As many of you will be aware the Victorian Minister for Health, Jenny Mikakos MP, instructed Safer Care Victoria (SCV) to undertake an independent review of the practice of spinal manipulation on children under 12 years.
Spinal manipulation was defined as “any technique delivered by any health professional that involves a high velocity, low amplitude thrust beyond the physiological range of motion, impacting the spine, within the limits of anatomical integrity.” A “manipulation” is very different to a specific “chiropractic adjustment”.
Key findings from the SCV review:
- “An extensive search was undertaken to identify evidence of harm sustained by children who had received spinal manipulation.
- “This extensive search identified very little evidence of patient harm occurring in Australia.”
- “In particular, there were no patient complaints or practitioner notifications that arose from significant harm to a child following spinal manipulation.”
- “the evidence base for spinal manipulation in children is very poor.” It should be noted that the scope of the report includes only the evidence for spinal manipulation. Further research is required for Chiropractic adjustments and it’s effectiveness on children, and government and industry funding for this is welcomed (and was recommended in the SCV review). It is also important to note that Chiropractic is not intended to be a “treatment” for ANY condition.
- “21,824 submissions were received from members of the public who had accessed chiropractic spinal care for a child under 12 years – the largest number of submissions received to date through Engage.Vic or any public stakeholder engagement.”
- “99.7% (21,750) reported a positive experience with the chiropractic care of their children.”
- “The overwhelming majority of parents/guardians reported that chiropractic spinal care helped their child, with 98% (21,474) indicating that their child improved after chiropractic care.”
- “Parents/guardians reported that they accessed chiropractic care for their child for a wide range of conditions and complaints, including maintaining general health and wellbeing. The most common conditions included posture concerns, colic, neck pain, difficulty with breastfeeding, back pain and headache.”
- “The most common benefits of spinal manipulation reported by practitioners were relief from pain, better sleep quality, more relaxed or settled child, able to feed and latch better, and improved mobility or range of motion.”
- “No examples or experiences of serious harm were reported through this consultation.”
It is clear that Chiropractic represents an extremely low risk care option for children under 12, with great parental satisfaction.
Perhaps a similar investigation into other available care options would discover treatments that are much higher risk, with poorer reported outcomes, and higher consumer dissatisfaction?
And perhaps it’s that very fact that is driving the continual ignorant and biased political attacks against Chiropractic?