Dynamic Chiropractic – March 10, 1997, Vol. 15, Issue 06

A Moment of Silence for Larry Webster, DC

By Claudia Anrig, DC
Known as the "Grandfather of Pediatric Chiropractic," Dr. Larry Webster passed away February 7, 1997 in Atlanta, Georgia. The profession will miss this chiropractic legend who was an author, teacher, researcher, and inventor.
Dr. Webster is survived by his wife Connie, his daughters Pam and Lucinda, stepsons Wes and Chris, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Dr. Webster was a 1959 graduate of Logan Chiropractic College. Shortly after graduating he started his family practice in Missouri. It was during those 20 years of practice that Dr. Webster became in the true sense a family doctor. As one of the few doctors in his community making house calls, staying through the night to adjust a sick child came naturally to this man. It was during those years that Dr. Webster's desire to help children and pregnant women reached out beyond his community. Concerned about the constraint position of the fetus in the last semester of pregnancy, he developed the Webster in utero constraint procedure, a chiropractic analysis to detect the problem and a specific adjusting protocol. He has taught this procedure for two decades, and has helped thousands of chiropractors and their pregnant patients.

Due to the increasing request to lecture and teach, Dr. Webster served as clinic director at Life Chiropractic College and as the college pediatric instructor for 11 years. In that time, Dr. Webster has influenced thousands of chiropractic students, teaching future doctors his clinical experience to detect and correct spinal subluxations. Maintaining a private practice in the clinic, students had the opportunity to watch Dr. Webster care for the most difficult cases. Dr. Webster was the chiropractor for many female students and wives of students during their course of pregnancy, and was often the first to deliver the chiropractic adjustment to hundreds of newborns.

An advocate for children, Dr. Webster was an expert witness during the Wilk vs. AMA case in 1979. Considered an authority in pediatric chiropractic, Dr. Webster was always available to help his colleagues by testifying in trials concerning children. Dr. Webster was our beloved leader and hero in the "20/20" television segment. In light of the intent of the "20/20" segment to tarnish our profession, Dr. Webster made himself solely responsible for increasing the general public's view of the growing demand for family chiropractic care by appearing on behalf of the profession.

Founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA), Dr. Webster wanted to provide an association to assist field doctors. The ICPA, with a membership in excess of 1,000, has been a source of information for chiropractors, parents, and national and state associations. ICPA was a leader in the field of pediatric chiropractic, being the first to provide newsletters to their members, the Annual Pediatric Extravaganza, and a one-hundred hour accredited certification program.

As the inventor of the pediatric toggle headpiece board, Dr. Webster was influential in helping other chiropractors, and supplying companies with their design ideas. One of the future roles of the ICPA will be to continue the development of the new design Dr. Webster had on the drawing board to improve the delivery of the chiropractic adjustment to the pediatric spine.

Dr. Webster felt extremely rewarded by his work. This past year he had placed even more energy into completing a life-long dream to conduct pediatric chiropractic research. He exhibited a child's excitement with starting his research project, an uncommon exuberance for a chiropractic veteran of 38 years.

Dr. Webster left his imprint on many. ICA President Dr. Bob Braile remembers: "Larry was an active spokesman for chiropractic and never hesitated to tell the chiropractic story. His teaching and research activities took him across the nation and around the world, where he was loved and respected as few people have been in the history of chiropractic."

Dr. Armand Rossi, a pediatric instructor at Life College, affirms those thoughts: "Dr. Webster did not invent chiropractic care for kids, but he promulgated it before it became a popular issue. He carried the torch of chiropractic for children without compromise and on his own terms."

Barbara Loe Fisher, president of the National Vaccine Information Center asserted: "Our organization will never forget that it was a doctor of chiropractic specializing in the care of children who held out his hand and showed us the way at a time when we were tired and broke and close to giving up. Larry's energy and spirit will live on in the heart of every person whose life he touched."

Dr. Judy Forrester, co-founder of the Peter Pan Potential, writes: "One candle lights the way, and as the torchbearer for pediatric chiropractic, Dr. Larry Webster instilled in all of us the passion and the commitment for serving children. He never wavered from his purpose of providing chiropractic care to children globally, despite sometimes overwhelming obstacles. We will continue to be an undying mentor to those of us who were graced and inspired by his life's work."

Like a pebble striking a pool of water, the ripples Dr. Webster created were his knowledge and commitment to our profession. Our focus is that we have lost our friend, colleague and leader. I don't think Larry would put up with that. He loved chiropractic, the children and his colleagues. Dr. Webster would want us to continue being advocates for children's health care.

During our last phone call, we were dreaming about the future; the Pediatric Extravaganza, and unveiling our new National Children's Day fundraising program to support the research program. I am humbled to have been asked to continue Dr. Webster's legacy. The ICPA will continue all of our projects, starting with a tribute to Dr. Webster at the Pediatric Extravaganza in May.

Although the grandfather of pediatric chiropractic has departed, the thousands of doctors who were his children in chiropractic will honor his life by moving forward and dedicating our chiropractic efforts to the betterment of humanity.

Claudia Anrig, DC

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