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Is it safe to take my child to a chiropractor?

We often think of spinal problems as something only adults have to deal with. But kids can also be affected, and regular chiropractic care can be a great solution for all ages.

Chiropractic for kids: by the numbers

In an extensive review by Safer Care Victoria(1), which collected 2,735 practitioner responses and 21,824 submissions from Australians with children under 12 years who had undergone chiropractic care, the response was overwhelmingly positive.

  • 85% of practitioners had provided spinal care to child under 12. 80.8% had treated a child aged 0-3 months, while 88.5% had treated a child aged 0-24 months

  • 99.7% of parents reported a positive experience chiropractic care for their children

  • 98% of parents said their child had improved after seeking chiropractic care

  • 0 patients or practitioners reported significant harm to a child following spinal manipulation in Australia.

In another review of medical literature(2), it was found there is a rate of just 0.53% to 1% mild adverse events in chiropractic paediatric manipulative therapy – that’s a rate of one mild adverse reaction per 1,310 to 1,812 visits. That’s much lower than, for example, osteopathic paediatric manipulative therapy, which reportedly has a rate of 9%.

The conclusion? Chiropractic for children under 12, with the accepted techniques and practices utilised in Australia, causes no significant harm, as far as current research is concerned.

Is there an age limit for children to see a chiropractor?

Children can benefit from a visit to the chiropractor from as young as a few months old. Pressure inside the womb, during birth and from birthing tools (such as forceps) can cause injuries and stress to a baby’s musculoskeletal system.(3)

For older children, lifestyle factors like the frequent use of computers, can contribute to back, neck and shoulder pain.

Gentle chiropractic work can help not only ease discomfort but can also teach older kids good postural habits for life.

What techniques can a chiropractor use for my child?

There are many different techniques a chiropractor can utilise during treatment for your child. These include:

  • Mobilisations

  • Low force instrument adjusting (activator)

  • Craniosacral therapy

  • Integrating primitive reflexes

  • Home exercises to help alleviate backpain

  • Postural advice that helps your kids build good habits and keep their spine healthy

Choosing a safe chiropractor for your children

In order to remain registered with the Chiropractic Board of Australia, chiropractic practices are required to keep up to date with current evidence and best-practice approaches. They need to engage in continuing professional development to learn current thinking and techniques. So, when choosing practice, make sure your chiropractor is fully registered and compliant.

Think your kids could benefit from chiropractic care? Book an appointment with our Chiropractors today for guidance on what might work for them.


1 Safer Care Victoria, Chiropractic spinal manipulation of children under 12: Independent review, 2019

2 M F Doyle., Is chiropractic paediatric care safe? A best evidence topic, Clinical Chiropractic, 2011

3 A Chaturvedi, AL Stanescu, JG Blickman, SP Meyers., Mechanical birth-related trauma to the neonate: An imaging perspective, Insights Imaging, 2018


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