CACCP, Certified by the Academy of Family Practice and Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics,  ICPA, 2011
Post Graduate Studies in Neurology, Carrick Institute 2006-Present
DC, Cleveland Chiropractic College, 2007
MS, Biology, Wake Forest University, 2000
BS, Biology, Wake Forest University, 1996


K.A. (Cable), R.J. Spolski, E.J. See, and R.E. Kuhn.  2000.  Immune Destruction of Larval Taenia crassiceps in Mice.  Infection and Immunity, Vol. 68, No 5, p 2393-2401.
S.A. Toenjes, R.J. Spolski, K.A. (Cable), and R.E. Kuhn.  1999.  The Systemic Immune Response of BALB/c Mice Infected with Larval Taenia crassiceps is a Mixed Th1/Th2-type Response.
Parasitology. 0ct.,119, p413-418.
S.A. Toenjes, R.J. Spolski, K.A. (Cable), and R.E. Kuhn.  1999.  Gamma-delta T cells do not play a major role in controlling infection in experimental cysticercosis.  Parasitology.  June;118 p623-633.


Traditional Chiropractic Adjustments

Gentle and non-force techniques

Board Certified in Chiropractic Pediatrics

Webster Certified


Core Muscle Stabilization

SOT Cranial Release

Frequency Specific Micro-current

X-Rays almost never necessary

Dr. Kryssa has aided children with breast feeding problems, ADHD, autism, asthma, sensory processing disorder, cerebral palsy, vaccination injuries, birth injuries, movement disorders, eczema, sinus problems,  hypotonia, torticollis, colds and flus, and more.  She believes in chiropractic and the holistic lifestyle as a vehicle to a great life.


location brentwood

location noho






Be observant of falls, difficulty balancing, gait changes, decreases in energy, sleep difficulties, or recurrent illnesses in your kids.  When you address these problems at the start, it makes it easier to prevent further trouble down the road.

Sometimes small changes that are easily overlooked can help kids to stay happy, healthy, and free of the growing list of problems that plague kids today.  Look for dietary changes that might help, eliminating toxins that are in the immediate environment, and some kind of gentle, alternative health care.

Great ways to help kids

Babies learn to roll over and crawl using reflexes in the nervous system.  These reflexes are still present even in adults.  Reflex locomotion uses muscular stretches to access these reflexes and helps kids to strengthen muscle groups that provide core strength for proper movement.  This technique was developed in Prague and is widely used in hospitals there, for everyone from their olympic athletes to stroke victims.  This is a gentle and effective treatment, and kids generally re-learn the proper motor patterns very quickly.  Why do they forget them in the first place? Many reasons… walkers or swings for babies, which put children into positions that don’t encourage their proper motor development, skipping the crawling stage, injuries, a sedentary lifestyle, or improper nutrition.

Want to help your baby…and yourself?

Encourage babies to crawl as much as possible.  Many parents get excited when babies skip right to walking stage, but those kids miss out on a crucial part of their muscular development and coordination of the right and left sides of the body.  If your baby is one of those who doesn’t enjoy being on his or her stomach, try getting down on the floor with them.  Even better, try encouraging them to crawl by crawling yourself.  5 minutes of crawling will show you how difficult it is.  Doing this babies (and you too) will strengthen a completely different set of muscles then used when walking.

To Vaccinate, or not to Vaccinate.

Vaccines are currently a huge controversy.  Whatever you have heard, or whatever your current view is on this matter, make sure that you learn enough to make informed choices that make you feel safe.  If you choose not to vaccinate, there are ways to support that lifestyle.  If you choose to vaccinate, there are safer ways to do it than what are most commonly followed.  There are many websites that you can visit to learn about vaccines, their safety, and what the law can and  cannot require.  Here are a few to get you started.

The National Vaccine Information Center Vaccine Watchdog

Possibility and Frequency of Vaccine Side Effects as per the CDC


When parents can’t find help for their children in the mainstream medical system, chiropractic care is very often the answer for them.  The medical system has very little to offer children when they are in pain, ill,  having behavioral issues, or postural issues.  Medical intervention for these  problems usually means drugs that are harsh and untested on children, surgeries, or bracing.  Many families may try some of these interventions, see how poorly they are working for their child and for them, and then go in search of alternative care.  Families may often come to chiropractic as a last resort, desperate for help with their children and themselves.  Chiropractic offers families an alternative approach to everyday problems and health issues, and most who experience it become fans for life.  Families come to visit chiropractors for issues from back pain, to asthma, autism, wellness care, IBS, and etc.  Chiropractic offers a safe and natural approach to all of these problems in children, and more.  Chiropractic offers to these families the philosophy and the idea that their ability to heal is locked inside of them, and the correct information to help that person heal just has to be found.  Chiropractors will educate their patients on their nervous system and how chiropractic can affect it.  Chiropractic adjustments allow the nervous system to function to its ultimate capacity, allowing life to flow in the nerves and the body to function optimally.  Patients appreciate being talked to, listened to, educated, and feeling better, and they love chiropractic.

There are those that doubt the safety and efficacy of chiropractic.  Most medical providers do not refer to chiropractors, even if the child, or adult, is having back pain.  There are of course some who will refer their patients to a chiropractor because they understand how wonderful chiropractic can be in those cases, but they are few and far between.  In fact many will warn their patient not to go to chiropractors, saying that chiropractic is dangerous and that it is quackery, that chiropractic adjustments may cause someone to become paralyzed or to have a stroke.  This is unfortunate, for the peer reviewed research in chiropractic simply does not show this.

The very abrupt response that is often given when arguing against the efficacy and safety of chiropractic care, is that there is no research to support the technique.  Many who disapprove of the chiropractic profession argue that there is no research to support chiropractic.  This is completely untrue.  When I hear this argument, I often will ask that person who is arguing this point if they have actually looked for research on chiropractic.  I am usually met with a blank stare for my answer.  I ask this because I know that they have not looked for any research on chiropractic, because if they had they would not be making this argument.  Medical databases are filled with research that has been done on chiropractic, and one simply has to look to find it.

They then may go on to claim that it is a risky proposition to visit a chiropractor, much less to take your child to do so.  This is a very uninformed and incorrect viewpoint.  There is much research on chiropractic, and if these dissenters were to look in to the medical literature, they would find it quite easily.  Chiropractic has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment for pediatric patients, and this notion is well supported in the literature.  One needs only to look to find, but the research will be presented here as well.

The results of a literature review for the safety and efficacy of chiropractic in pediatric patients will be presented here, and they show precisely how safe and effective chiropractic truly is for children.  It will also be helpful, however, to put these in the perspective of the much larger, and much more researched mainstream medical system of the United States.  Dr. Barbara Starfield of Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health wrote an article in 2000 entitled “Is US Health Really the Best in the World?”  In this article, she determined medical errors by US medical doctors to be the third leading cause of death in the United States.  Deaths due to medical errors exceeded those of AIDS and breast cancer.  She found  that each year, about 2000 die from unnecessary surgery, 7000 from medication errors in hospitals, 20,000 from other errors in hospitals, 80,000 from infections in hospitals, and 106,000 from non-error adverse effects of medications, totaling 225,000 deaths per year from iatrogenic causes of death making it the number 3 killer of Americans in the US.  To answer Dr. Starfield, no, the US medical system is not even close to the best in the world, not only because her findings proved it but also because the WHO has ranked it to be 37th in the world (WHO, 2000).   The US did rank number 1 in this same health report for one thing, however, and that was expenditure per capita.  Americans pay more per capita than any other country in the world for the treatment of a healthcare system that gives them less safe and effective treatment than 36 other countries in the world.  These are important statistics, and should really get those people who use the mainstream medical system for their healthcare reconsidering their decision to do that.

The following statistics are still not specific for children, but it they are relevant to the discussion, especially since information has been presented on the entire population that visits the medical profession.  There have been many studies to look at the chances of a vertebral artery dissection (VBA), a tear in the vertebral artery that may cause a stroke or aneurysm,  following a cervical manipulation.  Those studies showed the chances to be 1 in 3,846,153 neck manipulations (Carey, 1993), 1 in 2,000,000 neck manipulations (Dabbs, et al., 1995), 1 in 900,000 neck manipulations (Klougart, et al., 1996), and 1 in 5,800,000 neck manipulations (Haldeman, et al., 2001).  These numbers are unarguably small.  The much bigger risk factors for a VBA are oral contraceptives (36% of women suffering a VBA were taking these) (Mas, et al., 1987), smoking (40% of people who suffered a VBA smoked) (Barinagarrementeria, et al., 1998), and alcohol (Haapaniemi, et al., 1997, Hillbom, et al., 1995).  A stroke following a chiropractic manipulation is a very commonly reported fear, and the chances of it, as supported by the medical literature, is simply nothing to worry about.  The benefits are chiropractic are great, and the benefits and safety of chiropractic for kids are great too, and here is the scientific literature to prove that.

According to 2007 National Health Statistics Report, there were an overall 20 million pediatric visits to chiropractors.  These 20 million visits represent 10% of patient visits to chiropractors, meaning there are about 200 million visits made to chiropractors each year.  This survey found that parents take their kids to visit these primary care providers for medical issues to include, but not limited to respiratory problems, ENT problems, musculoskeletal problems, skin problems, GI issues, allergies, and finally, general prevention and wellness.  As published in the Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapy, Miller et al. 2008 analyzed 5242 chiropractic treatments of 697 pediatric patients under the age of 3.  85% of parents of these children reported an improvement in their child’s condition.  That is an impressive and noteworthy response, and should be very encouraging for any of those who may doubt how well chiropractic works.  This study says that the chances that you will see an improvement for you child’s problem after chiropractic care is 85%, and that should be very encouraging.

To address the unfortunately common fear of chiropractic care, lets look at the statistics on safety also found Miller 2008, as well as in the entire body literature on spinal manipulative treatments.  Side effects of whatever treatment a parent may choose to use are an important consideration, whether the treatment be cough medicine or chiropractic, so any adverse events associated with any treatment should be widely available to a parent.  Pediatric chiropractors do not attempt to minimize even the smallest negative reaction that a child may have to an adjustment, but those reactions need to be considered in a proper scope to the history of the child and in relation to how the rest of the larger population responds as well.  In the same study by Miller 2008, in which 85% of the parents saw improvement in their child’s symptoms, there were 7 parents who reported an adverse event.  6 of these complaints were crying and 1 was a single cry of pain.  Again, not to ignore the reactions of a child, but crying is a rather minor adverse event, and it only occurred in 1% of the treatment population.  So, an 85% chance of improvement and a 1% chance of crying for almost 700 children who received chiropractic.  So far, the argument for chiropractic is going well.

Lets look at another study that was done in osteopathy, which is more mainstream medical care, but still a manual therapy.  Meyers et al. is a Doctor of Osteopathy who surveyed 346 patients and found that 9% (31) had treatment associated aggravations including 7 worsening of symptoms, 5 behavior problems, 5 irritability, 4 pain, 4 soreness, 2 headache, 1 dizziness, 1 flu-like symptoms, 1 treatment reaction, and 1 tiredness.  This study is done in mainstream medicine and although the adverse reactions are still very small at 9%, there were 9 times more adverse reactions to this medical therapy than there were to chiropractic care.  Using this study as a basis, Alcantara and Ohm of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association did a similar study for chiropractic care of 1160 pediatric patients with an age range of 1 day to 18 years and 10,249 office visits.  40% of the study population came to the chiropractor for wellness care, 27% came for musculoskeletal problems, 44% for ENT/Respiratory disorders, and 29% for GI difficulties.  66% reported an overall improvement with their symptoms.  In addition to 66% of patients improving in symptoms, 68% of the DCs reported patient improvements which were unrelated to the presenting complaint including: 15 improved ROM, 37 improved mood, 30 improved sleep, and 19 improved immunity.  Again, only 1% of this population reported an aggravation of symptoms.  Those aggravations were: 2 fevers, 2 were fussy, 1 case of colic worsened , 1 child spit up, and 11 had muscle soreness.  As far as adverse events go, I think it’s fair to say that these are quite mild, especially considering the percentages of people that benefited so greatly from the treatment.

  Now lets look at a paper that reviews almost 40 years of chiropractic literature looking for adverse events associated with spinal adjustments.  Vohra et al. studied all available peer reviewed papers on spinal manipulative therapy written from 1966-2004, and published her review in Pediatrics in 2007.  They reviewed 2 clinical trials, 4 case series, and 7 case reports looking for adverse events related to manipulating the spine.  In almost 40 years of literature on chiropractic care they found 7 adverse events.  They found 3 minor events: one child complained of mid-back soreness, and one was irritable for a short time after the appointment.  One child lost consciousness after 2 appointments but recovered quickly and further treatment was discontinued.  2 moderate events: one child developed severe headaches and a stiff neck after treatment.  The child recovered gradually and soft tissue therapy was administered to aid that recovery.  The second developed acute pain in the lumbar spine and recovered with gentle treatment.  Severe events: One was admitted to a hospital over 2 months after an adjustment “because of gait abnormality of three weeks duration and headaches lasting two years”.  Can this “severe” event really be attributed to chiropractic? The child had headaches for 1 year and 10 months prior to an adjustment, and a change in gait started 5 weeks after she was adjusted.  About the only association here between chiropractic and these events is that they were in the same child.  There is also the report of another child who became “suddenly ill with a severe occipital bifrontal headache, vomiting, and left facial weakness.”  The following day the child was examined and a a neurologist found no abnormalities on examination, and EEG and skull radiograms were normal.  In this case, the reaction did directly follow the adjustment, but the reaction was transient and the child was examined the following day and was fine.  Chiropractic is a very powerful tool, and it has a very powerful effect on the nervous system.  Sometimes those effects can be dramatic, and it may take the body some time to process them.  These can sometimes result in such things as a headache, dizziness, or some muscle soreness as has already been seen.  This child vomited, had a headache, and some facial weakness, but this was transient and she recovered beautifully.  This was probably a very intense adjustment for the nervous system of this little girl, and it sounded like she needed some time to process it.  This may not have been a chiropractor that was trained for pediatric patients, and perhaps he or she did too many adjustments for that child.  There are many ways to speculate on what happened in this situation, but it is important to note that parents should always get references for and research whatever doctor they bring their child to, whether medical or chiropractic, that way they can begin to build a relationship with their doctor before they even enter the office.  Associations such as the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association are excellent to help find doctors with good training.

Ziv et al.  reported a case of a 12 yr. old girl with osteogenesis imperfecta who, two weeks after her visit to the chiropractor, “experienced deterioration of powers in the legs accompanied by clonus at rest, urinary urgency and frequency”.  Osteogenesis imperfecta is a genetic disease also known as brittle bone disease, and persons with this disease have easily breakable bones, very loose joints, and poor muscle toneThis is a very debilitating disease, and with poor muscle tone already inherent in the child’s condition, it would not be unlikely to see urinary urgency and frequency quite often.  Again, there are symptoms being correlated to an adjustment that happened 2 weeks before an event, and the likelihood that the adjustment was causative of these symptoms in such an already ill child, is very small.  In another case, a 4 month old boy’s clinical deterioration was blamed solely on a chiropractic adjustment based only on “the close temporal relationship between the visit to the chiropractor and the decline of the patient”.  This patient had an intraspinal tumor that was later excised.  This is a very sad situation for this child and for the parents, but the tumor was not caused by the adjustment.

Although some of these reactions were certainly due to the spinal therapy, many of these events had more to do with the prior condition of the child than the adjustment.  Some muscle soreness, a bout of crying because it was a new experience, dizziness or a headache can sometimes occur.  These, however, are events that can occur on a daily basis even without an adjustment.  Sometimes just waking up and getting out of bed there can be muscle soreness from sleeping strangely, or a headache from the light that comes into the room or the ice cream that was eaten the night before.  These events are certainly mild everyday events, and are no reason to avoid chiropractic care.  The potential benefits from chiropractic are too great, and any “side effects” can usually be worked through without an issue.  Pediatric chiropractors would also of course prefer that absolutely no children have any adverse reactions to chiropractic therapy.  For those reactions that do occur, the number and lack of severity of the documented adverse events, many of which are probably not even due to chiropractic treatment, create not too bad of a record.  Sometimes an adjustment will make a patient incredibly tired, and they just need to sleep.  Is this really an adverse event or a “side effect”  in someone who gets 2 hours of sleep a night?  The adjustment is a very powerful tool, as chiropractors well know, and it can occasionally be a lot of information for the nervous system to process.  When this happens, there may crying, some muscle soreness, and even in incredibly rare cases a loss of consciousness.  Many of these reactions that are blamed on chiropractic, however, are likely being falsely attributed to an adjustment.  It is very difficult to say that something that happens in a child 2 weeks or 2 months after an adjustment is due to that adjustment.  That child could have fallen in that time, or contracted a disease or infection, or had a reaction to a vaccine.  Any of those might have caused a gait abnormality or headaches in a child.  Unfortunately, there are those in the medical community who dislike chiropractic and/or any alternative medicines, and they are eager to dispel them.  Chiropractic and alternative medicines are here to stay, however, for too many people know their benefits, and too many people are learning of them everyday.  Pediatric chiropractors are usually very caring and helpful people and would be eager to educate an interested listener on the benefits of chiropractic.

Given these many papers in the peer reviewed literature that demonstrate how safe a record chiropractic truly has, there is no published reason to worry about the safety of chiropractic.  Parents should of course always review referrals and references for the chiropractors they choose, and use associations such as the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association to find reputable and kid friendly doctors.  Parents should be ready to ask questions of the doctor they find, and the doctor should be willing to answer.  Parents should also trust their gut instincts when it comes to choosing their providers.

Since the rumor that chiropractic may be dangerous for kids has been dispelled,  how well does it really work for different conditions?  There are a number of papers in the literature that argue against the efficacy of chiropractic, claiming that chiropractic has no better effect than placebo, so this issue of placebo should be dealt with right away.  Placebo is a very difficult concept in therapies that deal with the touch of the human body.  A placebo is given to a control group of patients so that they do not actually realize that they are not receiving treatment in a study, and that they are a part of a control group.  This is done because even just the act taking a pill and thinking that you might be receiving treatment can improve conditions by 20% or more.  This is widely known and widely recognized as the placebo effect.  Most medical trials use sugar pills for their control groups, but is difficult to set up an appropriate placebo treatment for studies involving a manual therapy that will convince the patient (or parent) that he or she has been treated and yet not aid the patient at all if he or she is in the control group of the study.  CMT in babies is especially difficult to create a control group for, since it is such a gentle and specific procedure.  The “sham treatment” must not come close to the art of chiropractic, but must also serve well as a control mechanism.  In chiropractic, creating a sham treatment that will convince the patient that they have received a treatment, and yet not aid them at all is a very difficult situation to create.  Chiropractors cannot just use a sugar pill; they must try and find a manual treatment that can convince a patient they are being treated but that does not help the patient.  This is not easy to do, as humans respond to touch very positively.  Papers that claim CMT is ineffective, or only as effective as chiropractic, use these “sham” procedures that are so similar to the chiropractic procedure that it makes them an ineffective control group.  In fact, these studies are more effective at proving how just a little intervention can sometimes go a long way in pediatric care.  Examples of these papers include Olafsdottir 2001 on colic and Balon et al. 1998 on asthma.  These are poorly done examples of research.

There are also a number of interesting papers in the literature that provide evidence against the overuse of medical intervention, medical prescription drugs, and the general medical model in pediatric care.  These are papers that are within the medical literature and arguing against too much medical intervention, a concept that is rarely considered but certainly should be.  A number of studies show that too much medical intervention may be associated with a higher incidence of childhood illnesses.  For example, Wickens et al. 1999 demonstrated that antibiotic use in infancy may be linked with an increased risk of developing asthma.  Antibiotics use within the first year of life further increased the risk, as did higher numbers of courses of antibiotics within the first year.  Another interesting study compares the health status of children raised under the allopathic and the chiropractic health care models of medicine.  This study polled 200 chiropractors and 200 pediatricians and compared the health status of their respective children.  The children raised under the medical model had a history of fewer childhood diseases, along with immunization rate of about 94%, while the chiropractors had immunization rates of about 25% and were 69% free of otitis media.  Medically raised kids only had a 20% otitis media free response.  It would be very interesting to do this type of a study and look at the rates of childhood problems such as Asthma, ADHD, Autism, Aspberger’s, etc., within the two philosophies of care.  Another thought provoking paper compared the lengths of labor that mothers had giving birth to their children, and how that related to childhood problems.  In this paper, Wiberg 2002 found that infants with colic may have had a faster delivery than those without.  In a group of 40 mothers with colic the mean duration of birth was 9.7 hours, whereas a group of 22 mothers without colic symptoms, the duration of birth was 14.3 hours.  Vestager et al. went on to confirm this finding in 2007 in a case control study with 13 participants.  Medical doctors are usually very concerned with trying to birth babies as quickly as possible, but these papers show that perhaps that is not the best way.  While these 3 studies are very different in the questions that they ask and in their findings, they all point towards medical models of care, and how the philosophies in this system may be flawed.  Perhaps antibiotics are not the best course for otitis media, perhaps the chiropractic lifestyle may have some advantages, and perhaps a less controlled and hurried birth process may mean an easier childhood and motherhood.  Let’s look to the best of both models to find the best answer.

At this point large studies on the general populations that seek chiropractic care were reviewed, as well as studies on how those patients respond to treatment, and the safety and efficacy rates found in those larger groups of patients.  A few studies on excessive medical intervention in those populations and its potential price were also reviewed.  Here are more published papers on very specific disorders of the childhood population that can be reviewed to see how well kids in specific populations respond to chiropractic.  The first paper considers Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, an all too common diagnosis among today’s children.  Research shows that attention can be affected by the chiropractic adjustment, making CMT (chiropractic manipulative therapy) a reasonable treatment for children diagnosed with this disorder.  Case studies include Bedell in 2008, who reported that the mother of a 9 year old girl with ADHD noted improvements in her weekly behavioral assessments and in her overall attitude with chiropractic care and with nutritional changes.  Young reported in 2007 that the same interventions along with proprioceptive exercises helped a 4 yr. old girl with ADHD, especially with language skills.  Parents, teachers, and speech therapist reports all demonstrated improvement in this child.  Bastecki et al. also looked at the possible link between a kyphotic cervical spine and ADHD symptoms.  A case report of a 5 yr. old patient who was diagnosed ADHD for 3 years and who was taking Ritalin, Adderall, and Haldol, reported that the MD declared the child no longer ADHD after 8 weeks of chiropractic care.  During those 8 weeks the cervical radiographs showed that the lordosis in the spine increased by 20 degrees.  A much larger study was done to show the improvement of attention span in adults.  Palmer Chiropractic Clinic looked at 41 patients aged 22-47 and saw that attention span clinically and significantly improved after CMT, as measured by a computer performance test.  Giesen evaluated hyperactivity after chiropractic treatment in children using a wrist watch type device to measure activity levels, electrodermal tests to measure autonomic nervous system activity, and spinal biomechanics.  5/7 kids improved mean behavioral scores, 4/7 improved in arousal levels, and in all 7 kids the methods used for measurement (parents ratings of activity, motion recorder, electrodermal measures, and x-rays of spinal distortions) were all in agreement either positively or negatively, so all results were coherent.  The ICPA also is currently undertaking a collaborative study, with Dr. Jim Davis as the principal investigator, to see if CMT and nutritional support can aid kids with ADHD.  The results are preliminary but are worth discussing: parental and teacher scores on ADHD symptoms are improving, interpersonal skills in the kids are increasing, and the amount of drugs required by these children are decreasing.

Asthma is another disorder that is quite common among children, and is often seen by chiropractors.  An article by Bronfort et al. in JMPT 2001 demonstrated that asthma severity ratings after 3 months of CMT care showed a reduction of 39%, with an overall improvement rating of 50-75%.  Bronchodilator use was decreased by 20% and quality of life increased by 10-28%, with the activity scale showing the most positive change.   Parent improvement ratings were small, but the changes in patient-rated severity at the 1 year follow up remained as good as right after treatment.  It is important to note that these changes were seen while the child was also being managed medically: drug regimens were adhered to along with CMT, but the need for them dissipated as the study continued.  Ali et al. 2002 looked at the effect of CMT on the endocrine and immune system in asthmatic patients.  Using 4 different groups of children (those treated at chiropractic centers, those with no treatment at centers, those treated at home, and a control of non-asthmatic patients with no treatment), preliminary results are showing important quality of life changes in the treated group, along with increased salivary IgA and cortisol levels in the treated groups.

Parents of colicky babies looking for some relief are another population that find their way to chiropractors.  In a retrospective study using questionnaires given to the parents of 132 infants with colic, 91% reported improvement after an average of 2-3 CMT visits, and 1 wk after treatment began.  This initial poll was by Nilson in 1985 who then went on with Klougart and Jacobsen to do a study on 316 infants with colic.  After 2 weeks, 60% of infants had stopped colicky symptoms, 34% had improved in colicky symptoms, and only 6% showed no change or got worse.  Unfortunately there was no blinding in this study and no control group, which would have made the study much more viable.  There are however numerous case reports in the literature, including Pulhar 1991, Cuhel 1997, Van Loon 1998, Sheader 1999, and Killinger 1998, all detailing improved cases of colic with chiropractic care.  There are also a number of case series that report good results with the use of chiropractic for colic, including papers by Leach 2002 and Hipperson 2004.

Otitis media is another condition of childhood that can be aided by chiropractic, especially when integrated with good medical care.  Fallon 1997 looked at 332 children with otitis media and qualified the number of adjustments necessary to see normalization on otoscopic examination. Acute cases responded fastest at 6.67 days, chronic/serous responded at 8.57 days, serous at 10.18 days and mixed at 10.9 days.  The overall recurrence rate was 11.02% for acute, 10.34% for chronic, 30% for mixed, and in those with none present at the beginning of the study 17.56%.  An interesting possible mechanism for the efficacy of chiropractic in otitis media is presented by Hendricks et al. in 1989.  The authors hypothesized that spinal misalignment may result in the dysfunction of the tensor veli palatini muscles that are responsible for opening and closing the eustachian tube.  Once the spine is adjusted and the interference in these muscles is removed, they may function from a more optimum position, allowing for better drainage in the eustachian tube, and less ear infections.  There are again numerous case reports that are available in the literature including those by Phillips 1992, Peet 1996, Heggy 1996, Marko 1996, Johnson 1996, Saunders 2004, Erickson 2006 and Thomas 1997, and case series by Burnier 1995, Fysh 1996, and Webster 1996.  All show improvement in otitis media with chiropractic care, and should give parents a more natural and less invasive option for care.  It is also of interest to note that the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend immediate use of antibiotics for otitis media because they are not always successful at clearing it.  It actually recommends a wait period to see if the infection will clear on its own, and if after a few weeks the infection is still present, then to try antibiotics.  Most pediatricians do not follow this recommendation.  If parents are aware of this recommendation, perhaps they would try chiropractic care in those first few weeks and see if it helps the child to heal naturally.  This is much better for the child in the long run, for if there is a blockage in the upper spine not allowing the drainage of the eustachian tubes, it could be affecting many other systems in the body as well.

There is help for enuresis, or bedwetting, from many natural therapies, and studies show that chiropractic may equal or surpass those other alternative therapies.  Leboeuf 1991 showed that enuresis improved by 15.5% with CMT, but saw other therapies with success rates in the 50% range, suggesting that those therapies may be better than chiropractic for enuresis.  Kreitz 1994 seconded this opinion in his review of the literature, but Reed et al. 1994 found that  25% of their chiropractic treatment group had 50% or more reduction in wet night frequencies as compared to the control group, making an excellent case for CMT in enuresis.  Case reports by Borregard 1987, McCormick 2006, Garnecki 2008, Biomerth 1994, Strude 1998 and Valone 1998, and a case series by Gemmell 1989 also show significant success rates in helping enuresis.  Either way, it is good to know that help for the enuretic child can come from some natural therapies that are not too invasive.

Adult patients often seek out chiropractic care for headaches, and parents of kids with headache complaints will also do the same.  Although there are a number of case reports in the literature, larger and more controlled studies are not available.  A case series by Anderson-Peacock 1996, and case reports by Lisis 2002, Elster 2003, Knutson 2003, Nelson 2004, Jonasson 2006, and McWilliams 2006 all provide evidence that headaches are well cared for with chiropractic care.  Headaches are a very common problem, and it should be comforting for families to know that chiropractic can help to alleviate this issue for all family members.  It is also a much better alternative and safer alternative than using over the counter pain killers for kids, when there are possibilities such as Reyes syndrome from aspirin (a rare but deadly reaction to aspirin in children), nausea, constipation, and kidney failure from ibuprofen, and possible liver failure from tylenol.  The research presented here has already demonstrated how safe chiropractic is for children, so hopefully parents will consider this manual therapy before they move to more toxic and dangerous, yet widely available drugs.

Low back pain in pediatric patients is a very real problem, although many may not think of children as having low back problems.  In fact there are papers showing that pediatric patients may already show progressive degeneration of the spine in radiographs (Erkintalo et al. 1995, Salminen et al. 1995), and arthritic conditions can be quite painful.  Hayden 2003 compiled data from 54 DCs on pediatric low back pain patients, and found that improvement was seen in 62% on the visual analogue scale and 87% on the subjective scales within a 6 week course of care.  Medicine can offer little help for low back pain in pediatric patients.  If there is a scoliosis present medicine will recommend braces and exercises, or surgery for harrington rods, but aside from this they will have little to offer a child with musculoskeletal low back pain.  Most muscle relaxants are not approved for use in kids, and cortisone shots come with considerable side effects to be using in a young body.   Cortisone is an immunosuppressant and has the unfortunate local side effects of weakening the bones by demineralization.   This is not a wise treatment to be recommending in young children.   Even adults with low back pain are limited with what medicine can do for them.  More than half of all low back surgeries are unsuccessful.  Because of this high prevalence of unsuccessful low back surgeries, it spawned the formation of a diagnosis for failed low back surgery syndrome.  Cortisone is often prescribed for adults, but carries the same side effects as in children.  Chiropractic treatment for low back pain is so supported in the medical literature that it would be remiss to not try it first before resorting to these more invasive medical treatments.  The 1993 Manga Report showed that chiropractic was far superior to medical treatment for low back pain, safety, scientific evidence of effectiveness, cost effectiveness, and patient satisfaction.  With low back pain responding so impressively to chiropractic care in adults, it follows that kids might have the same great response.  Hayden’s 2003 paper showing 62-87% pain improvement in kids with CMT treatment follows in that vain, again defending the use of chiropractic for this childhood problem.

The literature sited here, that supports chiropractic care in children in both its safety and efficacy, should be very encouraging for parents.  Complications associated with chiropractic care are incredibly rare, and when they do occur, they are usually very mild.  There have only been a few instances of adverse events related to chiropractic care in the US, and in over 100 years of chiropractic history, that is an excellent record.  Chiropractic has also been shown to be incredibly effective for asthma, ADHD, colic, otitis media, enuresis, headaches, and low back pain.  There were also some statistics presented that show the current state of the medical industry in the US, and how poorly the US is doing in comparison to the rest of the world.  Chiropractic does not wish to disparage the medical community, for there are many fine doctors in that system who truly do the best for their patients, but it is a system that is broken and needs to be fixed.  Consider the maternity system in the US.   Amnesty International cites that the lifetime risk of maternal death in the US is greater than that of 40 other countries.  The maternal mortality rate in the US had not risen above 10/100,000 live births since 1977, but lately it has been on the rise: 12/100,000 in 2003, 13 in 2004.  The most cited and most likely cause of this is cesarian sections, which account for about 30% of births, and which is twice the rate that is recommended by the WHO.  Countries that have the best live birth rates are those like Sweden, Japan, and the Netherlands, which have births that are overseen by midwives.  This is again, a caveat to the current discussion of the safety and efficacy of chiropractic in children, but it is so relevant because pediatric chiropractors see many mothers after their traumatic hospital births, as well as many babies after those traumatic hospital births.  Pediatric chiropractors cannot ignore this discussion, for it is so vital to the health and well being of many of their patients.  Mothers and fathers need to get informed about real, natural birth, and then they will see why the US ranks 39th in maternal mortality.

This discussion should provide an excellent basis for parents and doctors looking for a basic review of medical literature on the safety and efficacy of chiropractic in the pediatric population.  There is always more research being done by pediatric chiropractors and chiropractors in general to continue to substantiate the benefits of chiropractic healthcare.  The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association is constantly championing new research projects on chiropractic for children and during pregnancy, and their research is available on their website.  Although there are papers in the literature that attempt to disparage the benefits of chiropractic, they do not do so in a scientifically correct way.  Publishing these types of papers in fact backfires on the authors and makes those who conducted the studies look poor in the eyes of their peers.  Poor science and attempts to disparage other doctors are not what should be published in scientific literature.  Chiropractors today are fighting to be respected as mainstream medicine, doing research both currently and retroactively to provide scientific evidence for the art and science of chiropractic.  Pediatric chiropractors do this because they believe so strongly in what it is that they do, and they hope to be able to help any family that may benefit from the help that chiropractic adjustments can give.  Although there are approximately 200 million visits to chiropractors each year, there is still much of the population to reach.  Most research shows that chiropractic is used by about 10% of the population, and a far larger percentage of the population needs the help that chiropractic can provide.  More research will help to reach more of the population, and help to make chiropractic that much more appreciated for its safety and its efficacy.

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Why Chiropractic for Kids (and adults)

And if you still would like more research…


Antibiotic use in infancy may be associated with an increased risk of developing asthma.

Antibiotic use in early childhood and the development of asthma.  Clinical Experimental Allergy.  1999.  Jun 29; 6 (766-71).