Outside the profession, some people are skeptical about the efficacy and even safety of chiropractic treatment.
While the skepticism can be countered with logical argument and scientific studies, when it comes to children most people are less logical. Adults make healthcare decisions for themselves; children are vulnerable.
The desire to protect children is innate in most humans. It doesn’t matter if you have children of your own or not— the idea of causing them pain is abhorrent. The fact that people who are uneducated regarding the scientific validity and safety of chiropractic care are opposed to pediatric adjustments is not surprising.
In addition to the fact that adults are geared toward protecting children, and may have an unconscious distrust of chiropractic care, children themselves may be afraid to receive an adjustment.
Imagine observing a manual adjustment with no knowledge of what is happening. It could seem almost violent. The person giving the adjustment appears to exert great effort, and the person being adjusted may seem to be in pain.
Ice is often applied at the site of the adjustment, as it would be to an injury. From an uninformed vantage point, it certainly doesn’t look like something that would help.
Obviously, most adjustments ease pain rather than create it. They are an effective treatment for a great many physical issues, for adults and for children. However, there are some obstacles to overcome when it comes to providing pediatric treatment. Some DCs have found that instrument adjusting can alleviate many of the fears and worries surrounding pediatric chiropractic care.
Instrument adjusting is gentler. There are no rapid, potentially frightening motions, and there are no cracking and popping sounds. Both the DC and the patient remain relaxed throughout the treatment. From the point of view of a child, an adjustment delivered via an instrument and a manual adjustment probably look like two entirely different treatments.
Aside from the fact that instrument adjustments are less potentially frightening to children, most instruments designed for use on the pediatric population are set to deliver the minimum force necessary. They cannot be set to deliver force that could break bones or do other damage, making them safe.
DCs are in the business of helping people feel better. Studies are showing that carefully evaluated and planned pediatric chiropractic care can help children with a range of issues. Using instrument adjusting insures that the care is delivered safely and causes the least amount of anxiety possible.