A case study appeared on November 6, 2009 in the scientific periodical, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, documenting the case of a young boy suffering with torticollis and neck pain, who was helped with chiropractic. This case study also discussed the increased utilization of chiropractic care by children under 17 years of age.
The author of the study noted that in 1997, research showed that there were approximately 30 million visits to chiropractors by patients under the age of 18. According to the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, the author reports that at present, that number is closer to 60 million visits per year. The author also notes that when compared to the adult population of chiropractic patients, a higher percentage of these cases are for non-musculoskeletal conditions.
In the specific case reported in this study, a 10 year old boy was brought to the chiropractor suffering from acute torticollis. Torticollis, sometimes known as wry neck, is a situation where the neck is in spasm and tilted to one side. According to this study, the day before, the young boy awakened with severe neck pain and was unable to move his head and neck. His condition was so severe that he had great difficulty lifting his head off his pillow due to the pain. He was taken to an emergency care facility where according to his mother, was examined and released with prescriptions of Motrin and Valium.
When the boy first came to the chiropractor's office he was in severe pain and was unable to straighten his head. His history revealed no severe trauma and he also suffered from mild asthma only using medication on an as needed basis. The chiropractic examination showed severe muscle spasm and restricted range of motion in the neck.
A determination was made that vertebral subluxations were present and a course of specific chiropractic adjustments was initiated. On the boy's second visit he reported that he had felt significant improvement after his first adjustment. His severe spasm and head tilting had improved and he was experiencing only minimal pain. By his 3rd visit, the patient demonstrated a significant reduction in muscle spasm in the neck and mid back with improved range of motion. At this point the boy reported that he was pain free. By the 13th visit when a re-evaluation was performed, the 10 year old was back to normal and performing normal activity.