There seems to be no question that chronic illnesses in children are on the rise, ranging from obesity, learning and behavioral issues (such as attention-deficit disorder), to asthma and diabetes.
In a 2009 report, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) stated that almost one in five children between the ages of 6 and 19 met the criteria for obesity.1 The CDC also stated that the overall percentage of children with chronic illnesses rose from 1.8 percent in the 1960s to almost 7 percent in 2004. An article in Medscape paints an even bleaker picture. It reports on a prospective study from 2010 that showed the rate of childhood illnesses rising from 12.8 percent in 1994 to 26.6 percent in 2006.2
Given this sharp rise in pediatric illnesses, it should not be surprising that there is also a sharp increase in parents seeking chiropractic care for their children as a safe alternative to invasive procedures or drugs with harmful side effects. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) reports that the percentage of chiropractic patients under the age of 17 has risen by 8.5 percent since 1991.3
Instrument adjusting benefits for pediatric patients
With the increasing number of children coming to DCs for care, the obvious question arises about the safety of adjustments, particularly since children’s bones and joints may be more delicate and smaller than those of adults. Additionally, their bones and joints may not yet be done growing. Fortunately, instrument adjusting is almost tailor-made for use with children.
In an earlier article for Chiropractic Economics, I discussed the physics of instrument adjusting versus manual adjusting.4 The use of an instrument for chiropractic adjustments allows the DC to perform an adjustment with a greater amount of force, with less thrust, over a smaller surface area. This high-velocity
low-amplitude (HVLA) adjustment allows chiropractors to deliver the amount of force needed to manipulate children’s bones and joints, but with less thrust than that needed for a manual
Parents of children with chronic illnesses may feel as though they are at the end of their rope with attempting to seek medical help for their children. This is where pediatric chiropractic care with the use of instrument adjusting can truly shine. It offers relief, but without placing excessive pressure on growing bones and joints. Additionally, it provides a safe alternative to invasive procedures or lengthy, sometimes harmful drug treatments.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Chronic Diseases: The Power to Prevent, The Call to Control.” CDC.gov. http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/chronic.htm. Updated December 2009. Accessed August 2014.
Lowry F. “Prevalence of Chronic Illness in US Kids Has Increased.” Medscape. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/717030. Published February 2010. Accessed August 2014.
American Chiropractic Association. “Increasing Number of Children Receive Pediatric Chiropractic Care.” ACAToday.org. http://www.acatoday.org/press_css.cfm? CID=3247. Published January 2009. Accessed August 2014.4Beychok T. “Instrument adjusting versus manual adjusting, part 1: physics.” ChiroEco.com. https://www.chiroeco.com/news/printthis. php?id=14828. Published January 2014. Accessed August 2014.