Chiropractic and Kids

Posted by on Sep 28, 2012 in News | No Comments

From birth to their adult years, children go through huge changes – physically, socially, mentally and more. Your Caboolture chiropractor, Matthew Doyle, believes children deserve to have the optimal chance to express health as they grow, and as a chiropractor, we may play a significant role in helping their spine and nervous system support this.  Mum and baby in stroller Children have been part of the regular practice of chiropractic since before before 19101, and today sees more parents using chiropractors as part of their families health care team than ever.1,2,3, 4,5,6, 7, 8

Our goal with children is to check their spine and nervous system for subluxation, adjust them if necessary (not always so, especially with kids!), and to inspire them to healthier lifestyle choices.  Outdoors activity, lots of play, plenty of fresh fruit and veg, healthy meats, chicken and fish, good quality fats, and lots more play!

Is chiropractic care of children safe? YES! A 2011 paper by your Caboolture chiropractor, Matthew Doyle, published in the peer reviewed research (Clinical Chiropractic 2011) showed that approximately 1 per 100 children who visit a chiropractor will get some mild adverse effects – this means some increases in irritability or soreness which last less than 24 hours before resolving.No serious adverse events have been reported in the literature since 1992 = over 30 years! Numerous review articles and original research has been published on the safety of chiropractic care for babies, infants, and children.10,11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17  The baseline – chiropractic care of children is safe.

For comparison, the risk of mild adverse events (soreness after an adjustment) in the adult population is reported as 41% (between 17-68%) per patient.18 In their meta-analysis of studies, Carnes and others pooled data to compare adverse events. Their findings showed more adverse events for manual therapy compared to general medical practitioner care, about the same number compared to exercise, but less than drug therapy. The authors concluded the relative risk of having a minor or moderate adverse event after high velocity thrust spinal manipulation was significantly less than taking the medication often prescribed for these conditions.

The techniques your Caboolture chiropractor Matthew Doyle uses for babies and infants is very gentle and does not include high velocity thrust techniques.  Common techniques are crani0-sacral work, touch and hold, myofascial release, and low impulse thrust techniques.  These are techniques have been refined from the good basis taught at RMIT University in Melbourne, and expanded with many post graduate technique and science seminars, and through Matthew’s MSc in Paediatric Chiropractic through Bournemouth University while in the UK.

The peer reviewed research base for chiropractic care for kids grows every year.  Case studies, cohort series research, randomised controlled trials, surveys, commentaries, and expert consensus articles have all been published.19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33.

Our goal is not to treat conditions, rather, it is to allow your childs inborn potential to heal to express itself as optimally as possible, with a focus on the health of their spine and nervous system.  At your Caboolture Chiropractor, we love having children in the practice, and look forward to helping them be as healthy as possible



1: Palmer, D.D., 1910.  Text-book of the science, art and philosophy of chiropractic for students and practitioners. Portland, Oregon. Portland Printing House Company.

2:  Barnes P.M., Bloom B.S., 2008.  Complementary and alternative medicine use among adults and children: United States, 2007. Natl Health Stat Reports, 12, 1-24.

3: Carlton, P., Johnson, I., Cunliffe, C., Factors influencing parents’ decisions to choose chiropractic care for their children in the UK, Clinical Chiropractic 12(1), 11–22.

4: Jamison, J.R., Davies, N.J., 2005. Paediatric patients seeking chiropractic care: an Australian case study, Chiro J Aust, 35(4), 143-146.

5: Jean, D., Cyr, C., 2007.  Use of complementary and alternative medicine in a general pediatric clinic.  Pediatrics, 120(1), e138-e141.  Available from:

6: Lorenc, A., Ilan-Clarke, Y., Robinson, N., Blair, M. 2009 How parents choose to use CAM: a systematic review of theoretical models, BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 9, 9.

7: Spigelblatt L., Laine-Ammara G., Pless I.B., Guyver A., 1994. The use of alternative medicine by children. Pediatrics, 94, 811-814.

8: Tindle H,A., Davis R,B., Phillips R.S., Eisenberg D.M,. 2005. Trends in use of complementary and alternative medicine by US adults: 1997-2002. Altern Ther Health Med. 11(1):42-9.

9: Doyle, M. 2011. Is chiropractic paediatric care safe? A best evidence topic. Clinical Chiropractic, 14, 97-105.

10: Vohra, S., Johnston, B.C., Cramer, K., Humphreys, K., 2007. Adverse Events Associated With Pediatric Spinal Manipulation: A Systematic Review, Pediatrics, 119(1), e275-e283.

11: Alcantara, J., 2010. A critical appraisal of the systematic review on adverse events associated with pediatric spinal manipulative therapy: a chiropractic perspective, J Ped Maternal & Fam Health. March 9, 22-29

12: Alcantara, J., Ohm, J., Kunz, D., 2009. The safety and effectiveness of pediatric chiropractic: a survey of chiropractors and parents in a practice-based research network, Explore, 5(5), 290-295.

13: Alcantara, J., Ohm, J., Kunz, D., 2010.  The Chiropractic Care of Children, J Alt Comp Med, 16(6), 621-626.

14: Browning, M., and Miller, J., 2008. Comparison of short-term effects of chiropractic spinal manipulation and occipito-sacral decompression in the treatment of infant colic: a single-blinded randomised comparison trial. Clinical Chiropractic,11, 4-14.

15: Humphreys, B., 2010.  Possible adverse events in children treated by manual therapy: a review, Chiropractic & Osteopathy, 18, 12. Available from [accessed 5 June 2010]

16: Miller, J.E., Benfield, K. 2008 Adverse effects of spinal manipulative therapy in children younger than 3 years: a retrospective study in a chiropractic teaching clinic, JMPT 31(6), 419–423.

17: Pistolese, R.A., 1998. Risk assessment of neurological and/or vertebrobasilar complications in the pediatric chiropractic patient. 1998 J. Vertebral Subluxation Research, 2(2), 1-9.

18: Carnes, D., Mars, T., Mullinger, Froud, R., Underwood, M. 2010. Adverse events and manual therapy: a systematic review. Manual Therapy 15: 355-363.

19: Alcantara, J., 2008. The presenting complaints of pediatric patients for chiropractic care: Results from a practice-based research network, Clinical Chiropractic 11(4), 193–198.

20: Clark, S., 2009. The frequency and characteristics of paediatric chiropractic in the UK: a survey. Dissertation (MChiro). Anglo European College of Chiropractic.

21: Ebrall, P.S., 1994. A description of 320 chiropractic consultations by Australian adolescents, Chiro J Aust, 24(1), 4-8.

22: Fallon, J., 2005. The Child Patient: A Matrix for Chiropractic Care. Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics, 6(3), 1-14.

23:  Ferrance, R.J., Miller, J., 2010  Chiropractic diagnosis and management of non-musculoskeletal conditions in children and adolescents Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2010, 18, 14. Available from

24: Hartvigsen, J., Hestback, L., 2009. Children and chiropractic care: a window of opportunity. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 32, 603-605.

25: Hawk, C., Schneider, M., Ferrance, R.J., Hewitt, E., Van Loon, J., Tanis, L.,  2009.  Best practices recommendations for chiropractic care for infants, children, and adolescents: results of a consensus process. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 32(8),  639-647.

26: Hestbaek, L., Jorgensen, A., Hartvigsen, J., 2009.  A description of children and adolescents in Danish chiropractic practice: results from a nationwide survey, J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 32, 607-615.

27: Jamison, J.R., Davies, N.J., 2005. Paediatric patients seeking chiropractic care: an Australian case study, Chiro J Aust, 35(4), 143-146.

28:  Karpouzis, F., Bonello, R., Pollard H., 2010.  Chiropractic care for paediatric and adolescent Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A systematic review  Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2010, 18, 13. Available from

29:  Leboeuf-Yde, C., Hestbaek, L., 2010. Chiropractic and children: Is more research enough?, Chiropractic & Osteopathy 18, 11. Available from

30: Lee A.C., Li D.H., Kemper K.J., 2000. Chiropractic care of children. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 154, 401–407.

31: Miller, J. 2007. Cry babies: a framework for chiropractic care. Clinical Chiropractic,  10,139-146.

32:  Miller J. E., 2010. Demographic survey of pediatric patients presenting to a chiropractic teaching clinic. Chiropr & Osteopat 18:33.

33: Nyiendo, J., Olsen, E., 1988. Visit characteristics of 217 children attending a chiropractic college teaching clinic, JMPT, 11(2), 78-84.