Sending your child to the chiropractor? Be very careful.

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH
Sending your child to the chiropractor? Be very careful.

Roy Benaroch, MD recently posted a blog entry that has chiropractors up in arms: 

CLICK HERE TO READ IT: Sending Your Kid to the Chiropractor: Be Very Careful

In it, Benaroch warns about the lack of evidence for chiropractic in the management of children. He winds up his cursory review of the literature with this statement:

"Chiropractic professionals need to decide. Is treating children part of our practice? If so, they should insist on quality information to guide their practice to effectively help pediatric patients. Until they have that knowledge, they ought to tell parents that, honestly, they have no idea what they're doing."

I understand how you feel and I can hear all the collective counter questioning from chiropractors: What about the lack of evidence pediatricians have for (Fill in the Blank) and so on.

I also know that he completely left out all the research done by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.    

And while he is so heavily focused on the EVIDENCE piece of an Evidence Based Model - he ignores the other three components: 

1. Clinical state and circumstance of the patient in front of us

2. Patient preferences about what interventions they want

3. The providers' Clinical Expertise  

Shame on him for ignoring all these things and then shout at us from his Ivory Tower.

But, let's say we put down our pitchforks and torches and hold off for one minute on our plans to storm his castle and take a look WITHIN. A look within our own profession and our responsibility to the people we serve - especially our most cherished patients. 

I grew up around chiropractic. I started getting adjusted at a young age and spent a good deal of time around the conservative, traditional faction of chiropractic. Chiropractic was part of my life just as anything a child is introduced to as a good thing becomes part of who they are. 

I had been involved in chiropractic research for awhile when insurance companies started coming out with restrictive policies on the care of children like this one below:


Experimental and Investigational  

You might recall this. Chiropractors everywhere were up in arms and ready to storm the castle. I was right there with them - pitchfork and burning torch in hand.

And then I stopped and decided to take a second look. Just how much research was there on children and chiropractic?  After all, I was a regular at all the popular chiropractic events where presenter after presenter got up on stage and admonished us to care for children since it would be tragic to let children experience their lives through a subluxated nervous system.

So, along with the help of some student research assistants we actually gathered ALL of the literature on chiropractic and children. The troubling thing is that we were able to gather it all in the first place and worse still is that all that literature did not even fill a copy paper box.   Here was a profession, and many individual chiropractors, whose mission it was to save children from the devastating effects of vertebral subluxation but in over 100 years we had not managed to do enough research on such a supposedly incredibly important topic to fill one box.   That was a turning point for me and it is the reason I started the  Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health - Chiropractic. As a result we have 100 more research papers on children, pregnancy and chiropractic than we did just a few short years ago.          But we need your help. It takes resources, people, time and money to process, peer review and publish this research and it is only through subscriptions that this happens.    Won't you help?  You will be supporting the process that brings lifetime, subluxation based, family wellness research to the public.   

Just CLICK HERE to subscribe.

And while you are at it please join the ICPA.

If we don't do one or both of these things (or support pediatric research in some other way) then what right do we have to complain about Dr. Benaroch and his ramblings? 

In fact, aren't we just part of the problem?  


Matthew McCoy DC, MPH

Editor - McCoy Press Journals