Pediatric Chiropractic FAQ

Here are some answers to questions you may have about children and Chiropractic.

  • Is chiropractic safe?

Chiropractic is actually one of the safest healthcare professions around due to the absence of the use of drugs and surgeries. Please understand that a child's spine is still mostly cartilage, still forming and is more supple than an adult's spine. Therefore a much gentler adjustment is required to achieve the same results. We don't crack and twist, it just isn't necessary.<br>

  • Is chiropractic appropriate for children?

Yes. Chiropractic's drug-less and preventive approach to good health makes it perfectly appropriate for infants, children, and teenagers. Chiropractic is licensed in all 50 states of the U.S. for the care of children of all ages.

  • Is chiropractic effective?

Chiropractors have been adjusting children for over 100 years. Although chiropractic research is still in its infancy more and more is being published which is why we have added a few internet links for you to look into it more.  They are located at the bottom of the page.

 A 1992 survey showed that the most common conditions for which children visit a chiropractor are: earaches, neck pain, check-up, headache, upper respiratory, low back pain, allergies, asthma, enuresis, and thoracic pain. Other reasons are ADD and ADHD, colic, torticollis, insomnia, growing pains, and persistent crying in infants.

  • What if my child has a health issue that doesn't respond to chiropractic?

Our primary concern is your child's health. Chiropractors are trained to recognize complex health problems. If your child is in need of further follow up by another health discipline we will definitely refer out to an appropriate provider.

It is the position of the ICA Council of Pediatrics and its parent organization, the International Chiropractors Association, that when the doctor of chiropractic or any doctor reaches the limits of their skill and authority that they are "ethically and morally bound to make patient referrals to practitioners in other fields of healing when such referrals are necessary to provide the highest quality of patient care."

  • What is chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a conservative and natural healing art and science that concentrates on keeping people well. While chiropractic is an American science more than 103 years old, its basic wellness premise dates back to spinal "manipulations" first used by Hippocrates, the Father of Healing in the 4th Century B.C.

Doctors of chiropractic do not treat symptoms, though this may be the initial reason why a patient comes to a chiropractic office. What the doctor of chiropractic does is attempt to get to the root cause of a health problem. The primary focus of chiropractic is the detection, reduction, and correction of spinal misalignments (known as subluxations) with resultant nervous system dysfunction.

The spinal column houses a critical part of the body's nervous system, the spinal cord, which is responsible for the transmission of nerve impulses or messages to and from the brain. Proper joint and muscle sensors help relay vital sensory information to the brain as to how to best adapt to the external environment.   A spinal malfunction (subluxation) can interrupt this flow of information and affect the body's nervous system causing pain, muscle and organ dysfunction, and other imbalances.

  • When should I take my child to a chiropractor?

When you want to give your child a head start in good health and all the benefits of a conservative, drug-less approach to health care, you should take your child to a chiropractor. It is important to have a chiropractic exam during the first year of a child's life as spinal trauma can occur during birth, as well as from tumbles while learning to sit up or walk. Improper lifting and carrying can also contribute to spinal stress.

Your child's spine grows almost 50% in length during the first year. This is equivalent to a six-footer growing to nine feet in just 12 months! It's this kind of tremendous growth and developmental changes which make a complete chiropractic examination so important in the early stages of a child's life. If there is a problem, the earlier it is corrected the less likelihood there is of it becoming a chronic or more serious problem later in life.

Doctors of chiropractic believe it's much more important to prevent dysfunction than wait till some disease occurs.  A well visit check is recommended early in the child's life. Since a baby's spine grows over 50% in length during the first year it is wise to check a child's spine and nervous system so that they have the best chance at a healthy development.

According to Dr. Jeanne Ohm, of the ICPA, the most important times to check infants are.

  1. Right after birth 
  2. When starting to pick up head while on belly
  3. At onset of crawling 
  4. As child begins to sit 
  5. When first learns to stand 
  6. During initial walking stages
  • How can chiropractic care help an older child?

Chiropractors do not treat diseases, they help to correct spinal misalignments that can cause health problems. Through regular adjustments, counseling on proper nutrition, exercise, and posture, the chiropractor can help you raise a child who is structurally and functionally sound.

The number one "illness" in children is accidents. You may not realize it, but youngsters take numerous tumbles -- learning to ride a bike, or even just jumping and running around. If your child takes part in athletic activities, the "sack" of a quarterback could twist a young spine, pitching a ball can throw a vertebra out of alignment. These underlying injuries, if left uncorrected, can cause serious problems as the child grows into adulthood.

Doctors of chiropractic can do more than correct these problems. They can also help improve performance on and off the field by helping the body to function at its optimum level, naturally, and without drugs.

  • How does the Doctor of Chiropractic help?

The doctor of chiropractic, through a procedure called an adjustment, helps restore misaligned vertebrae to a more normal position, thus allowing the nerves to properly communicate with the rest of the body and let the body heal itself - safely and naturally.

  • There are so many different health specialists today, who is responsible for the health of my child?

You are. As a parent or guardian you must take responsibility for your child's health and use your best judgment as to what is most appropriate for your child. Fortunately, there are some outstanding primary health care providers to help you make your decision, including your doctor of chiropractic, pediatrician, and dentist. These professionals should make up your child's personal health care team.

More useful Pediatric links and research.

International Chiropractic Pediatric Association

Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health

Pathways for Family Wellness Magazine

Well Adjusted

Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics

Chiropractic Pediatrics research link page