There are plenty of opinions when the subject of children and chiropractic care comes up. The decision to bring your child in for chiropractic care is one that needs support, from family and other caregivers. It’s not necessary to defend your decision of how you wish to have your child looked after, but sometimes a bit of evidence to support your decision is reassuring. Apologies for the evidence-overload, but then again this at least demonstrates the weight of evidence supporting your decision.
Chiropractic care for children is dangerous:
Cranial and activator techniques are preferentially used in this population http://bmccomplementalternmed.biomedcentral.com/…/1472-6882…
“This study shows that for the population studied, chiropractic manipulation produced very few adverse effects and was a safe form of therapy in the treatment of patients in this age group.”
“Published cases of serious adverse events in infants and children receiving chiropractic, osteopathic, physiotherapy, or manual medical therapy are rare. The 3 deaths that have been reported were associated with various manual therapists; however, no deaths associated with chiropractic care were found in the literature to date.”
http://www.jmptonline.org/ar…/S0161-4754(14)00178-X/abstract (Adverse incidents involving children and chiropractic are exceedingly rare; compare this to medical incidents)
Chiropractors are seeing children for conditions outside of their scope:
“This study showed that European chiropractors are active in the care of pediatric patients. Reported conditions were mainly skeletal and neurologic complaints. ”
“Chiropractic and osteopathy is primarily used for back and neck pain, which is increasing in prevalence in children. Teens are more likely to use it than are younger children.”
“Of the indicated specific clinical presentations, musculoskeletal complaints were the most common followed by non-musculoskeletal conditions of childhood.”
There is no evidence to support the idea of a chiropractor treating a child
This large prospective study demonstrated that controlled manual stretching is safe and effective in the treatment of congenital muscular torticollis when a patient is seen before the age of one year.
There is reason to suspect that infantile torticollis may be related to breastfeeding difficulties
“Infants with unilateral sternocleidomastoid tension and associated craniofacial, spinal, and hip asymmetries may feed poorly”
“On follow-up, 93% of mothers reported an improvement in feeding as well as satisfaction with the care provided. Prior to treatment, 26% of the infants were exclusively breastfed. At the follow-up survey, 86% of mothers reported exclusive breastfeeding.”
Chiropractors don’t have the necessary quality research in this population:
“Our practice-based research observational study reports a rate of that <1% of the patient population or 1 in 1046 patient visits resulted in minor adverse events. All reported aggravations (from chiropractor and parent survey) were minor, self-limiting and did not require hospitalization or medical attention.”
“The application of modern chiropractic paediatric care within the outlined framework is safe. A reasonable caution to the parent/guardian is that one child per 100 to 200 attending may have a mild adverse event, with irritability or soreness lasting less than 24 h, resolving without the need for additional care beyond initial chiropractic recommendations.”
There is no need for children to see a chiropractor:
“In summary, Low Back Pain in children and adolescents, as in adults, is a common condition: some have shown a lifetime prevalence as high as 70–80% by 20 years of age”. This pain has been shown to produce limitations in performance of daily activities. (NOTE: Back pain in a child should always be considered as a serious symptom indicating assessment by a trained health professional)
“Prevalence rates ranged substantially, and were as follows: headache: 8–83%; abdominal pain: 4–53%; back pain: 14–24%; musculoskeletal pain: 4–40%; multiple pains: 4–49%; other pains: 5–88%.”
“The estimated overall mean prevalence of headache was 54.4 % (95 % CI 43.1–65.😎and the overall mean prevalence of migraine was 9.1 % (95 % CI 7.1–11.1).”
There is reason to suspect that psychological factors play a big role in low back pain in school children (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00586-002-0385-y). As experts in conservative management of spinal syndromes and their various sequelae, chiropractors are well positioned to decrease this burden by performing a thorough assessment and implementing an active management approach to help decrease catastrophizing. Children and chiropractic care are a perfect fit!