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The Pediatric Forum
October 2000

Chiropractic Care for Children Can Help

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2000 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2000

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2000;154(10):1062-1063. doi:

In reply

In our article, we described the self-reported characteristics and pediatric care that are provided by chiropractors in the Boston area. Our primary intention was to raise awareness of, interest in, and communication different health care professionals who care for children. We hope that our article initiates a healthy and prosperous communication and collaboration between the chiropractic and medical communities.

While several studies report the positive effects of chiropractic care, there are few well-designed prospective double-randomized blinded controlled studies on the effectiveness of chiropractic care compared with other therapies for children. Few studies of pediatric chiropractic care appear in mainstream medical journals that are frequently read by pediatricians or family physicians. For example, appearing in the Journal of Manipulative Physiology and Therapeutics was a recent study from the University of Denmark1 showing that among 40 infants with colic, spinal adjustment was significantly more effective than dimethicone drops in reducing daily crying (1 vs 2.7 hours, P= .004). While this result is encouraging, like all studies it has several limitations that suggest the need for additional studies before the proposed treatment is widely adopted. First, treatment was not blinded, and parents may have had prior expectations about the effectiveness of each therapy. Second, the groups were not matched by age of debut of colic. The control group was given medication once daily compared with the treatment group, which received between 3 and 5 chiropractic treatment sessions that involved examination, palpation, and manipulation. The control method did not involve extensive touch or communication, which may both be attributable to soothing a baby with colic. Finally, no cost-benefit analysis was done to assess the comparative costs of each treatment; even if a new or alternative treatment is significantly more effective than an existing one, if the costs are substantially higher, it may not be a practical alternative for most patients.

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