In 2010, the AU journal Chiropractic and Osteopathy published a paper, Chiropractic care for children: too much, too little or not enough? Here is Dr. Alcantara's response:
Chiropractic care for children: too much, too little or not enough?
I read with great interest the editorial comments made by French and colleagues 1 on the chiropractic care of children. The question posed by the authors, rhetorical or not, “Should chiropractors be treating children at all?” requires further comment.
We concur with the authors on the principles of evidence-based practice when “strong evidence is not available.” That is, in addition to the published literature, chiropractors should also rely on their clinical expertise and experience and respect the needs and wants of parents for their child’s healthcare.
On the chiropractic care of children with colic, we disagree with the authors’ perspective. Contrary to the findings of Bronfort and colleagues 2, no clinical trial has examined the effectiveness of chiropractic SMT versus sham therapy for infantile colic. The Olafsdottir study 3 compared an unproven chiropractic technique versus no therapy. The Weiberg study 4 compared chiropractic SMT versus Dimethicone while the Browning et.al. study 5 compared chiropractic SMT versus occipito-sacral decompression. Olafsdottir et.al. 3 found their chiropractic technique ineffective when compared to no therapy while Weiberg et. al. 4 found chiropractic SMT superior to Dimethicone and Browning et.al. 5 demonstrated that both their techniques are capable of decreasing the hours of crying infants when compared to baseline measures.
Medical treatments have been shown to be no better than placebo or have unacceptable adverse events 6. Combined with the safety of pediatric chiropractic SMT 7-8 in the totality of the evidence, the authors’ suggestion of a trial of “placebo treatment” is unjustified and irresponsible. In keeping with evidence-based practice 9 and the principles of biomedical ethics 10 a trial of “chiropractic care” is warranted at the request and consent of the parent(s) in the care of their children.
— Joel Alcantara, DC, Research Director of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA)