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Chiro defends baby treatments after controversial video

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 20/02/2019 Tineka Everaardt

A video of a Melbourne chiropractor performing procedures on a two-week-old baby has sparked controversy, but a fellow chiropractor has come forward to defend the practice.

The video shows Dr Andrew Arnold performing controversial spinal treatments on the newborn baby.

The footage showed the chiropractor repeatedly tapping the infant’s head, manipulating the bub’s hips, collarbone and back, and using a spring-loaded device on the child’s neck.

a person holding a baby: A video has emerged of a chiropractor performing procedures on a newborn baby. © A Current Affair A video has emerged of a chiropractor performing procedures on a newborn baby.

He also appears to hangs the child in the air by his feet.

Condemnation has come from medical professionals and even Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos.

But fellow chiropractor Simon Floreani said he had been performing procedures on babies as young as just one week old, and it was only getting more popular.

a man looking at the camera: Chiropractor Simon Floreani said he had been conducting treatments on infants for years. © A Current Affair Chiropractor Simon Floreani said he had been conducting treatments on infants for years.

"I've been doing this 20 years, and the proportion of paediatric patients has gone from one in 10 to three or four in 10," he told A Current Affair.

"The first place that hospital stuff will send them is to us, because we can gently and carefully help to realign the spine."

Mum Holly regularly visits Dr Floreani for manipulations on her baby Hugo.

a man holding a baby: Dr Floreani with baby Hugo. © A Current Affair Dr Floreani with baby Hugo.

"I just noticed he's more settled, he sleeps better," she said.

"My other son had colic and reflux, and it helped quite a lot with that."

But she said she would be "quite concerned" if Dr Floreani tried to dangle her son in the air by his feet.

Orthopaedic surgeon Dr John Cunningham said infants should never need the treatment of a chiropractor.

a man looking at the camera: Orthopaedic surgeon Dr John Cunningham said infants should never need a chiropractor. © A Current Affair Orthopaedic surgeon Dr John Cunningham said infants should never need a chiropractor.

"There's been cases of babies dying, there's cases of babies having their necks fractured," he said.

"The vast majority of these treatments will go without a hiccup, but there is still a risk.

Victorian AMA president Professor Julian Rait said he wanted to seriously discourage parents from pushing spinal manipulation on their kids.

"I don't want to presuppose that I can sit and judge (Dr Arnold) necessarily," he said.

"But he should be judged by his peers and by the regulation agency to see if there's a case he has to answer."

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