Neck Pain In Children: A Retrospective Case Series
Jocelyn Cox, BPhEd, DC,
Christine Davidian, DC, MSc,
Silvano Mior, DC, FCCS, PhD
Graduate Education and Research Department
of Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College
Introduction: Spinal pain in the pediatric population is a significant health issue, with an increasing prevalence as they age. Pediatric patients attend for chiropractor care for spinal pain, yet, there is a paucity of quality evidence to guide the practitioner with respect to appropriate care planning.
Methods: A retrospective chart review was used to describe chiropractic management of pediatric neck pain. Two researchers abstracted data from 50 clinical files that met inclusion criteria from a general practice chiropractic office in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada. Data were entered into SPSS 15 and descriptively analyzed.
Results: Fifty pediatric neck pain patient files were analysed. Patients’ age ranged between 6 and 18 years (mean 13 years). Most (98%) were diagnosed with Grade I-II mechanical neck pain. Treatment frequency averaged 5 visits over 19 days; with spinal manipulative therapy used in 96% of patients. Significant improvement was recorded in 96% of the files. No adverse events were documented.
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Conclusion: Pediatric mechanical neck pain appears to be successfully managed by chiropractic care. Spinal manipulative therapy appears to benefit pediatric mechanical neck pain resulting from day-today activities with no reported serious adverse events. Results can be used to inform clinical trials assessing effectiveness of manual therapy in managing pediatric mechanical neck pain.
Key words: chiropractic, neck pain, pediatric, spinal manipulative therapy, case series
From the Full-Text Article:
Spinal pain is common amongst the pediatric population (including children and adolescents). It is a significant health issue [1, 2] where 52% of pediatric patients report musculoskeletal (MSK) symptoms over a one-year period.  Neck pain is the most common spinal pain in pediatric patients [3, 4] with 60% reporting neck pain persisting at two years after this study began.  A survey of Finnish school children reported neck pain experienced at least once during the week. 
Children with neck pain seek complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) interventions, of which the most common is chiropractic care. [2, 6, 7] Pediatric patients comprise between about 8% and 13% of a chiropractor’s practice. [7-10] A recent National Institute of Health report suggested that 3.3% of children in the United States (1.9 million) saw a chiropractor or osteopath between 2002 and 2007.  Although surveys report pediatric patients visit chiropractors, little is known why they visit, how often, and whether or not there is a favourable response.