Chiropractic for Children

Quick Jump:

Why is it so important that children receive chiropractic care?

At Mona Vale Chiropractic and Natural Therapies, we believe each individual deserves to have a fully functioning nervous system - a body that works the way it should.

Chiropractic is principally based on the identification and removal of any interference to normal nerve signals in the body. We believe this is especially important in children because their nervous system is experiencing rapid growth and development. In fact between 2 months in utero and 2 years of age, the brain forms 1.8 million new connections every second!

Now let’s have a think about some of the physical factors that can upset the delicate spine and nervous system in Infants and Older Children:


Beginning within the womb, the foetus may experience unnaturally cramped positions (inuteroconstraint) and may adopt an uncomfortable birth presentation (such as breech).

The birth process that follows can be an exceeding traumatic and protracted process for babies as well as mum. High forces are experienced by baby’s cranium, neck and shoulders in particular - even more so with assisted delivery techniques such as forceps or vacuum extraction. “Ah but I had a Caesar” I hear so many say...Did you know that forceps are used in most caesarean sections?

Studies have shown that up to 70% of normal births have undiagnosed musculoskeletal injuries. Careful examination here by the paediatric trained chiropractor can discover many findings that are simply not checked in the hospital setting.

Dr Stefan (Chiropractor) suggests that infants be checked as soon as possible after birth, as correction of these findings may lead to easier settling, improved sleep patterns and better feeding attachment and suck efficiency. Restoration of normal and balanced neck mobility after chiropractic care has been shown to clear up any breast preference issues24 and may improve head shape too.
Please see our fact sheets for further details.


What about older children?

Growing up means surviving those accidental falls off the bed or change table, getting through all the jarring falls as you learn to walk, ride a bike and take up sport. These falls and accidents often result in misalignment of the spine, potentially upsetting the normal nerve signals within the spinal cord. We call this Subluxation. As you can imagine, correcting these subluxation misalignments promptly makes a lot of sense.

Growth spurts bring their own issues. This is the time when it is particularly important to pick up spinal curvature (Scoliosis), growth plate disorders and postural conditions such as Scheuermann’s disease. Yes, chiropractic care has an important place in helping manage these conditions too.

Research is also beginning to show the part that chiropractic may play in the areas of developmental delay, behavioural and learning difficulties. In such cases chiropractors will work in cooperation with occupational therapists, speech therapists and other nutritional interventions. It makes sense that if the nervous system is working in a more balanced and regulated way, then learning and mood regulation will improve too.

Is it safe?

Chiropractic care for children has a remarkable safety record.
Currently there are in excess of 30 million child visits to chiropractors each year.23 Yet studies in paediatric chiropractic have failed to find any consistent evidence of serious adverse reactions. On occasions mild irritability has been recorded.

In 2014 a massive review of studies across the world on the safety of manual therapy for children was undertaken20. Estimated to span many hundreds of millions of child visits to all manual therapists (chiropractors, osteopaths, physiotherapists and medical physicians) – and of all these visits, only 15 serious adverse reactions were found.

Underlying pre-existing pathology was associated in the majority of these cases. Furthermore, 8 of the 15 events occurred  under non-chiropractic clinicians who represented a minority of those performing manual care. (Chiropractors provide 94% of manual care in the USA)21.

Compare this to the current DAILY rate of 1600 adverse drug events in children attending outpatient clinics in the USA (yes per day)25, or in the year 2000, there were 4483 deaths of hospitalised children due to patient safety events -that’s 86 deaths per week26.

All available evidence suggests that manual therapy for the paediatric patient in the hands of a skilled chiropractor carries a very low risk indeed.

Does it hurt?

There is no need to feel nervous when bringing your precious bundle for care.
Our gentle techniques are specifically chosen and adapted to suit your baby’s size and condition.
Babies can be unaware of what is happening or just not want to cooperate on the day and this may be a reason for any tears. It is helpful when parents are confident and reassuring of their child during care.

Why choose us to take care of your precious one?

  1. At Mona Vale Chiropractic and Natural Therapies, our aim is to provide the highest level of care for children. Our practice is specifically set up to cater for little ones and our front desk team are ready to keep siblings occupied when necessary.
  2. Stefan Kohlhoff has over 20 years experience in family chiropractic and 3 children of his own. With extensive post graduate paediatric training, Stefan graduated (first place in NSW) in the 2 year Diplomate in Chiropractic Paediatrics progam.
  3. We provide age appropriate testing, tracking developmental milestones and have a holistic approach encompassing dietary changes and supplementation where needed.
  4. We utilise pathology testing (Blood, Stool and Hair) where indicated, and do not unnecessarily X-ray.
  5. We have access to great network of specialists for prompt referral when required.

It is telling that we regularly see children referred to us by baby health nurses, GPs and Naturopaths for paediatric conditions.

So give your children a great start by making chiropractic part of their health regime.

Call 9979 7700 to arrange an appointment or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you.

20. A.Todd, M.Carroll,A.Robinson E.Mitchell Adverse events due to Chiropractic and Other Manual Therapies for Infants and Children: A review of the Literature JMPT 2014 (Oct30)

21. National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Job Analysis of Chiropractic 2005

23. Lee AC, Li DH Kemper KJ. Chiropractic care for children. Archives of Paediatric Adolescent Medicine, 2000:154 (4):401-7

24. L.Fry Chiropractic and breastfeeding dysfunction" A literature review. J.Clinical Chiropractic Paediatrics 2014 Vol 14,No.2

25. Bourgeois FT. et al. Paediatric Adverse Events in the Outpatient Setting. An 11 year national analysis. Pediatrics 2009 Vol 124 (4)

26 Miller MR. Paediatric Safety in Hospitals: A National Picture in 2000. Pediatrics 2000 Vol 113 (6)

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