Chiropractic has been taking care of children for various conditions for more than 100 years.
A survey of chiropractors in the United States, Canada and Australia and a report by the American Chiropractic Association both found that most chiropractors treat children and that only 10% of the issues they treat in children are not musculoskeletal. In children under the age of 18, chiropractic is commonly used to treat conditions ranging from colic and bedwetting to asthma and recurrent ear infections and for illness and biomechanical injury prevention. A survey of Canadian chiropractors identified that children are treated for musculoskeletal conditions 40% of the time, preventative care was 24% of the visits, headaches 7% of visits, and ear infections 5% of the visits. Miscellaneous health issues were treated for 24% of the visits.
Illness prevention accounted for a large proportion of visits for children younger than age four years, with treatment for musculoskeletal conditions increasing with age. Spinal manipulation was, by far, the most common form of therapy provided, followed by exercises, soft tissue treatment, and postural and nutritional counselling.
What do chiropractors treat in Children?
- Musculoskeletal Pain
- Neck, mid back and low back pain
- Walking/crawling issues
- Joint pain (wrist, knee, shoulder, ankle)
- Growing Pains â€“ these occur when a healthy, normal, young child, experiences intense pain in the middle of the night for 10 to 15 minutes in both legs (knees, thighs, calves or shins)
- Neurological Issues
- Balance issues
- Cerebral Palsy and other movement disorders
- ADD/ADHD/Behavioral issues
- Crying/Irritability/Sleep Issues
- Developmental issues
- Cognitive issues
- Digestive issues
- Constipation issues
- Eating issues
- Esophageal Reflux
- Bowel issues
- Colic â€“ (infants with unexplained persistent crying)
- Menstrual cramps
- Abnormal cycles
- Musculoskeletal Pain
3. Bed wetting
- Allergies/Asthma/Eczema/Skin Rashes
- Food sensitivities
- Respiratory issues
- Ear infections
- Ear-nose-throat problems
- Common cold
A 2008 study by Miller and Benfield looked at children 3 years old or younger to evaluate the adverse effects of chiropractic care in that age group. Less than 1% of child patients experienced negative side effects and the adverse reactions to chiropractic were mild in nature, short lived and required no medical intervention. The typical reaction was for the child to cry while getting treatment. A 2012 study looked at over 50,000 adjustments in children under the age of 18 and identified 0.2% mild side effects, 0.009% moderate side effects and zero reporting any severe side effects.
Is chiropractic safer than medicine for children?
Because the actions of medications is babies and children are not the same as those for adults, there should be and have not been studies on how medicines work in the young. Side effects of drugs in children in the United States has not been well researched. The studies that have been done in the United States and Europe show adverse drug reactions among hospitalized children to be 9.5%, with severe reactions in 12% of the child population studied.
Use of drugs for conditions they were not approved for (off-label) to treat children is widespread. “Adverse drug reactions are a significant problem following unlicensed or off-label drug prescriptions,” stated one study in 1999. This practice is more common today that it was then.
It would seem that your child is having issues that you might want to explore what chiropractic can safely offer as a treatment before considering medicating your child. Our doctors treat children with gentle, effective chiropractic care. Contact us today at (636)928-5588 if you have a child who needs to be evaluated by our doctors of chiropractic!
Marchand, Aurelie (2012) Chiropractic Care of Children From Birth to Adolescence and Classification of reported Conditions: An Internet Cross-Sectional Survey of 956 European Chiropractors, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 35 (5) 372-380
Miller, J. E., & Benfield, K. (2008). Adverse effects of spinal manipulative therapy in children younger than 3 years: A retrospective study in a chiropractic teaching clinic. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 31(6), 419-423.
Le, J., Nguyen, T., Law, A., Hodding, J. (2006) Adverse Drug reactions Among Children Over a 10-Year Period, Pediatrics, 118 (2) 555-562
Adverse drug reactions to unlicensed and off-label drugs on paediatric wards: a prospective study. S Turner1, AJ Nunn1, K Fielding2, I Choonara3, Acta Paediatrica Volume 88, Issue 9, pages 965â€“968, September 1999