In Australia, there has never been a serious adverse event reported in the literature, or in insurance claims, involving the care of a child by a chiropractor. This is despite the fact that there have been an estimated 12-15 million visits by children to chiropractors in the last 20 years. The evidence of harm is low because chiropractors modify their techniques to suit the age and development stage of the patient across the lifespan.
Evidence of Effectiveness
Safer Care Victoria (SCV) have performed a systematic review of the evidence of effectiveness for chiropractic care of children. High level evidence does not currently exist for many commonly used paediatric health interventions, including spinal manipulation. The situation is different for adult care, where spinal manipulation for conditions such as low back and neck pain, rate moderate to high level evidence. Evidence was found to be positive but inconclusive for some conditions, such as colic and bed wetting. For the other conditions – headache, asthma, otitis media, cerebral palsy, hyperactivity, and torticollis – the SCV review found there was no high level of evidence that spinal manipulation was effective for children under 12 years. SCV recommended allocation of funding for further research that may further clarify the role chiropractors have to play with paediatric health care.
In March 2019, the Victorian Health Minister tasked SCV to lead an independent review of the practice of spinal manipulation on children under 12 years. SCV wished to hear from parents of children who have accessed chiropractic care, exploring their experiences, both positive and negative.
Here’s what the public had to say…
We would like to thank all of our wonderful patients for taking the time to contribute to this review. We are very pleased with the results and love seeing all the families that come in for treatment. If you’d like more information on the SCV review, please visit: chiro.org.au/coag