Chiropractic Care for Children is Safe, Gentle and Effective

With the evolution of modern health care, more options and choices are now available for those seeking to manage their own health. Chiropractic for children is becoming one of the most popular choices. In the late 1990s, an average of 30 million pediatric visits were made to chiropractors. Chiropractic effectiveness and safety studies to date have pointed out that there is no clear evidence of harm to-date, and the purpose of this study [1] is to shine further light on to the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments on children. To do so, a study survey was created and sent to over 2000 practicing chiropractors and parents whose children have undergone or are undergoing chiropractic care.

The survey covered multiple topics of inquiry, including the reason the parents sought care, what type of adjusting techniques were used, and what kind of outcomes were seen with care. Outcomes were categorized into improvements, aggravations, such as worsened symptoms or complaints following adjustments, and complications, including fractures, sprains, strains, strokes, or death. The results were positive from both parents and practitioners. The chiropractic survey showed that of 577 pediatric cases, totaling over 5000 visits, only 3 aggravations of muscles stiffness or soreness were reported, all of which were minor, and were addressed by the practitioner. There were no reports of complications.

The results of the parent survey were similar, showing that of 239 children and 1735 visits, 162 parents reported improvements, 2 reported aggravations, and none reported complications. Overall, the safety results, as reported by parents, showed that 0.83% of the population, or 1 in every 867 visits, resulted in minor adverse events.

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What was staggering about the results were the reasons why parents sought chiropractic care for their children. 47% of parents sought “wellness care,” which means there were no complaints or symptoms in the children, and the parents

sought care that was vitalistic and holistic in nature that would maintain and optimize the child’s health. The reasons for care that dealt with symptoms included musculoskeletal pain; ear, nose, and throat problems; neurological problems; colic; constipation and bedwetting; asthma and allergies; and birth trauma.

The most common improvements seen were decreased pain, improved behaviors, and increased immune function. Also, it is important to note that improvements were seen in other areas of the body unrelated to the initial reason for care.

1. Alcantara J, Ohm J, & Kunz D. (2009) The Safety and Effectiveness of Pediatric Chiropractic: A Survey of Chiropractors and Parents in a Practice-Based Research Network. EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing, 5 (5), 290-295.