Some chiropractors say their spinal manipulations are safe and essential to the well-being of young children, including infants.
But despite its popularity, some doctors say the scientific evidence to support their claims is lacking.
Inside Edition visited the offices of pediatric chiropractors Theresa and Stuart Warner and Lisa Goodman while they corrected the spine of several young patients. They believe the adjustments can help with anything from colic to ear infections.
“You have colic, gas, excitement. You will end up with ear infections. The main reason they’re referred to the chiropractor’s office is because of ear infections, ”said Theresa.
But the Yale professor of neurology, Dr. Steven Novella says there is no evidence that chiropractic care is beneficial for children.
“It doesn’t work with colic, with infections, with asthma. There really is no scientific reason to do chiropractic care on babies, ”Novella said.
Pediatrician Dr. Clay Jones agrees.
“I think it’s irresponsible because it puts children at risk,” said Jones.
But the chiropractors we spoke to stood by their methods.
“I do not get it. I don’t understand the concern. I really don’t. The benefits are so great. And it just doesn’t make sense to me why people would ever doubt it, ”said Goodman.
A mother who has been a Warner’s patient since she was five swears by it.
“You heard about the controversy. There are doctors who say this is unnecessary, that it could be dangerous for the baby, ”said Les Trent, correspondent for the Inside Edition.
“Yes, possibly. But we know how gentle Dr. Terry and Dr. Stu handle babies, ”the mother replied.
Little Ivan is only 3 months old. His parents say the adjustments helped with his acid reflux.
“The proof lies in the patient. In medical school, they have no science or chiropractic training so they are not qualified to decide whether that child or baby needs adjustment, ”said Stuart.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, an average of 11% of chiropractors are children and adolescents.