A growing number of parents are adding pediatric chiropractic care as an integrative component of their children’s health care regimen.
Survey data indicates that the percentage of chiropractic patients under 17 years of age has increased at least 8.5 percent since 1991, says the American Chiropractic Association. Further, a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study indicated that nearly 3 percent of children in the United States were treated with chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation in 2007, making it the most common form of doctor-directed complementary or alternative medicine used by children.
According to Elise Hewitt, DC, a Portland-area doctor of chiropractic and president of the American Chiropractic Association’s Pediatrics Council, chiropractic care isn’t just for adults. Infants and children can benefit from spinal manipulation and other forms of chiropractic care just as much as their parents and grandparents.
“It’s very important that a child have both a pediatrician and a pediatric chiropractor. A pediatric chiropractor is not there to replace the role of the pediatrician,” says Dr. Hewitt. “The pediatrician provides medications when necessary and delivers care in times of serious illness and injury. A pediatric chiropractor is there for preventative wellness care and maintenance of the child’s structure. The two are very complementary.”
Studies are beginning to show that chiropractic can help children not only with typical back and neck pain complaints, but also with issues as varied as asthma, chronic ear infections, nursing difficulties, colic and bedwetting.
Chiropractic spinal manipulation is a highly skilled treatment, and in the case of children, very gentle. Doctors of chiropractic – commonly referred to as chiropractors – practice a hands-on, drug-free approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. Following their undergraduate education, doctors of chiropractic obtain a four-year degree consisting of more than 4,500 hours of study and clinical experience. Pediatric specialists receive additional post-doctorate training.
“The vast majority of parents report that their children enjoy their chiropractic adjustments and look forward to subsequent visits. They also report that their children experience a greater level of health while under regular chiropractic care,” Dr. Hewitt notes.
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) is the nation’s leading chiropractic organization representing more than 15,000 doctors of chiropractic and their patients. To find a chiropractor near you, visit the ACA’s searchable member database at http://www.acatoday.org/DocSearch.