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Spinal manual therapy interventions for pediatric patients: a systematic review


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Sistematic Review


Structural and chiropractic

J Man Manip Ther.2012 Aug;20(3):153-9.


D W Vaughn, L K Kenyon, C M Sobeck, R E Smith


Objective: Although much has been written about the efficacy of manual therapy interventions for adults with headaches or spinal pain, little research has focused on the use of these interventions in pediatric patients. The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate the evidence for spinal manual therapy (SMT) interventions in patients 4-17 years old with headaches and/or mechanical spinal pain. Methods: A search for relevant studies published in the past 15 years was conducted on MEDLINE, CINAHL, Cochrane Central Register of Randomized Control Trials, PEDro, PubMed, and Sports Discus. Only English language articles were reviewed. Studies had to include at least one outcome measure for pain, function, or quality of life. Studies evaluating post-operative interventions, or those in which the interventions were directed at influencing excessive spinal curvatures, were excluded. Case reports and studies that did not limit analysis of the results to the pediatric population were also excluded. Results: Two randomized control trials and two studies offering lower levels of evidence were identified in the literature search. The latter studies were prospective cohort studies. The four studies were evaluated using the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) criteria. Discussion: There are very little data in the literature to support or refute the use of SMT interventions in pediatric patients. Further research is required to establish a strong evidence-based foundation for use of these interventions in children.

Publication Date: 

2012 Aug



Vaughn, WD., Kenyon, KL., Sobeck, MC., Smith, ER. (2012) 'Spinal manual therapy interventions for pediatric patients: a systematic review', J Man Manip Ther.2012 Aug;20(3):153-9.

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