Background: The use of chiropractic care for the pediatric patient in Norway has been under investigated along with the demographic profile of the presenting patients. Chiropractic is considered one of the most popular complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies for children worldwide and many chiropractors provide care to children. Doctors of chiropractic sometimes claim to treat a wide variety of pediatric health conditions. This has been considered a controversial area of chiropractic care, both within, and outside the profession. Routine presentations are not widely investigated.
Objective: To investigate the demographic profile of pediatric patients aged 0-18 years of age presenting to a Norwegian chiropractor and their primary complaints.
Methods: A retrospective cross sectional study of electronic patient files to locate patients presenting in the correct age group. The data were
recorded anonymously. Two main software packages were used to analyze data; Microsoft Excel 2000 spreadsheet and SPSS V 21.
Results: 258 pediatric patients were enrolled in the study. The most common age at presentation was one month (n=68). 49% were female; boys more commonly presented in infancy, girls more commonly in adolescence. On average there were three visits per patient. The patients had two or more presenting complaints (average 2.5). The most common presenting complaint was favored (asymmetrical) head position (n=84, 33%), followed by infant positioning/postural difficulties (n= 81; 31%) and inconsolable crying (n=79, 31%). No serious adverse events were reported; 5% reported an intermittent and self-limiting mild side effect lasting less than 24 hours. Approximately 13% of pediatric patients were referred from health care professionals. 85% of parents/children reported either full recovery or good improvement following a chiropractic treatment protocol.
Conclusion: The infant was the most common age in pediatric presentations to a Norwegian chiropractic practice. The most common complaints were musculoskeletal in origin followed by excessive crying. On average pediatric patients had three treatment sessions, and most parents/patients reported full recovery or good improvement with no adverse events.
Author keywords: chiropractic, infant crying, sleeping difficulties, pediatric, demographic, manual therapy, cross-sectional study
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