Can Chiropractic help children?

Today, more people than ever understand that Chiropractic care is an excellent methodology for addressing some of the most common problems we face in everyday life – back pain, neck pain, headache and migraine are all conditions which seem to go hand in hand with adult life, and all conditions which Chiropractic is effective in reducing and managing. But if Chiropractic is so good for adults, is it also great for kids? The short answer is yes – but for slightly different reasons! This week let’s see how Chiropractic care can benefit children.


Optimum growth and health

When treating adults, we’re mostly looking to address existing problems and prevent new ones from occurring. When treating children, the objective of treatment is still to address any issue – but then also to help your child heal, grow and thrive in optimal health.

Whereas in adults, spinal misalignment often results in pain or disability and drives you to seek treatment, the same problems in children are often more difficult to diagnose. Very young children might not be able to express exactly “where it hurts” or even be able to explain that they are in pain at all. Poor seep quality, pain, stress, posture problems, and behavioural issues are all common conditions which may have a musculoskeletal cause, and which may well be addressed with Chiropractic treatment.


What kinds of conditions can a chiropractor treat for children?

There are many different conditions which Chiropractic care can assist children with. While Chiropractors do not necessarily treat or cure these conditions, Chiropractic care has been shown to assist in conditions such as:

  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Headache
  • Injuries
  • Frequent crying
  • Stress

It’s important to keep in mind that many of these conditions can also affect mum and dad – which makes Chiropractic an excellent whole-family treatment!


Can a chiropractor help my child sleep?

Sleep problems are one of the most common issues which parents face – we all understand that good sleep is especially important to growing children, so it’s only natural to want to avoid sleepless nights wherever possible.

While we cannot say categorically that Chiropractic care will help your children sleep it is certainly true that tension, headaches, backache and stress can make falling asleep more difficult.  Since these are all common conditions in growing children, Chiropractic is a simple and drug free place to start when dealing with sleep problems.


Will children need lifelong Chiropractic care?

At complete Chiropractic we of course believe that everyone should benefit from lifelong Chiropractic care and children are no different! A regular Chiropractic check-up is a great way to head off potential problems before they occur. Having said that, it’s true that children often respond very quickly to Chiropractic care.

Many children experience improvements in their problem and a return to health after just a few treatments. The amount of treatment required to address a specific problem will of course depend on your child’s unique situation and complaint, but for wellness-based care visit frequency can range from anywhere between once every couple weeks to only a couple times a year – depending on your own preferences.


Is Chiropractic safe for children?

Chiropractic care is certainly a safe way to treat the variety of musculoskeletal conditions which occur during childhood. Numerous studies have validated the fact that the incidence of even minor complications in children are very low[1] By contrast, other approaches to dealing with issues such as muscle or joint pain – such as medication, come with considerable risks.

Chiropractors are highly trained health professionals practicing a methodology which has been used to treat common childhood issues for over a hundred years. Some parents wonder if spinal manipulation is safe for children – while this is a fair question its important to keep in mind that the pressure applied during spinal manipulation is proportionate to the size and age of the person being adjusted – therefore, a chiropractor uses only very gentle pressure to perform an adjustment in a child. In fact, many young children and babies can be adjusted without them even noticing!

It’s also important to keep in mind that Chiropractic care can still be highly effective via many other available methodologies which do not involve spinal manipulation. This is especially the case with practitioners of Chiropractic biophysics, who have a wide array of options at their disposal besides spinal manipulation.

As a lower-force alternative to manual spinal manipulation, the activator technique is often a good choice. The Activator technique uses a small, hand-held instrument called the Activator Adjusting Instrument to deliver a gentle force to the spine with the goal of restoring motion to the targeted spinal vertebra or joint.


When should I take my child to the chiropractor?

The short answer is that it’s never too early to take your child for a Chiropractic check-up – but in most instances a first check up between two and four weeks is a great idea. This is because even an “uneventful” birth can be a stressful experience for mother and baby and can often lead to small misalignments which, if left untreated, could contribute to problems in the future. Thankfully these kinds of small issues can normally be treated by a chiropractor in just a few minutes, helping to get your child of to a great start.


Should mum also seek Chiropractic care?

Mum should definitely seek Chiropractic care! Although for many having children the best thing they’ve ever done, motherhood is a stressful experience which takes a toll on the spine! During pregnancy low back pain is frequently reported – and is perhaps even more common after birth.  European studies have reported the rate of low back pain during the 9 months of pregnancy to be from 46% to 76%[2][3]. Chiropractic care is a great way to quickly alleviate back pain and keep it at bay, so always keep in mind that looking after your child starts with looking after yourself!



Trurow V. Chiropractic manipulation for children. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997;151:527–8.

[2]Ostgaard HC.  Prevalence of back pain in pregnancy.  Spine 1991;16:549 –52.

[3] Kristiansson P, Svärdsudd K, von Schoultz B.  Back pain during pregnancy: A prospective study.  Spine 1996;21:702– 8.


Blog by / October 11, 2018 / Blog

Dr. Paul Irvine is a doctor of chiropractic who graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of NSW and in 1996, attained his Master of Chiropractic degree from Macquarie University in Australia. He practised in North Sydney for 5 years before he left Australia to travel and practise in the UK. He joined Complete Chiropractic in 2003 (est 1999) and took over the clinic in 2007