Updated: Jun 4, 2019
By Dr. Megan Touron
In today’s world, many adult patients have embraced the chiropractic lifestyle and the belief in the importance of proper spinal alignment as a staple to maintaining good health.
Despite the popularity of chiropractic care for adults, often when chiropractors encourage care for young children or infants parents will wonder: “Is it safe?” or “Isn’t that dangerous?”.
Let’s start this conversation with a good question:
“Why would a child even need to go see a chiropractor?”
The thing is, some children may need to see a chiropractor and some may not. The first trauma any child goes though is actually childbirth, either natural or C-section.
If there is excess force pulling on the head, neck or extremities, there can be subluxations in the spine leading to other issues. Also as children grow and get more confident, other injuries may occur causing subluxations needing to be adjusted.
Many chiropractic physicians treat a variety of problems that infants, children and adolescents suffer from. Some of these include:
Recurrent ear infections
A study performed in Canada in 1999 reported that Chiropractic care in children younger than 18 years old discovered…”musculoskeletal conditions accounted for 40% of visits, prevention 24%, headaches 7%, otitis media 5% and various other conditions 23%”(1).
Manipulation of an infant's and child’s spinal joints is much different than the manipulation of the adult spine.
The bones of babies and children have a large portion of cartilage, which is soft and flexible, that will harden into bone with the help of calcium throughout childhood. A child’s skeletal anatomy is much different from that of an adults due to the fact that your bones will not reach full skeletal maturity until the age of 25.
So is Chiropractic care safe for my child?
Because of this, the force and technique behind an adjustment for a infant or child is much different from that of an adult. It may even take something as little as a small vibration from the chiropractor’s hand/finger into the joint to get the movement back to its normal state.
While in college, all Chiropractors have taken courses in pediatrics that recognize the unique anatomy and physiology of the pediatric patient. With that being said, the understanding that treatment and evaluation modifications are required allows chiropractors the ability to work with patients from the time of birth through the end of life. Chiropractic clinical education prepares the chiropractic student to assess and manage pediatric patient with a musculoskeletal problem(2).
The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association discusses one particular case study in length (4) .This case study was looking into a case of a 7 month old child suffering from GERD on a daily basis. The mother of the child reported that the baby was gurgling at night, having wakeful sleep and the appearance of a grimace, all of which had been ongoing since birth.
Upon examination, the chiropractor found some subluxated areas of the patient's spine, minor skull asymmetry and inflammation in the lower back (musculoskeletal issues). After 15 visits over 3 months of care, the mother reported her child was a great deal better and flare ups were significantly reduced.
Another study focused on a 6 week old infant with colic, acid reflux, difficulty sleeping and irritability (5). He had suffered birth trauma from vacuum extraction during birth causing a large hematoma and bruising of the skull. Chiropractic care was received 1x/week for 5 weeks using the activator to correct any subluxated joints.
After his first visit, the mother reported that he had taken the longest nap he had to date since being born and after his care was complete the parents stated that he no longer was suffering from any digestive problems and symptoms were improving every day.
The Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics reported a study on The Role of the Chiropractic Adjustment in the Care and Treatment of 332 Children with Otitis Media in 1997 finding that there is a strong correlation between the chiropractic adjustment and the resolution of Otitis Media in children (6). The focus was on infants as young as 27 days old to 5 years old. The study found that with chiropractic adjustments alone at the frequency of 4-6 adjustments depending on the severity of the case, the majority of children had resolution of otitis media in a time frame of 6-11 days.
In conclusion, Chiropractic care has been found to be a very safe and effective way to treat children experiencing may health concerns. To schedule your child's appointment, click the link below:
Reach Health and Wellness Chiropractic is located in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area specifically in Collegedale, TN, a short distance from Ooltewah, Cleveland, East Brainerd, East Ridge, Ringgold, Apison, and Harrison.
Dr. Megan Touron is a chiropractic physician and author who specializes in pediatric care and pregnant moms. Click here to read her full bio!
*This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Megan Touron and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Dr. Megan does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.
Melissa, Alcantara, Joel, & Reilly, Ann. “Resolution of GERD in an Infant Following Chiropractic Care: A Case Report & Selective Review of the Literature.”Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, & Family Health. 2016.2 (2016): 46-49Spear, David, & Alcantara, Joel. “Resolution of Birth Trauma Sequelae Following Adjustment of Vertebral Subluxations in an Infant.” Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, & Family Health. 2016.1 (2016):28-31Fallon, JM. Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics Vol 2, No. 2 1997 p.167-183