change in daily hours of crying.
Results: At day 7 of the trial, the mean hours of crying per day were significantly reduced in both groups (SMT, by 2.1 h/day, p < 0.001; OSD, by 2.0 h/day, p < 0.001). At day 14, the mean hours of crying per day were significantly reduced in both groups (SMT, by 3.1 h/day, p < 0.001; OSD, by 2.5 h/day, p < 0.001). At day 14, the mean hours of sleep per day were significantly increased in both groups (SMT, by 1.7 h/day, p < 0.01; OSD, by 1.0 h/day, p < 0.01). Four weeks after completion of the treatment trial, colic had resolved in 82% of the SMT group and 67% of the OSD group.
Conclusion: Both treatments appear to offer significant benefits to infants with colic. Infants treated by SMT or OSD cried less and slept more after 2 weeks of treatment. There were no differences in outcomes between the two treatment approaches. Although the participants completed the trial of therapy prior to the usual age of remission for infant colic, the natural course cannot be ruled out. Therefore, the treatment approaches as a cause of the observed benefits in this study must be appropriately interpreted.
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