You recently heard that chiropractic care can help youngsters with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Does that actually make any sense? You thought chiropractors mainly help people with back and neck pain. Research is still limited on the subject of chiropractic therapy for ADHD, but the evidence so far is promising.
The Role of Dopamine
An abnormally low level of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain is associated with ADHD. A sufficient level of dopamine is important in the brain areas involved with reward and pleasure, as well the areas associated with regulating behavior and emotion.
Without enough dopamine, the individual needs extra stimulation to produce the welcome sensations of pleasure and reward, and he doesn't have good control over emotional responses. That can lead to a temper tantrum over a situation that would only be slightly irritating to another child.
Why Would Chiropractic Care Improve ADHD?
The theory is that realigning the spine into proper position improves nerve signal transmission after these signals have been restricted, thus freeing up more dopamine in the brain. This reduces the person's compelling need for excessive stimulation.
But how would your youngster have developed a misaligned spine? Perhaps the child experienced an incident he or she never told you about. Maybe there was an episode of falling off a bike or playground equipment, or taking a rough tackle during a football game.
An article that appeared in 2010 reviewed four case studies of boys diagnosed with ADHD by a doctor. These kids received chiropractic treatment for at least five months. The youngest was nine years of age and the oldest 13.
The research found that chiropractic therapy was effective at improving symptoms such as hyperactivity, attention problems and social difficulties for these youngsters. It must be noted that the boys also received nutritional supplements as part of their therapy.
Another article reviewed one case study of a five-year-old boy who showed improvements in ADHD symptoms after a year of chiropractic treatment. The child had appointments three times per week for about 12 weeks and then two times per week afterward.
If the treatment is successful, your youngster will show significant improvements in areas such as impulsive behavior, outbursts of anger, hyperactivity and difficulty concentrating. He or she may be able to avoid taking prescription medication or reduce the current dosage. Contact a chiropractor in your area and explain the reasons you'd like to set an appointment for your youngster with ADHD.