Is spinal manipulation effective for paediatric conditions? An overview of systematic reviews



The aim of this overview was to critically evaluate the evidence of effectiveness for spinal manipulation in any paediatric condition. Four electronic databases were searched from their inception to July 2011 to identify all relevant systematic reviews of spinal manipulation for any paediatric condition. Reviews were defined as systematic if they included explicit and repeatable inclusion and exclusion criteria. Five systematic reviews were included, which covered the following conditions: infant colic (n=2), kinetic imbalance due to suboccipital strain (n=1), nocturnal enuresis (n=1) and otitis media (n=1). None of the systematic reviews generated conclusive evidence to suggest that spinal manipulation is an effective treatment for any paediatric condition. Collectively these data failed to demonstrate that spinal manipulation is a useful therapy for paediatric complaints. The safety of spinal manipulation in paediatrics is also less than clear.