A baby’s neck has been broken by a chiropractor in an incident doctors say shows the profession should stop treating children.
Melbourne paediatrician Chris Pappas cared for a four-month-old baby last year after one of her vertebrae was fractured during a chiropractic treatment for torticollis – an abnormal neck position that is usually harmless. He said the infant was lucky to make a full recovery.
”Another few millimetres and there would have been a devastating spinal cord injury and the baby would have either died or had severe neurological impairment with quadriplegia,” he said.
Dr Pappas complained to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, which referred the case to the Chiropractic Board. Three weeks ago, he received a letter from AHPRA saying the case had been closed after the chiropractor committed to completing further education.
Dr Pappas said he was concerned the decision was an endorsement of chiropractic treatment for infants when there was no scientific evidence to support it.
”I think they have put the chiropractor’s interests before the interests of the public,” Dr Pappas said. ”[Treating infants] is inappropriate and it carries a very small but real risk of causing damage, and in some cases, devastating damage.”
Chiropractors, on the other hand, are defending their practice saying it’s as safe for children as adults. The PROBLEM is that it’s not been shown to be effective for anything! And, yet, it carries significant risk. So zero risk is the only acceptable limit. Or, just forego the “treatment” entirely.
Chiropractors admit to sneaking into hospitals to do adjustments. This “outrageous” inside information came from a closed Facebook group called the Australian Chiropractic Philosophy Society. One of the admins of that group is Nimrod Weiner, a chiropractor who advocates treating babies and is an anti-vax proponent.
One practitioner admits to sneaking into maternity wards pretending to be a friend of the parents to run a chiropractic check on the new babies. That makes my skin crawl – how parents could be so accepting of a ridiculous philosophy like chiropractic.
Just a reminder, chiropractic is based on the idea that ”subluxations“, a misalignment of the spine that allegedly interferes with nerve signals from the brain are the cause of most illnesses. After decades of modern medical science, this theory has no supporting scientific evidence. Their “subluxations” don’t show up on x-rays. That’s a HUGE red flag to show that the foundation of chiropractic is nonsense and should be disregarded as well as the practices that stem from it. We also see significant evidence that chiropractors not only promote their own pseudoscience but support other nonsense such as anti-vax and homeopathy.
More on this case can be found at Reasonable Hank’s blog who exposed the Facebook group’s comments, many of which are arrogant and shocking.
UPDATE (30-Sept-2013) The chiropractors association demands a retraction of the piece claiming no harm has come from treating children since 1992. The baby had a fracture but it was not caused by chiropractic adjustment.
Here is an update from the news.
Fairfax papers reported that a Melbourne chiropractor fractured the vertebrae of a four-month-old baby, but the association said that story was wrong and demanded a retraction.
An investigation is likely. But the bottom line is that chiropractors ARE treating children and babies and the evidence of the effectiveness of such treatments is lacking. Those facts are not in doubt. Mounting evidence has shown risk of chiropractic for adults. Does this apply to children? There are many reasons to forego even very limited risk.
Tip: Jin-oh Choi