ADD/ADHD is becoming more and more common - with 11% of school-aged children receiving the diagnosis.
But do not be alarmed - it is not a "real disease".
Since ADHD appears as a neurological dysfunction, chiropractic care can reduce the nervous system disturbance that is creating the associated symptoms:
Inattention, hyperactivity and being easily distracted
Difficulty concentrating and focusing
Trouble sitting still
Inability to control impulsive thoughts, behaviors, and actions
Easily distracted by noises and activities
May have a short temper
WHAT IS THE CAUSE?
The vast majority of ADD/ADHD cases should not be considered disorders but rather states of imbalance in our nervous system. Our nervous system is divided into 2 divisions: sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and the parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation and digestion). Irritation to the nervous system from physical, chemical and mental/emotional stressors can result in a sympathetic dominance - meaning your child is constantly in the fight or flight stage, leading to hyperactivity and inattention. The sooner balance is achieved in your child's nervous system, the greater their ability to re-wire their patterns of behavior and interactions with their environment.
The most common treatment is the prescription of a Class 2 psychotropic drug, most commonly known as Ritalin®.
Ritalin® is a schedule II controlled substance related to, and producing similar effects as, amphetamines and cocaine. The side effects, including personality changes and permanent changes to the brain, cause many parents to seek alternative care.
Common side effects of Ritalin include nervousness, agitation, anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, palpitations, headache, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and psychosis.
Instead of treating the various symptoms of ADHD, chiropractic addresses the root cause of hyperactivity which is often found in spinal distortions in the upper neck.
The link between the spine, brain stem, and ADHD is very common.
A study dating all the way back to 1975 compared chiropractic care with drug treatment in children with learning and behavioral impairments due to neurological dysfunction. It was reported that chiropractic care “was more effective for the wide range of symptoms common in the neurological dysfunction syndrome in which thirteen symptom or problem areas were considered.” The author also reported that chiropractic care was 24% more effective than commonly used medications.
Another study of children who were of school age and had clinical findings evidencing vertebral subluxation complex found that following chiropractic care, 57% showed an improvement in chiropractic radiographic findings; 71.4% showed a reduction in overt behavior activity; 57% showed improvement in level of autonomic activity, and 57% showed improvement in parental ratings of hyperactivity.
In addition to these few studies, case reports have been published which describe improvements in children with ADD/ADHD and related disorders.
More research exploring the relationship of subluxation correction to brain function is needed. Yet, the dramatic changes that have been reported in children diagnosed with ADHD following chiropractic care must not be ignored.
A thorough chiropractic evaluation can reveal noticeable spinal distortions and even a reversal of the normal neck curve. That’s why I often recommend regular chiropractic adjustments for your children, regardless of whether or not symptoms are present, to help reduce the accompanying nervous system tension. By correcting nerve interference, function is improved. Many parents report seeing the personality of their child unfolding as they express more of their human potential.
Nutritional and lifestyle changes have an effect on your child’s nervous system, thereby indirectly reducing the symptoms that your child is experiencing. It is also important to rule out environmental factors by reducing exposure to substances that are increasingly toxic these days:
Remove food dyes, preservatives and additives from the diet
Eat more natural, organic foods grown without pesticides or herbicides
Eliminate allergens such as dairy, gluten, corn and soy
Decrease the intake of sugar and artificial sweeteners
Reduce the use of cleaning agents, detergents, fabric softeners and other chemicals
Use all natural soaps, shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, and other beauty supplies
Besides, these are wise choices whether your child has the symptoms associated with ADHD or not!