NJ Pediatric Malpractice Attorney Explores Chiropractic Care for Infants & Children
Chiropractic care is among the most prominent areas of alternative medicine in the United States, now used for adults, children, and infants alike. In fact, chiropractors are now the third-largest contingent of healthcare providers in the U.S. who have primary contact with patients. Only conventional doctors and dentists exist in larger numbers than chiropractors do today, in terms of patient-provider interaction. Seen as conventional in some circles and highly suspect among other members of the medical community, chiropractic treatment has also been a source of significant controversy for many years. With the ongoing debate over chiropractic care for children, many parents and caregivers are left to wonder: can a chiropractor help my child? What are the benefits and are there risks? As a highly experienced team of pediatric injury lawyers in New Jersey, we come across many parents who experience the myriad of questions and day-to-day challenges of having a child with a birth injury or another medical condition. Here, our experienced pediatric malpractice attorneys explore chiropractic care for children, investigating the issue from all sides and perspectives to provide you with a better place from which to arrive at your own conclusions.
What do Chiropractors Do?
Chiropractic practices have become ubiquitous in the United States, with even conventional physicians recognizing this form of therapy as potentially useful to some patients with certain conditions. In order to understand the contentiousness surrounding these practices, one must first understand what chiropractors actually do. The fundamental premise of chiropractics is to correct misalignment of the vertebrae. Chiropractors refer to misalignments as subluxations.
The process of correcting vertebral misalignment in chiropractic care involves a serious of adjustments. These adjustments are said to realign subluxations, which are tied to a wide variety of medical conditions and chronic pain. Notably, chiropractic subluxation should not be confused with orthopedic subluxation, an evidence-based medical condition involving partially dislocated joints. While orthopedic subluxations can typically be diagnosed with typical medical testing, chiropractic subluxations are generally unobservable with standard imaging tests.
Chiropractic Treatment for Pediatric Injury and Illness
More and more parents are seeking chiropractic services for babies and young children, particularly as antibiotics and other medications come under increasing scrutiny for the tendency toward over-prescribing. Many have pursued chiropractic therapy for infants with birth trauma, while others are seeking alternative methods for curing everyday ailments in new and less traditional ways.
The Debate over Usefulness and Safety of Chiropractic Treatment for Infant and Child Injuries
As mentioned previously, chiropractors are not limited to treating adults; in fact, children and infants are seeing chiropractors more and more. Parents with children suffering from a wide range of conditions, including everything from neck problems to colic, may engage with chiropractors to begin treatment. But the fundamental question remains: does chiropractic treatment work for children? And is it safe for infants, toddlers, and school-age children to see a chiropractor? There is very limited evidence to establish the efficacy of chiropractic practices for pediatric conditions, leaving many questions unanswered.
Some in the medical community pose concerns about the vast array of pediatric conditions treated by chiropractors. For example, infants with colic are often seen by chiropractors who some believe can assist with curing this condition. One study did find a benefit of spinal manipulation when compared with drug therapy to treat colic. However, the research has been highly scrutinized because the study was not conducted blind and the chiropractors included in the study had extensive interaction with the parents involved. Yet another study involving chiropractic treatment for colic in infants found no significant benefit when compared with a placebo.
Concerns over Chiropractors for Babies with Birth Trauma
Many argue that chiropractic care should not be touted as so universally beneficial, especially when it comes to treating birth trauma. It is a common belief in the chiropractor community that labor and delivery causes birth trauma far more frequently than is accepted by traditional doctors and others in the medical field. For example, one publication, run by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, reports that approximately 90 percent of infants experience some form of birth trauma. Birth trauma refers to straining of a baby’s head or neck while being delivered. Chiropractors have claimed that birth trauma occurs during typical vaginal delivery, as well as C-section delivery. Scientific evidence suggests that these types of birth injuries occur in approximately 3 percent of cases. Clearly, the difference in these estimates is vast.
Consult a NJ Malpractice Lawyer for Children if a Healthcare Provider May Have Injured Your Child
If your infant or child suffered an injury, it is always best to seek guidance from a knowledgeable medical professional before initiating any form of treatment or therapy. It is also important to speak with a seasoned legal professional who can explain your available options if your child’s birth injury or illness may have been related to medical errors. Contact our team at 866-708-8617 if you suspect a doctor, hospital, or other healthcare provider failed to provide your child with adequate care and said failure led to complications.