In a study involving 548 chiropractors from the U.S., Canada, and Europe, researchers found that, on average, 21 percent of their time was spent caring for patients who were 18 years old or younger. Furthermore, these visits were often in an effort to remedy “common conditions of childhood.” 1
Which childhood conditions had chiropractors treating more pediatric patients out of hopes for a more favorable response?
Childhood conditions that respond favorably to chiropractic
Although there are a number of proven benefits of chiropractic, such as better immunity and fewer issues with neck and back pain later in life, some of the ones most sought after when it comes to pediatric patients include two very common conditions for this age range: ear infections and asthma.
Children are notorious for having a large number of ear infections, especially after they’ve had symptoms associated with a cold, upper respiratory infection, or even a sore throat. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) explained that this is primarily due to the smaller Eustachian tubes in their ears, as well as their immune system not being developed enough to deal with any infection that may occur as a result.2 While medication may be necessary to treat an ear infection, chiropractic can often help too, as some studies reveal.
Research was conducted on 46 children aged five years or less who were presenting with symptoms that are common with ear infections, such as ear pain and fever. Each child received chiropractic care on a predetermined schedule, which consisted of three times a week for one week, two times a week the second week, then once a week thereafter, or until their symptoms improved.3
They found that 93 percent of the ear issues initially reported improved after engaging in chiropractic care. Of these, 75 percent stated that the improvement occurred within the first 10 days of treatment, and 43 percent of these were actually within the first two visits. This suggests that chiropractic can help ease ear infections fairly quickly.3
The American Lung Association reported that asthma is one of the most common disorders for children, with roughly 7.1 million kids having this sometimes scary chronic inflammatory condition. In fact, it is the third leading reason that this demographic is hospitalized, in addition to being responsible for roughly 640,000 visits to the emergency room annually.4 Fortunately, chiropractic may be able to help.
A study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics involved 36 test subjects between the ages of 6 and 17 who presented with asthma that was classified as being anywhere from mild to moderate in severity. Each participant engaged in 20 chiropractic sessions over the course of three months to determine what effect, if any, this particular healthcare remedy had on their asthmatic condition.5
Upon the conclusion of the study, “the children rated their quality of life substantially higher and their asthma severity substantially lower.” Furthermore, these positive effects were still reported one year later. Although the researchers admitted that the results may not be due entirely to chiropractic care, it does suggest that this type of treatment is likely at least partially responsible for the favorable outcome.5
Chiropractic offers many benefits for pediatric patients and these are just two. Contact your local chiropractor today to see what it can do for your child in particular.
1 Alcantara J, Kunz D, Ohm J. The chiropractic care of children. J Altern Complement Med. 2010:16(6);621–626.
2 National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. “Ear infections in children.” U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, National Institutes of Health.http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/pages/earinfections.aspx. Updated February 2013. Accessed February 2015.
3 Froehle RM. Ear infection: a retrospective study examining improvement from chiropractic care and analyzing for influencing factors. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1996:19(3);169–177.
4 American Lung Association. “Asthma & Children Fact Sheet.” Lung.org. http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/asthma/resources/facts-and-figures/asthma-children-fact-sheet.html. Updated September 2014. Accessed February 2015.
5 Bronfort G, Evans RL, Filkin P, Kubic P. Chronic pediatric asthma and chiropractic spinal manipulation: a prospective clinical series and randomized clinical pilot study. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2001:24(6);369–377.