6 Feb 2020   |   By : Daryl David Ho

Chiropractic For Children

Chiropractic For Children

Understanding Chiropractic For Children

Many questions arise revolving chiropractic for children. What is it for, is it safe, etc. In this article we are presenting what you need to know about chiropractic for children.


What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a form of alternative medicine where the primary focus is on the spine, the other joints of the body, the muscles and the nerves that run throughout the body. Chiropractors are neuromusculoskeletal specialists and we are interested with how our brain, nerves, muscles, bones and joints interact with one another. The word “Chiropractic” originates from the Greek language which translates to “done by hand”. Thus, a Chiropractor primarily uses their hands to perform therapy in the form of chiropractic adjustments to the spine and other joints of the body. Other tools such as Drop Table, stretching and strengthening exercises, Sensory Motor Reintegration, specific spinal flexibility tension release may also be included in a chiropractic treatment.

Regular chiropractic adjustments allow for the proper alignment of the spine. Since the spine houses the spinal cord, which serves as the messenger between our brain and the rest of the body, a properly aligned spine will therefore promote optimal functioning of the spinal cord to relay messages from the brain to the rest of the body including our organs. Several muscles attach to the spine to hold it in place and create smooth movements of the trunk and limbs. By regularly stretching and strengthening these muscles, it ensures that the muscles are not too tense and are strong enough to firmly hold the spine in alignment centrally and prevent it from deviating in any direction.

A perfectly aligned and centralised spine will allow for the proper functioning of the spinal cord, leading to a pain-free and healthy body.


Should children receive chiropractic treatment?

Yes of course! It is a common misconception to think that only adults will have a misaligned spine and only when we are having symptoms such as pain, strain, lack of motions, therefore require chiropractic treatments. Children, regardless of their ages, from new-borns to toddlers to adolescents; can in fact develop a misaligned spine. Hence chiropractic for children.

The process of childbirth can be a traumatic process for the unborn child. A spinal misalignment may occur due to the pulling and twisting as the baby passes through the narrow birth canal. The use of equipment such as forceps, or procedures like a vacuum extraction or Caesarean delivery can also easily lead to a spinal misalignment due to the additional forces placed on the delicate spine of the new-born.

As your child transitions from a baby to a toddler, think how often do they fall on their bottoms as they learn how to stand on their feet? Or how often do they fall forwards or sideways as they learn how to walk? Before you know it, your child can run faster than you can keep up; and they become more energetic and playful. Their activity levels increase, and so does the chances of them falling or getting injured; for example, while learning to ride of bicycle or through playing sports. All of these provides ample opportunities for spinal misalignments to occur.

Once your child starts to go to school, they spend long hours sitting, sometimes even sitting poorly in a slouched posture. Research has shown that prolonged hours of sitting in school children led to significant asymmetries in their trunk and scoliosis, as well as a reduction of the normal curves of the spine.(1) In addition to long hours of sitting, school children also often carry heavy backpacks to school. Schoolbags should only be up to 10% of the child’s bodyweight and no more. Carrying heavier backpacks can overtime lead to a reduction of the lumbar lordosis and place unnecessary pressures on the child’s spine.(2)

Spinal misalignments during childhood can lead to muscle imbalances that can persist into adulthood. As your child grows into their teens and reaches puberty, hormonal changes are regulated by the brain and spinal cord, which would not be able to function optimally due to spinal misalignments that were left unchecked during childhood, potentially leading to further complications later when they are adults.

Therefore, children, regardless of age, can and should receive regular chiropractic treatments. By identifying any misalignment, asymmetry or muscular imbalances early, the problem can be addressed to allow your child to grow and develop with optimal health.


Is chiropractic safe for children?

Yes, rest assured, chiropractic treatments are safe for your children, regardless of their ages. To date, no adverse events have resulted from chiropractic treatments performed on infants and children.(3)

As with all chiropractic treatments, the doctor will first conduct a thorough examination to identify for any misalignments and any other associated problems. With regular chiropractic treatments for adults, spinal adjustments are done using quick thrusts and/or specific instruments to the misalign segments. However, when handling children, chiropractic adjustments are adjusted to cater to each child’s size, weight and condition. In addition, the forces applied during the manipulative thrusts are unlike those used for adults and are scaled down accordingly.(4) As the structure of a child’s spine is not as rigid and developed as that of an adult, the strength required for adjustments on children are often very minimal and not a lot of force is required to help realign the spine.

Chiropractic treatment for children is a safe and gentle form of manipulative therapy that can help promote optimal health for your child when performed by a reliable, license and professional chiropractor.


1. Drza-Grabiec J, Snela S, Rykaa J, Podgórska J, Rachwal M. Effects of the sitting position on the body posture of children aged 11 to 13 years. Work. 2015;
2. Walicka-Cuprys̈ K, Skalska-Izdebska R, Rachwał M, Truszczyńska A. Influence of the weight of a school backpack on spinal curvature in the sagittal plane of seven-year-old children. Biomed Res Int. 2015;
3. Todd AJ, Carroll MT, Robinson A, Mitchell EKL. Adverse Events Due to Chiropractic and Other Manual Therapies for Infants and Children: A Review of the Literature. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2015;
4. https://www.canadianchiropractor.ca/five-myths-about-care-for-children-4125/