The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a study on October 10, 2016, reporting on the case of a toddler suffering with developmental delays in speech and coordination being helped through chiropractic care.
The study begins by discussing the increased usage of complementary alternative medicine (CAM) by children. CAM consists of a wide variety of non-medical forms of health care. While some classify chiropractic as a separate and distinct form of healthcare, many classify it within the umbrella of CAM professions. The authors note that several studies have shown that chiropractic is the most popular form of CAM for children in the U.S. since an initial study in 2007. They report that one in four children with common neurological conditions use some form of CAM.
In this case, a 2-year-old boy was brought to a chiropractic clinical training center for evaluation. The toddler had developmental delays in speech and coordination. According to his mother, her son was delayed and had consistently failed to meet developmental milestones. His symptoms included below average locomotion skill, delayed hearing comprehension and expressive communication, and difficulty swallowing certain food textures. The boy was born several weeks pre-mature and had suffered one seizure when he was three months old.
The boy had been receiving speech and physical therapy for one year prior to any chiropractic care. The therapy did show some signs of improvement. The therapy consisted of 30-minute sessions twice a month for six months designed to increase the child’s motor skills through the use of therapeutic play, gait training, ball skills and a home program. The boy’s physical therapist performed several standardized tests prior to chiropractic care that measured and confirmed the boy was developmentally delayed.
An examination was performed which included a visual inspection, palpation, and a postural analysis. Based upon the history and the examination, subluxations were determined to be present affecting the child’s spine and nervous system. Specific chiropractic adjustments were given to address the subluxations.
The study records that the boy responded well to care with a steady improvement in his speech and coordination. His mother also reported that his “outbreaks” had decreased to only occurring rarely, late at night, if her son was tired. In a follow up examination performed by the physical therapist after starting chiropractic care, there was a continual improvement in the boy’s developmental issues.
In their conclusion the authors wrote, “This case report informs clinical practice and research on the possible benefits of chiropractic care in children with developmental delays through chiropractic adjustments to address the presence of subluxations.”