Chiropractic Treatment on Children


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The provision of chiropractic treatment for children is a subject that has caused a great deal of controversy. Some chiropractors believe that their treatment will be beneficial to a child and will gladly offer it. However, many chiropractors refuse to work on children as they are still developing and their bones and joints may be too fragile to have such hands-on procedures performed on them. It seems that the most highly recommended route to getting spinal care for a child is by visiting your doctor first to have a medical professional give an opinion on the next step to take.

Recognising a spinal condition in a child

It is rather difficult to know whether or not a child has got misaligned vertebrae (spinal subluxations). It would appear that the best way to find out if this is an issue with your child is to take them for analysis by a doctor or a chiropractor.  They can then carry out tests and examinations to determine whether there are any spinal problems. It is virtually impossible for a parent alone, unless specially trained, to recognise that their child has vertebrae misalignment. Despite this, there are a few common signs of spinal issues such as a constant head tilt to one particular side; a poor, disrupted sleeping pattern; limited head movement; nursing difficulties with a baby.

Risks associated with chiropractic treatment on children

Most chiropractors that perform their treatments on children claim that any resulting, permanent injury is very rare - a claim that can be supported by the statement made by malpractice insurers in the US that they have not had to pay out over such injuries in the past few years.

Despite the rarities of injury, the one that has been most commonly complained about is the interruption of artery circulation in the back. This can lead to damage to the brain in the areas that rely on their blood supply coming from this artery. There is also a phenomenon associated with this risk involving a stroke in the child. However, this is said to affect just 27 per million children under the age of 15 each year.

Avoidance of chiropractic-associated spinal injury in children

To avoid damaging the spinal cord or spine structure in children, it is recommended that all chiropractic treatment performed should be done with a low level of force. Procedures involving extension and rotation should also be avoided.

Also, if there are any indications or knowledge of a condition that may cause the child to be predisposed to obtaining a spinal injury from chiropractic treatment, then it should be avoided. This is because it means that the child is at a higher risk of being injured during chiropractic treatment. In other cases though when a child has no predisposing risk factors, it is believed by many that the benefits far outweigh the risks.


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