Chiropractic Management of Pediatric Patients – Best Practices Guideline

Chiropractor palpates young patient's middle back

Chiropractic care is the most common complementary and integrative medicine practice used by children in the USA and is used commonly by children worldwide, most often for the treatment of musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions.

Chiropractic undergraduate education includes the study of the unique anatomy and physiology of children as well as the modification of evaluative and therapeutic procedures for this population. Chiropractic education specifically requires the adaptation of practice according to varying patient needs throughout the human lifespan, with care and management options tailored to the individual. As part of their training and scope, chiropractors should also address public health issues and supportive measures for healthy human development as part of the clinical encounter. This can include advice on injury prevention, healthy diet, physical activity, sleep advice, reduced screen time, healthy social relationships, and vigilance around childhood trauma. In general, children with a decreased health-related quality of life have higher utilization of complementary and integrative medicine.

Consensus processes on best practices for the chiropractic care of children were performed in 2009 and 2016 (the latter was featured as a Research Review in 2016 on my service). However, the most recent of these is based on literature published before 2015, making this project important to update our knowledge using a formal Delphi consensus process and best evidence synthesis. The emphasis was on providing the safest possible chiropractic care for children as well as providing appropriate health promotion and disease prevention practices. This paper was an update of the 2016 project and aimed to build upon existing recommendations on best practices for chiropractic management of children by conducting a formal consensus process and best evidence synthesis.

RESEARCH REVIEW: Chiropractic Management of Pediatric Patients – Best Practices Guideline

This paper was published in the Journal of Integrative and Complimentary Medicine (2024)

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