Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
The benefits of chiropractic care for children has become increasingly evident as the number of children receiving chiropractic care continues to rise. Chiropractic research has overwhelmingly shown the benefit of chiropractic care for children. However, there continue to be reports which question the safety of chiropractic care. In response to these safety concerns, the research department of the ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association) has published a first paper concerning the safety of adjusting children. In the current issue of the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, ICPA has published a report entitled, "Risk Assessment of Neurological and/or Vertebrobasilar complication in the Pediatric Chiropractic Patient."
Based on information gathered in this study, the ICPA's research department has concluded that reports of serious complications (regardless of age) following chiropractic adjustments and/or manipulation are extremely rare. In the prevalent scientific/clinical literature spanning the last 32+ years, there are only two reported cases of neurovascular complications related to pediatric patients receiving chiropractic care. A conservative estimate of the number of pediatric visits to chiropractors in the U.S. over the same time span amount to more than 1/2 billion visits. Therefore, the risk of a neurovascular complication occurring as the result of chiropractic care is approximately one out of every 250 million visits.
When considering the use of any health care procedure, the expected benefit must be weighed against the inherent risks. Based on this axiom, chiropractic care relative to neurovascular complications appears to present little risk to the pediatric patient and is a safe health care procedure when performed correctly.
If you have any further questions regarding the sited article, you can read its entirety at Pistolese R.A., Risk assessment of neurological and/or vertebrobasilar complications in the pediatric chiropractic patient. J Vertebral Sublux Res 1998;2(2):73-81. Please feel free to contact Dr. Spaulding at
with other questions regarding the safety of chiropractic adjustments for patients of any age.