Is Chiropractic Care Safe For Children?

child getting chiropractic treatment

Pediatric chiropractic care is on the rise. It has been steadily growing as more parents are seeing the benefits that result from chiropractic care in their children. As natural health practices are growing in popularity, parents are looking for better ways to keep their children healthy.

While chiropractic care is very common for adults, more and more parents are bringing their children to the chiropractor because of the positive results they are experiencing. While the assumption may be that people go to the chiropractor for back pain, there are many other illnesses that can be healed with a chiropractic adjustment.

What To expect at your visit

Chiropractic care is performed to fix the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Chiropractors usually concentrate on subluxations in the spine that when fixed allow the body to better heal itself.

If your child has never been to the chiropractor before, the first appointment will typically be longer than most as you talk with the chiropractor about problems your child is experiencing or any issues you would like addressed. In some cases, the chiropractor may take x-rays of the child.

Chiropractic care is done when a highly trained and skilled chiropractor will manipulate joints back into their natural alignment. This is done with sudden controlled force applied to the joints that are not aligned. There is usually a popping or cracking sound that accompanies the movement of the joints back to their natural alignment.

How do adjustments differ from adults to children

The adjustments done on children differ from those done to adults. Only slight pressure and pushing are needed to realign their spines. Infants will only require slight pressure for successful realignment. The older the child is the more pressure is required to manipulate the spine. Older children will be adjusted similarly to young adults.

Adjustments are tailored to the specific needs of the patient. Adjustments are performed in a number of different positions depending on what areas need to be manipulated. Some of the adjustments made on infants can even be done in the lap of the parent, as seen here.

Reasons to take your child to the chiropractor

There are a number of reasons parents are turning to pediatric chiropractic care. Ranging from illnesses to everyday life circumstances, here are some reasons chiropractic care is sought for children.

  • Traumatic birth. Stress from childbirth can affect the skull and spine of a baby. While it may not cause pain, left untreated it could have effects later in life.
  • Position in womb. How the baby is positioned in utero can affect their alignment after birth.
  • Colic. This study showed that infants with colic that were treated with chiropractic care were shown to have a decrease in crying aftercare.
  • Learning to walk. When children are learning to walk they are constantly falling over and bumping into things. All of the bumps and falls can send their alignment out without them knowing or without any signs that something is wrong.
  • Riding a bike. Children often fall many times when they are learning to ride a bike. The consistent falls will also allow the spine to fall out of alignment.
  • Childhood Illnesses. Studies have shown that by manipulating the spine into proper alignment will allow the body to heal itself from common childhood illnesses such as ear infections and colds without medication.
  • Everyday play. Children are continually running, jumping, climbing, riding bike plus many more activities. All of these activities have the potential to cause the spine to fall or be pushed out of alignment.
  • Sports. Many children enter into organized sports as they get older. Full contact sports especially have the potential to cause the spine to be pushed out of alignment.
  • Back Pain. If Children are experiencing back pain that can be a sign that their backs are out of alignment as that is a common reason adults seek chiropractic care. It is common that children won’t feel the effects of their spine being out of alignment like adults do.

Preventative Care

Another reason to seek chiropractic care is preventative care. While realigning the spine does help with symptoms a child may be experiencing, introducing regular chiropractic care can be a part of a child’s overall health regimen.

Keeping a child’s body aligned will allow the body to operate at optimal levels, along with proper nutrition and rest. Instead of thinking of chiropractic care only as a reactionary measure, being proactive before there are symptoms can help a child’s body to fight off infections before they have a chance to take hold in their systems. Keeping the nervous system working properly will allow the child’s immune system to be prepared to fight.

Concerns about chiropractic care

Studies done on children receiving chiropractic care found that a majority of patients saw relief from their symptoms if they were being treated for an illness. There were a small number of cases where the patient would experience soreness or muscle stiffness where the manipulations took place. This study shows how rare these occurrences are.


Chiropractic care for children is a great way to help keep their bodies healthy without medication. This allows their bodies to build better immune systems. It is also an effective way to treat common childhood illnesses such as ear infections and colds. Kids are quite active and simple things can cause their spine to fall out of alignment even if they are not experiencing any pain or other symptoms. Chiropractic care is a safe option for parents looking for another way to keep their children healthy.