Chiropractors Seeing More Children

An article published on March 5, 2013 in the Medill Reports – Chicago, from Northwestern University reports how more children are going to chiropractors. The article titled, “Chiropractors crack necks, backs and ankles – increasingly among children”, by Kristin Callahan, reports on the trend toward chiropractic for this younger demographic.

The author of the article starts by noting, “With the demand for complementary and alternative treatment increasing, more people are considering the use of chiropractic care for children and newborns.” The article also reports that according to a 2010 study done by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, (ICPA) chiropractic is the most popular form of alternative (non-medical) care for children.

The most recent data available in the ICPA study showed that an estimated 86 million pediatric visits were made to chiropractors throughout the United States, Canada and Europe in 2007. Dr. Sean Curry, a Chicago area chiropractor explained, “My most rewarding visits are with kids because they don’t have a lot of scar tissue build up, they respond to care the quickest and the fastest.”

The article points out that one of the most common reasons that children are brought to the chiropractor is recurring ear infections. “These kids have gone through the medical protocol and have plateaued,” said Dr. Jeanne Ohm, a Pennsylvania chiropractor and CEO of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. “They are not functioning at a level the parents would like — that’s when they go see a chiropractor.”

The article author reported on the growing trend toward chiropractic as well as the growing number of Doctors of Chiropractic. She reports, “In 2012, there were 70,000 chiropractors and 778,000 physicians in the United States. Every year there are more than 4,000 chiropractic graduates from 30 educational institutions, and due to increasing enrollment, the number of American chiropractors is expected to rise to 145,000 by 2015.”

The article also notes that in a recent study in Montreal, Quebec fewer than half of the patients who went to chiropractors told their medical doctors that they were going. Some people fear being chastised by their medical doctor who may incorrectly think chiropractic adjustments are too forceful or can harm children. Dr. Robert Braile, a chiropractor from Georgia and former president of the International Chiropractors Association dismisses any thoughts of danger for children, “Chiropractic adjustments for children or infants are specific, scientific and safe.” He continued, “A medical professional would not prescribe the same strength drug for an infant that they would for a 200 pound man. In the same light the adjustment that I give to a newborn is not the same as the one I give to an adult.

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