What You Will Want To Know, If Your Child Has ADHD

Chiropractic care is often linked with helping only spine and other joint pain syndrome and is overlooked on various other physiological changes which are beneficial for those who utilize it. Most are unaware how chiropractic adjustments (when deemed necessary) can help with conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD affects pediatric and adult populations, but this blog post will be more focused on children. The American Psychiatric Association states in the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders that 5% of children have ADHD. But according to parents that filled out surveys from the National Health Interview Survey in 2011-2012 6.4 million children or 11% from the ages of 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD in the United States. With the lowest prevalence in Nevada and the highest prevalence in Kentucky.

What can be noted is that we have a high amount of children being affected by ADHD and it is affecting aspects of life ranging from academics to social interaction. Commonly a child with ADHD has difficulty with keeping concentration, focus, and blocking out distractions. One particular area of the brain which is responsible for this is the prefrontal cortex, or the front portion of the front part of the brain. What also needs more recognition is the nervous system and its proper health is essential for the health of a child. In particular the Autonomic “automatic” Nervous system and its two sub categories of Sympathetic (fight or flight) and Parasympathetic (rest and digest).

The gold standard or preferred method in medicine is the prescription of Central Nervous System stimulants and behavior therapy. This can be very effective in some children, it does not work for everyone. With  prescription drugs being utilized for children with ADHD, addiction to controlled substances must be considered as well. Side effects and adverse effects must also not be ignored, because there is no magic pill. Side effects are prevalent and all parents should be well-informed on the potential outcomes of their child’s medications. And with the growing epidemic we have with prescriptive addiction in the United States, we are setting up our children to be addicted to what is intended to help them, which can be harmful in the long-term. More parents are seeking a holistic route to help their child, other options should be mentioned and be made aware to the public.

When it comes to children with ADHD an area of the brain which needs to be recognized is the prefrontal cortex. Here is where focus, organizing attention, and the ability to ignore distractions is regulated amongst other executive functions such as goal-planning and structured organization of tasks. These functions are commonly affected and distorted in children with ADHD and require attention. Performance in school and social interactions are the most commonly noted areas affected and it can negatively affect the child’s life and their family, friends, or cohorts. Inability or difficulty in doing these tasks can be frustrating for these children and it negatively affect them psychologically. Thus it is important to have proper function in the prefrontal cortex for its ability to perform the tasks that are required in everyday life to help children perform successfully in society.

Chiropractic care has been shown to have positive effects in children suffering with ADHD and needs more consideration with helping out our younger generation who will be our future. Spinals adjustments (in particular cervical spine/neck adjustments) have been shown to influence activity in the prefrontal cortex and is essential for positively affecting the attention span and mental focus of a child. This is an important consideration needing more attention in the general public as we see more and more children being diagnosed with ADHD, parents should be aware of the effectiveness of chiropractic care. Especially if a parent would like to not take a medicated route with their child due to their potential risks of side-effects and adverse reactions. Medicine is designed to stimulate or inhibit, whereas chiropractic adjustments are intended to restore balance back to the body. A chiropractor is not looking to stimulate or inhibit the nervous system, but to help restore balance and equilibrium to ensure a properly functioning and healthy nervous system. This ensures and assists the body in being able to better adapt to its environment and to be able to perform properly as it was designed to do.

There are times when an adjustment is needed and not needed. Thus it is important that one finds a chiropractor they trust and feel comfortable with and believe they can help out their child. This is why seeing a chiropractor that analyzes and measures the function of the nervous system on a visit to visit basis is essential to ensure better results for your child. The chiropractor must know when and when not to adjust.The chiropractor must allow the nervous system to do its job of self-regulating all functions of the body and allow it to heal the body. This will take TIME as there is not short quick fix here. To learn more about ADHD and other childhood neurodevelopmental disorder you are welcome to download my free e-book at https://www.drmattbartlett.com/ebook/. Also be on the lookout for one of our workshops where dive in the deep end and discuss even more in depth about childhood neurodevelopmental disorders. To find out when we host these please like our page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/drmattbartlett/ and you will be kept up to date for our most recent upcoming workshops.


Matthew K. Bartlett D.C.