Chiropractic care is safe and effective for all ages.

May 9, 2016

You may be aware that the issue of chiropractors seeing children and babies has again come up in the media.  The same people and their self serving political groups are throwing mud in the hope that some of it will stick.  Their arguments lack any credible evidence and oppose logic and science.


Chiropractic care is remarkably safe for babies and children.  The research shows this (1).  Of course more research is required, as it is in all areas of health care, however no profession working with the spine can claim more scientific support than chiropractic.



Our highest priority at Sexton Chiropractic is promoting spinal health in children.  


The growing years are the most important in the development of spinal movement and posture.  It makes perfect sense to correct spinal imbalances that occur in childhood as soon as possible, not only for the child’s wellbeing but also to enable healthier development of posture and movement patterns that can be carried with the individual for life. 


The birth process is often the most traumatic event the human spine will experience in a lifetime. Imbalances in spinal movement or alignment and the resulting altered nerve function may significantly affect the health of the child (2). This cannot be questioned, it is not controversial and it is supported by science. 


Every child should have the health of their spine assessed as soon as possible after birth and, if necessary, imbalances should be corrected using the safest and most effective means.  Chiropractors are the experts in functional spinal health care. If there is a safer and more effective approach than chiropractic, then where is the evidence?


Chiropractic has been misrepresented either through ignorance or malice.  Chiropractic DOES NOT claim to treat colic, asthma, bed wetting, autism or any number of ailments suggested by uninformed medical professionals in the media recently.  These people have not consulted the research.  They have not even bothered to consult the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia, the peak body representing Australian chiropractors.  Chiropractors balance the spine with remarkably safe and effective adjustments for the primary purpose of improving nerve function. 


It is true however, that many children with conditions such as those above benefit from chiropractic care (3). This is simply because it is a physiological fact that if your spine works better then so too does your nervous system.  If your nervous system is healthier, you are healthier.


All health care interventions have risks.  However, multiple research studies and independent governmental inquiries into the efficacy and safety of chiropractic have found chiropractic to be remarkably safe and effective(4).  I’m not sure the same can be said with confidence about the professions of our recent detractors.  Consider the research released this month in the British Medical Journal finding medical error to be the third leading cause of preventable death in the US after heart disease and cancer, with an estimated 250,000 deaths a year (5)


Surely one of the greatest features of chiropractic care is its safety.  It works with nature, not against it.  It puts nothing into the body and takes nothing out.  It is proactive, not reactive and focussed on true health care, not just the amelioration of symptoms.  We have a Western health care environment that is expensive and often dangerous, with increasing trends of intervention dominated by pills and procedures, frequently with dubious or tainted scientific support at best, or many times no support at all (6).  I find it absurdly hypocritical that uninformed or ill informed so called leaders within this medical paradigm have the ignorance and arrogance to mount an unscientific attack on chiropractic.


I simply challenge those speaking against chiropractic care of children on the basis of safety or efficacy to compare the evidence.



You can click on this link for the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia media release in response to the issues outlined above.




References (with links provided).





Todd AJ, Carroll MT, Robinson A, Mitchell EKL. Adverse events from chiropractic and other manual therapies for infants and children: A Review of the Literature. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 2015 IN PRESS.


Matthew F Doyle.  Is chiropractic paediatric care safe? A best evidence topic

Clinical Chiropractic Vol14 Issue 3 Sept 2011




Gottlieb MS.  Neglected spinal cord, brain stem and musculoskeletal injuries stemming from birth trauma.

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1993 Oct;16(8):537-43.


Waddington et al.  Incidence of Somatic Dysfunction in Healthy Newborns.

J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2015 Nov;115(11):654-65. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2015.136






Miller et al.  Efficacy of chiropractic manual therapy on infant colic: a pragmatic single-blind, randomized controlled trial.

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2012 Oct;35(8):600-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2012.09.010



Miller et al. Contribution of chiropractic therapy to resolving suboptimal breastfeeding: a case series of 114 infants.

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2009 Oct;32(8):670-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2009.08.023.




DAN YAO, XINGQIANG DENG and MINGGUANG WANG.Department of Neurology, Xuzhou Children's Hospital, Xuzhou, Jiangsu 221002, P.R. China.  Management of musculoskeletal dysfunction in infants 



Wilberg et al.  The short-term effect of spinal manipulation in the treatment of infantile colic: a randomized controlled clinical trial with a blinded observer

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1999 Oct;22(8):517-22






Manga Report Canada.  A Study to Examine the Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Chiropractic Management of Low-Back Pain


Todd AJ, Carroll MT, Robinson A, Mitchell EKL. Adverse events from chiropractic and other manual therapies for infants and children: A Review of the Literature. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 2015 IN PRESS.


New Zealand Commission of Inquiry into Chiropractic



World Health Organisation. WHO guidelines on basic training and safety in Chiropractic 2005.


Legorreta et al.  Comparative analysis of individuals with and without chiropractic coverage: patient characteristics, utilization, and costs.

Arch Intern Med. 2004 Oct 11;164(18):1985-92.


Bishop et al. The Chiropractic Hospital-based Interventions Research Outcomes (CHIRO) study: a randomized controlled trial on the effectiveness of clinical practice guidelines in the medical and chiropractic management of patients with acute mechanical low back pain.

Spine J. 2010 Dec;10(12):1055-64. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2010.08.019.



von Heymann WJ, Schloemer P, Timm J, Muehlbauer B. Spinal high-velocity low amplitude manipulation in acute nonspecific low back pain: a double-blinded randomized controlled trial in comparison with diclofenac and placebo.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2013 Apr 1;38(7):540-8. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e318275d09c.


Hidalgo et al. The efficacy of manual therapy and exercise for different stages of non-specific low back pain: an update of systematic reviews.

J Man Manip Ther. 2014 May,22(2)



Cifuentes et al.  Health maintenance care in work-related low back pain and its association with disability recurrence

J Occup Environ Med. 2011 Apr;53(4):396-404


Peterson et al. Symptomatic, Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Confirmed Cervical Disk Herniation Patients: A Comparative-Effectiveness Prospective Observational Study of 2 Age- and Sex-Matched Cohorts Treated with Either Imaging-Guided Indirect Cervical Nerve Root Injections or Spinal Manipulative Therapy

03/2016; 39(3):210-217. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2016.02.00






Medical error—the third leading cause of death in the US

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 03 May 2016)



Lind M Hunt, PhD1⇓, Meta Kreiner, MSc1 and Howard Brody, MD, PhD.  The Changing Face of Chronic Illness Management in Primary Care: A Qualitative Study of Underlying Influences and Unintended Outcomes

Annals of family Medicine 2012



Charles M. Kilo; Eric B. Larson. Exploring the Harmful Effects of Health Care.

JAMA 2009


Christopher G Davey and Andrew M Chanen.  The unfulfilled promise of the antidepressant medications.

Med J Aust 2016; 204 (9): 348-350.





Prasad et al.  A Decade of Reversal: An Analysis of 146 Contradicted Medical Practices

Mayo Clinic Proceedings Vol 88, Issue 8 Pages 790-798  August 2013.



Elshaug et al.  Over 150 potentially low-value health care practices: an Australian study

The Medical Journal of Australia 2012; 197 (10): 556-560




Christopher G Davey and Andrew M Chanen.  The unfulfilled promise of the antidepressant medications.

Med J Aust 2016; 204 (9): 348-350.


Jureidini.  Antidepressants fail, but no cause for therapeutic gloom.

The Lancet.  Published Online June 8 2016



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