Adverse Effects of Spinal Manipulative Therapy in Children Younger Than 3 Years: A Retrospective Study in a Chiropractic Teaching Clinic

  • Miller J
  • Benfield K
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Objective: The purpose of this study is to identify any adverse effects to chiropractic care occurring in the pediatric patient and to evaluate the risk of complications arising in the pediatric patient resulting from chiropractic care. Methods: A 3-year retrospective study of pediatric case files from the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (AECC) (Bournemouth, England) teaching clinic practice in Bournemouth, England. All files (n = 781) of pediatric patients younger than 3 years of age were selected manually in sequential order from current files stored in the AECC clinic presenting to the AECC clinic during a specific period. Most (73.5%) patients presenting were 12 weeks of age or younger (n = 574). Results: Six hundred ninety-seven children received a total of 5242 chiropractic treatments, with 85% of parents reporting an improvement. Seven parents reported an adverse effect. There was a reaction rate of approximately 1 child in 100, or one reaction reported for every 749 treatments. There were no serious complications resulting from chiropractic treatment (reactions lasting >24 hours or severe enough to require hospital care). Conclusion: This study shows that for the population studied, chiropractic manipulation produced very few adverse effects and was a safe form of therapy in the treatment of patients in this age group. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adverse Effects
  • Child
  • Complications
  • Infant
  • Manipulation, Chiropractic Manipulation
  • Pediatrics
  • Public Health
  • Safety

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  • Joyce E. Miller

  • Kate Benfield

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