Is Paediatric Chiropractic Effective?

As early as 1989 Klougart showed benefit of spinal manipulation in colic. Olafsdottir (2001) showed no more effect than placebo, however the treatments in the study included mobilization only and only three treatments were given over an eight-day period. Hughes and Bolton (2002) found ambivalent evidence for effect in colicky infants but still in favour of chiropractic. A Randomized Controlled Trial found: “Chiropractic manual therapy improved crying behaviour in infants with colic. The findings showed that knowledge of treatment by the parent did not appear to contribute to the observed treatment effects in this study. Thus, it is unlikely that observed treatment effect is due to bias on the part of the reporting parent” (Miller et al. 2012) In a Cochrane review of manipulative therapies for infantile colic, it was noted that parents of infants receiving manipulative therapy reported fewer hours crying per day in their colicky infants than parents of babies who were not adjusted (Dobson et al. 2014)

A 2011 Systematic Review of Chiropractic care of infants with colic reported that: “chiropractic care is a viable alternative to the care of infantile colic and congruent with evidence-based practice, particularly when one considers that medical care options are no better than placebo or have associated adverse events.” (Alcantara et al. 2011) Miller et al. 2009 concluded that: “Chiropractic treatment may be a useful adjunct to routine care given by other professionals in cases of diagnosed breastfeeding problems with a biomechanical component.” Wiberg et al. 1999 showed that spinal manipulation was effective in relieving infantile colic. A 2016 review by Yao et al. concluded: “It can be concluded that manual chiropractic therapy is the most successful option for the management of paediatric musculo–skeletal health of infants. In addition, few adverse effects have been reported, and these are negligible in comparison to the beneficial accounts of manual therapy.” Bronfort 2001 showed subjective ratings of asthma to be significantly improved.

Is Paediatric Chiropractic Safe?

In much the same way that you would not give a child an adult dose of medication so the adjustments given to children are modified accordingly. The techniques used by skilled Paediatric Chiropractors are safe, gentle and effective at relieving joint dysfunction and their effects.

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A retrospective study on Chiropractic treatment of children younger than 3 years stated: “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. “(Miller et al. 2008). A best evidence review by Doyle 2011 claimed: “The application of modern chiropractic paediatric care within the out- lined framework is safe. A reasonable caution to the parent/guardian is that one child per 100 to 200 attending may have a mild AE, with irritability or soreness lasting less than 24 h, resolving without the need for additional care beyond initial chiropractic recommendations” A Literature review by Todd et al. 2015 concluded “Published cases of serious adverse events in infants and children receiving chiropractic, osteopathic, physiotherapy, or manual medical therapy are rare… Because underlying pre-existing pathology was associated in a majority of reported cases, performing a thorough history and examination to exclude anatomical or neurologic anomalies before applying any manual therapy may further reduce adverse events across all manual therapy professions.”