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Daily Archives: November 19, 2012

What Is the Role Of Chiropractic Care in Prevention or Reduction of Musculoskeletal Injuries in Children?

By |November 19, 2012|Chiropractic Care, Pediatrics|

What Is the Role Of Chiropractic Care in Prevention or Reduction of Musculoskeletal Injuries in Children?

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SOURCE:   J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2012 (Sep); 35 (7): 493–513

Chiropractic Care and Public Health: Answering Difficult Questions About Safety, Care Through the Lifespan, and Community Action

Lise Hestbaek, DC, PhD


Back and neck pain are common ailments in school age children with prevalence rates ranging from 5% to 74%. [38, 39] The prevalence of low back pain increases from preadolescence to early adulthood, [38, 40] but after that, the prevalence rates change surprisingly little. [41] A similar pattern is seen for neck pain, [41] but less is known about the course of other musculoskeletal disorders throughout life. However, extremity complaints are found frequently in children. [42]

It has been demonstrated that children and adolescents with musculoskeletal complaints have a higher risk of having these problems as adults. [43-45] Pain and aberrant musculoskeletal function are known to have other consequences with regard to health. Long-lasting pain conditions, including back pain, have been associated with a generally decreased pain threshold, [46-48] which seems to develop alongside pain, because patients did not have a higher pain threshold than asymptomatic subjects before the onset of back pain. [49] If this process is initiated in childhood, it is likely to increase the impact of minor trauma or overuse in everyday life and thus may induce a lifelong cascade of negative health events, resulting in poorer general health and lower quality of life.

Another possible consequence of musculoskeletal disorders in childhood is pain becoming a barrier to physical activity. Children who are injured while performing sport activities [42, 50] may avoid or stop the activity that caused the original injury. It is also plausible that continued pain or discomfort may reduce motivation to participate and enjoy physical activities. Reduction in activity can have serious health implications over time. It is established that physical activity is one of the most important factors relating to several lifestyle disorders such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, [51, 52] and it has been shown that increased physical activity in youth can reduce the risk of these disorders in adulthood. [53, 54] Moreover, health habits throughout the lifespan are established in youth, [55, 56] and therefore, promoting and maintaining a healthy level of physical activity in children and adolescence are essential to improve public health. Thus, an important element to reach lifelong health is to optimize musculoskeletal health.

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