Children and Chiropractic

After reading an article in the September 2009 issue of “Parents” magazine, I have been struck by a sense of both hope and dread. An article titled “Chiropractors” focuses on chiropractic care for children in an attempt to clarify the relationships between pediatric patients, chiropractors, and allopathic physicians (pediatricians and various other childhood specialists). This article veils a warning against the care of chiropractic to children to the growing concern of their traditional healthcare providers. They give six reasons to be wary. Let us look at those individually and discuss them at length: 1. Ordering X-Rays: The author claims that unless there is a proven benefit to the radiograph, it exposes children to uneccessary radiation. Though this statement may be occasionally true, the reverse is actually the norm. Most columnist and editors don’t do their homework when they make such statements, assuming that chiropractors are “back-doctors”. They make grosse statements that render the chiropractic analysis and treatment a quantitative benefit only as it relates to the spine. You can clearly see by the examples within the article that the benefits of chiropractic may possibly effect other areas without the use of drugs or surgery. In my clinic, no child under the age of seven receives radiographs, and only special circumstances through adolescence. When severe trauma is evident, they are often taken to protect the young patient. 2. Trying to Sell You Supplements: Herbal and nutritional therapies are indeed a stone’s throw from traditional chiropractic methodology. There is also no doubt that a considerable amount of chiropractors sell a fair amount of nutritional supplements at a considerable profit. I feel that the majority of the chiropractic community sells very little to none. Research your chiropractor and their approach. If your not happy, find a new one. Isn’t that what we do when we are not happy with our personal physician? Most of the traditional approaches in the health care of our children should echo common sense. 3. Claiming to Treat Infections or Fever: In the 29 years that I have been invested into chiropractic, I have never heard of a chiropractor attempting to treat a fever or infection. It goes against the very philosophical approach that chiropractic has been based on (though I am sure a chiropractor’s advice has been intepreted as such, however). Chiropractors often suggest that the body needs a chance to deal with infections on its own. The best and most powerful line of defense is a fever. Elevated core body temperatures wipe out infections on a broad and sweeping scale. Usually, a fever works far better than antibiotics (which, incidently has no effect whatsoever on a viral infection). Where we must be extremely careful is monitoring the fevers of our children, so that they are not out of control. Staph and Strep infections should always be addressed with antibiotics as they destroy tissues at an extremely accelerated pace. We are here to supplement the care of a pediatrician, not replace them. 4. Discouraging Vaccines: It is true that the ACA has an non-official neutral position on the use of vaccines, neither dicouraging nor promoting vaccines. However, I have never met a chiropractor who has been in favor of them. This is one of these sensitive issues that will probaly never be resolved. I find that most of the “official” positions of institutions folow the flow of money. Big Pharma make billions annually on promoting the mandated use of vaccines. The AMA consistently shuns valid scientific evidence that vaccines may be the very element consistent with the proliferation of disease processes such as: heart disease, cancer, HIV infection, autism, and a host of damaging side-effects from the innoculations themselves. This thought process is not unique to chiropractic. There are many texts in print today, such as: “Evidence of Harm” that scientifically and accurately links components of autism to innoculations. The AMA and big pharma continually dismisses these accusations as erroneus, yet has no answer why autistic births have increased from one in 100,000 to nearly one in 150. Another great book, though a little antiquated, but still in print is “How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor”, by Robert Medelsohn, M.D. Finally, though I did not author this point, private insuarance companies, which perform the best liability studies, have nearly abandoned coverage for damage to life and property due vaccinations. Makes you wonder doesn’t it? 5. Undermining Your Children’s Doctor: I agree that chiropractors should never do this. They should strive to work with the pediatrician, and encourage proper communication between the parents and the doctor. However, if chiropractors are guilty of this, then the medical doctors should be in the electric chair. For they constantly undermine the attempts by the chiropractor to educate patients on their options. This is about the child afterall, isn’t it? Too often when a parent tells a medical doctor that they consulted a chiropractor, holistic physician, or acupuncturist, they act like a spurned lover. There is nothing wrong with challenging a physician on their methods. I think we just get tired of feeding our children all these harmful drugs. Especially when they estimate that nearly a quarter of a million deaths occur in this country annually from PROPERLY prescribed medication. 6. Lacking Credentials: Any chiropractor who is a Diplomat of the Amercan Board of Chiropractors and duly licensed in their state has the proper credentials to correctly render chiropractic care to any child. There is no board certification for legal expertise beyond licenser in the chiropractic profession. Diplomat status is an excellent experience for chiropractic and chiropractors, but it truly lends no additional expertise. The Diplomat is an honorary status achieved by serving more than a dozen weekends in seminar. Though it may better help that chiropractor better understand some childhood conditions, under most circumstances they would still be better addressed by their pediatrician.

Finally this article states that the dangers of chiropractic may be justified by the fact that they can relate nearly 14 injuries to children in the 100 plus years of chiropractic. I would venture to say that in the US alone, more than that are maimed or killed in physician’s office each day. Of course it can be argued as apples and oranges. The truth speaks loudly that even though any health related procedure has a degree of risk, chiropractic is still one of the safest forms of health care today. In the article written in “Parents,” DR Hewitt cites the “Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics” – found that 94% of 316 colicky infants had a satisfactory result after two weeks of spinal manipulation, but goes on to conclude that: Injuries from spinal manipulation are extremely rare or remarkably underreported. With over nine million children seeing chiropractors annually, No medical therapy could stand up to that safety record. Many pediatricians will soon begin to realize that they themselves will attain much higher levels of success if they would just listen once in a while and work with the chiropractor. Afterall, it is about the kids. Isn’t it?