I have written about this more often than I care to remember, and today I do it again.


Because it is important!

Chiropractic is not effective for kids, and chiropractic is not harmless for kids – what more do we need to conclude that chiropractors should not be allowed anywhere near them?

And most experts now agree with this conclusion; except, of course, the chiropractors themselves. This recent article in THE CHRONICLE OF CHIROPRACTIC is most illuminating in this context:

It was only a matter of time before the attack on the chiropractic care of children spread to the United States from Australia and Canada and its also no surprise that insurance companies would jump on the bandwagon first.  According to Blue Cross and Blue Shield Children under the age of 5 years should not receive chiropractic care (spinal manipulation) ” . . . because the skeletal system is not mature at this time.”

The Blues further contend that:

“Serious adverse events may be associated with pediatric spinal manipulation in children under the age of 5 years due to the risks of these procedures in children this age.”

The Blues claims that their determination is based on standards of care – though they do not state which ones.

“This determination was based on standards of care in pediatric medicine as well as current medical evidence.”

This is not the first time Blue Cross attacked the chiropractic care of children. In 2005 CareFirst Blue Cross claimed that:

“Spinal manipulation services to treat children 12 years of age and younger, for any condition, is considered experimental and investigational.”

The ridiculous and false claims by Blue Cross come on the heels of a ban placed on spinal manipulation of infants by the Chiropractic Board of Australia (see related story) and attacks on chiropractors who care for children in Canada by chiropractic regulatory boards there.

There is in fact plenty of evidence to support the chiropractic care of infants and children and there are practice guidelines (the highest level on the research hierarchy pyramid) that support such care.

The real issue is not whether or not evidence exists to support the chiropractic care of children – the real issue is power and the lack of any necessity for evidence for those with the power.



What can we learn from this outburst?

  1. Chiropractors often take much-needed critique as an ‘attack’. My explanation for this phenomenon is that they sense how wrong they truly are, get defensive, and fear for their cash-flow.
  2. When criticised, they do not bother to address the arguments. This, I believe, is again because they know they are in the wrong.
  3. Chiropractors are in denial as to what they can and cannot achieve with their manipulations. My explanation for this is that they might need to be in denial – because otherwise they would have to stop practising.
  4. They often insult criticism as ridiculous and false without providing any evidence. The likely explanation is that they have no reasonable evidence to offer.
  5. All they do instead is stating things like ‘there is plenty of evidence’. They don’t like to present the ‘evidence’ because they seem to know that it is worthless.
  6. Lastly, in true style, they resort to conspiracy theories.

To any critical thinker their behaviour thus makes one conclusion virtually inescapable: DON’T LET A CHIROPRACTOR NEAR YOUR KIDS!

12 Responses to Don’t let a chiropractor near your kids!

  • From my understanding, you are not a government licensed chiropractor so how can you determine their scope of practice? By the way, what was your father or grandfather’s civil or military employment during WW2? It appears that your genetic temperament likes to eliminate people or licensed professions…. Please advise.

  • So practice guidelines are the highest level of evidence? First I heard of that, and the guidelines were no doubt written by chiropractors.

  • Hey Dr. Ernst,

    We’re you able to find a source for the BCBS document that the Chronicle of Chiropractic article quoted multiple times? Doesn’t add up to me. Usually these policies are done state by state. Also, none of the quotes bring up any results on Google…

  • Just like there is no ban on psychaitrists treating infants or plastic surgeons operating on 10 years old so there should not be a ban on chiro’s treating children. Those who call for that do so for political reasons nothing to do with children safety or care. What should have been done long time ago is strict clinical guidlines and regulations. Just like in other cases that is how healthcare is regulated.

  • If we BAN every practice that is weak on evidance i can think of many more ideas and practices from all corners of medical practice. I am in favour of placing clinical reasoning and judgment. Good guidlines and regulation, backed by the insurace companies should give results.

  • Can any chiropractor please explain why they studied, qualified in and practice chiropractic and not medicine or physiotherapy?

    Palmer said his system was “based on different principles from those of medicine” – so what was the attraction of chiropractic?

    Had you qualified in medicine or physiotherapy initially, you could have gone on to qualify in chiropractic as a post-grad, and much of the antipathy between the professions would evaporate.

    There should be only one standard for a doctor in healthcare practice.

  • Because the intellectual rigours of studying real medicine is beyond them. Pentyy of money to be made by prople with small intellect preying on the desperate.

  • Evidence-Based Chiropractic Care for Infants: Rationale, Therapies, and Outcomes

    Here is a misleading book with anecdotal evidence to support infant chiropractic treatments. This was found through Ontario Chiropractor’s social media account.

    I suppose this is the type of support that Chiropractic doctors use to establish treatment on infants. The inability to assess evidence is probably what continues the Chiropractic practices.

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