To Your Health
January, 2010 (Vol. 04, Issue 01)
Is chiropractic care safe for a baby?
Cameron is not alone; many children visit a chiropractor these days. Recent surveys have shown that up to 14 percent of chiropractic visits are for pediatric patients and that chiropractors are the most common non-medical provider visited by children.
According to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 2 million children visited chiropractors in 2007.
In general, the chiropractic adjustment is a very safe procedure for children. With millions of children visiting a chiropractor every year, adverse events (the technical term for injury) are very rare. A study published in 2008 in the prestigious medical journal Pediatrics found only nine incidents of adverse events related to spinal adjustments in children worldwide over the past 100 years, an enviable safety record.
All doctors understand that any form of health care comes with some degree of risk, whether we're talking about a dose of antibiotics or a chiropractic adjustment. As with any procedure, your chiropractor should discuss the benefits and the risks of the adjustment as it applies to your child.
Chiropractic care for children is very different than chiropractic care for adults. The adjustments are much softer and gentler because the child's joints are looser and easier to move. The procedure is quite comfortable and children often look forward to their chiropractic treatment. In addition, children generally heal much more quickly than adults, so typically require just a few treatments to restore normal motion to their joints, and thus restore normal function to their nervous systems and related end organs.
What kinds of pediatric conditions can a chiropractor help?
Since chiropractors improve the health of the nervous system by removing irritation stemming from the structural elements of the body, chiropractors can help children with a wide range of conditions, from colic to ear infections to asthma. See the sidebar on this page for a more complete list of common pediatric conditions that typically respond well to chiropractic care.
It's important to remember that chiropractors are more than just back adjusters. Chiropractors are physicians whose scope of practice includes manual therapies (like adjustments and massage), physiotherapies (like ultrasound), exercise and postural advice, herbal and nutritional supplements, and lifestyle and dietary advice. After taking a thorough history and performing a complete examination, your chiropractor will determine which combination of these therapies will best help your child reach optimal health. Chiropractic physicians and medical physicians complement each other; as a team, they provide complete health care for your child.
Chiropractors help children heal and attain true health by releasing joints that aren't moving properly or to their fullest capacity. This restores natural nervous system function, correcting symptoms at the root of the problem and optimizing the child's overall health and inherent healing abilities. Marlena found that chiropractic care helped her baby Cameron nurse better, sleep better and feel better! As a result, Marlena slept better and felt better, too!