Body Talk, May 17

Should children be manipulated for structural health and or disease? 

It’s an interesting topic, what’s too much, what’s too little, what’s appropriate? There’s no real definitive answer because everyone has a different view, from doctors to chiropractors, osteopaths and physiotherapists. In my view, it comes down to the practitioner and or doctor and how capable they are in terms of their practice when it comes to applying manipulation to children for structural health and disease.

Looking at manipulative therapies in children there seems to be a large number of pediatric clinics popping up around the country both in chiropractic and osteopathy. What we need to be careful of in this instance, is regular manipulations (weekly to monthly) in children promising if the parents ensure to follow this program, their children will always be healthy.

My view of these programs is that they promise something they can’t deliver and they’re actually causing more harm than good in some instances where excessive manipulation in children can cause hypermobility and can possibly make that child reliant upon manipulation for the rest of their life.  If your practitioner is not getting results after 1 to 3 treatments then manipulation may not be the right answer to the health or structural condition that is being treated and it would be recommended to seek further investigation with the right doctor, specialist and or practitioner.

Some children can benefit greatly from manipulation. I would certainly recommend as a parent to have your children checked once a year or every 2 years prior to them turning 12 years of age. Things such as scoliosis and bow legs to name a few can be almost irreversible if they go untreated. Conditions such as asthma, not always but in some instances, can be reversed using manipulative therapies if the spine is out of alignment in the thoracic spine around the T2 – T4 region. An excellent example of this is a recent client, a 4-year old child who had been surviving on rigorous asthmatic medication since he was 6 months of age, and has now been medication- free for 9 months after receiving 6 treatments. For this little guy manipulative therapy has worked wonders.


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