Chiropractic :: Chiropractic group stresses safety of adjustments for children

A report published in the January issue of Pediatrics journal may cause unfounded concerns about the safety of chiropractic for children, according to the World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA), an organization representing doctors of chiropractic around the world.

The article in Pediatrics, a research journal published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, reviewed 13 published research studies involving spinal manipulation on children and found 14 cases of adverse affects, of which 9 were considered serious. Those 13 studies were culled from nearly 14,000 published articles, the WCA pointed out, and specifically excluded studies where no adverse effects were reported.

“Obviously, the researchers were specifically looking for the extremely rare case of spinal manipulation causing injury,” stated Terry A. Rondberg, DC, president of the WCA. “Although they warn about risks, they fail to note other research studies that have shown serious adverse effects occur in less than one out of a million chiropractic visits.”

In addition, the WCA noted that while in one place the Pediatrics article states that “Each case involved a chiropractor,” an accompanying chart shows that of the 14 adverse events, one involved manipulation performed by a physiotherapist, another by a medical doctor, and two by chiropractic students. In two others, the type of practitioner was unknown. Although just 8 of the 14 events actually involved licensed doctors of chiropractic, the report frequently refers to all as chiropractic cases.

The report also demonstrates a basic misunderstanding of the purpose and scope of chiropractic, Dr. Rondberg explained. “Chiropractic is a non-invasive and drug-free health care approach that specializes in the detection and correction of vertebral subluxations, which are misalignments in the vertebrae that can cause interference in nerve function. Doctors of chiropractic do not diagnose or treat specific medical diseases.” Yet, the Pediatrics report labeled failure to diagnose diseases such as cancer, diabetes and meningitis as additional “adverse effects.”

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