Chiropractic Care for Children Rapidly Increasing

10 12 2008


On December 1, 2008 the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a clinical report on the use of what they call “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) in children. This report was published in the December issue of the AAP journal, Pediatrics.  Dr. Kathi J. Kemper, MD, and her colleagues from the Task Force on Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the Provisional Section on Complementary, Holistic, and Integrative Medicine, clarifies CAM by noting, “The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines…CAM as a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional Western medicine.”

In the abstract of the published report, the AAP noted, “The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes the increasing use of complementary and alternative medicine in children and, as a result, the need to provide information and support for pediatricians.” In response to the increased usage, the AAP formed the, “Task Force on Complementary and Alternative Medicine to address issues related to the use of complementary and alternative medicine in children and to develop resources to educate physicians, patients, and families.”

Although a good portion of the chiropractic profession would not use the term CAM to describe chiropractic, the AAP study did note that chiropractic was probably the most well used CAM by children. The report stated, “Chiropractic care is one of the most common professionally provided CAM practices. It focuses on the relationship between body structure (primarily that of the spine) and bodily function and how that relationship affects health. With more than 50,000 chiropractors licensed in the United States, the number of children visiting chiropractors is substantial and increasing. Recent studies have confirmed that up to 14% of all chiropractic visits were for pediatric patients and that chiropractors were the most common CAM providers visited by children and adolescents.”

The author’s conclusion suggests that there may be an increase in cooperation and referrals from pediatricians to chiropractors. They concluded, “Pediatricians and other clinicians who care for children have the responsibility to advise and counsel patients and families about relevant, safe, effective, and age-appropriate health services and therapies regardless of whether they are considered mainstream or CAM.”

The increased usage of chiropractic and other forms of non-medical care is not much of a surprise to the chiropractic profession. “This new study shows what we in chiropractic have been seeing in our offices. People are turning toward more natural forms of healthcare such as chiropractic,” stated Dr. John Maltby, President of the International Chiropractors Association. Dr. Maltby continued, “This study especially points out the increased usage of chiropractic in the care of children. And as the study points out this care is not only for the chronically ill, but also is playing a growing role in wellness care for children.”

For more information about how chiropractic can help your child visit our website at




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