Chiropractic care for children

Many adults see a chiropractor to improve their general health and to prevent pain, but did you know that chiropractic care could be of benefit for children as well?

In fact, of the 300,000+ visits to chiropractors each week in Australia, approximately 30,000 of them are for children!

Many parents choose to bring their babies and children to a chiropractor to have spinal tension and neuro-musculoskeletal development assessed because infancy and childhood are times of rapid growth, frequent falls, and a multitude of other traumas.

The most common reason parents bring their children to see a chiropractor is to treat injuries or for musculoskeletal pain. In fact, a recent study that included over 404,000 children aged 8-17 showed a whopping 54.1% of children experienced headaches, and 37% experienced low back pain!1 Chiropractors are uniquely trained to identify and improve dysfunction within the spine that may be the cause of these types of pain.

Safety of Chiropractic for Children

As a parent, you're concerned about keeping your kids healthy, but you also want to make sure that any kind of healthcare they receive is as safe and as natural as possible. Chiropractic is a truly all natural healing profession with an excellent safety record. A 2012 study looked at the records of 921 chiropractors to investigate the safety of chiropractic. The author found no serious adverse reactions to chiropractic adjustments.2 Published studies and reports through the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme also show that chiropractic is a low risk health modality that is safely practiced in Australia.

Safer Care Victoria Review

In 2019 the Victorian Health Minister ordered an independent review of the safety of chiropractic care for children under the age of 12. This was the largest independent review into the safety of chiropractic for children in world history (1 Dec 2019).

The following professions were represented the Safer Care Victoria review panel:

Pediatrician, Pediatric neurosurgeon, Pediatric orthopedic surgeon, pediatric physiotherapist, pediatric chiropractor, among others.

Information was gathered from the following sources to be reviewed by the panel on:

  • Cochrane Australia performed an exhaustive systematic review of the scientific literature
  • Questionnaire to the Australian public of their experience and opinion
  • Questionnaire to health professionals of their experience and opinion
  • Data from the chiropractic regulating body (AHPRA) of any complaints from the public
  • Data from insurance companies of any claims made against chiropractors

Here are the Highlights of the Information Gathered:

In Australia, there has NEVER been a serious adverse event reported in the literature or in insurance claims, involving the care of a child by a chiropractor.

This is despite the fact that there have been an estimated 12-15 million visits by children to chiropractors in the last 20 years.

The evidence of harm is low because chiropractors modify their techniques to suit the age and developmental stage of the patient across the lifespan.

In fact there are only three cases published in the world where harm was incurred from spinal manipulation to children; but none of them were performed by chiropractors, and none of them used techniques utilized by chiropractors.

***Of note: A small number of children may have mild discomfort for 1-2 days after a visit, and normally only after the first few visits.  This could be displayed in an infant as increased unsettledness for 1-2 days.  This is no different than an adult who is mildly sore after their first few adjustments due to how much tension they are coming in with.***

73% of respondents reported having their child had chiropractic care under the age of 2.

50% of respondents reported their child being cared for from infancy through to teenage years. Note: Regarding the 0.3% of parents who had a negative experience; it was relating to the cost of the visit, not the care received.

Chiropractic is great because it doesn't use drugs or risky surgery to optimise health: it's truly an all-natural approach. If you'd like to find out if chiropractic can help your children, give us call today at (08) 8374 2000 or book an appointment online.

1 Swain M. et al. An International Survey of Pain in Adolescents. BMC Public Health. 2014 (May 13); 14 (1):447.

2 Marchand AM. 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 2012; 35 (5):372-380. ACA COAG Chiropractic Review Patient Infographic. November, 2019.