More studies are now being done to evaluate the role of chiropractic in treating back pain in children.  About half of all children will suffer from low-back pain at some point, with nearly 15% experiencing frequent or ongoing pain.

In a study appearing in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 15 randomly chosen Canadian chiropractors provided data on their pediatric patients between the ages of 4 and 18 who were suffering from lower back pain. Information was gathered on treatment type and outcome of care, based on patient-rated pain scales. Characteristics of the children with back pain included:

  • The average age of patients was 13 years old
  • Almost 60 percent were male
  • Half attributed pain onset to trauma (usually sports-related)
  • 25 percent reported pain of over three months duration

The most common diagnosis (50% of patients) was a "subluxation." Almost  all patients were treated with spinal adjustments, with few requiring other forms of therapy. After six weeks of treatment, nearly 90% of the children experienced major improvement, defined as "much improved" or "resolved" based on one of the pain scales. There were no reported complications in any of the patients.

Just as with adults, chiropractic treatment is extremely effective for children, regardless of the cause or characteristics. If you have a child suffering from back pain, call Patrick Chiropractic at 919-790-2288 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Dale Patrick.


Hayden JA, Mior SA, Verhoef MJ. Evaluation of chiropractic management of pediatric patients with low back pain: A prospective cohort study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2003:26(1), pp. 1-8.

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