Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Chiro for Kids?

Paediatric patients form a significant part of chiropractic care.

Paediatric patients form a significant proportion of chiropractic patients.

By Loretta Marron

Why is a university running a paediatric chiropractic clinic that targets the vulnerable parents of sick children?

Loretta Marron was named Australia’s Skeptic of the Year in 2007.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

I will never forget my early days at university, feeling both proud that I was clever enough to be there yet humbled to be part of an institution associated with “the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence”.

But now that’s all changed. With universities offering chiropractic degrees, my pride has turned to shame.

The 19th century philosophy that forms the basis of chiropractic does not stand up to any kind of scientific scrutiny. It includes the pseudoscientific concept that the “vertebral subluxation complex” (VSC) is the cause of most disease.

The VSC is merely a term made up in the 1890s by chiropractic’s founder, Daniel Palmer. In May 2010 the General Chiropractic Council (UK) stated in a guidance document that VSC “is an historical concept but it remains a theoretical model” that is not supported by clinical research.

Introduced as a result of “market pressure”, these universities are graduating students trained in pseudoscience that masquerades as evidence-based medicine. Chiropractic courses are winding back the clock by actively promoting disproven treatments that affect the health of babies, children and pregnant women.

Paediatric patients form a significant part of chiropractic care. While data are not available in Australia, one USA survey found that children comprised...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.