Dr. Bell's Blog

ADHD: How Chiropractic Can Help


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a mental disorder that is now happening to more and more children every year.  It is often characterized by difficulty concentrating, staying focused, paying attention, remembering details, etc..  In the past 8 years alone there has been a 42% increase in the number of children that have been diagnosed with this problem.  6.4 million American children between the ages of 4-17 currently have the diagnosis. We can talk and debate for hours about all of the potential reasons for this, and possible solutions, but the fact remains the numbers continue to increase every year.  

Standard Treatment

Traditionally ADHD has been treated with medication to manage the symptoms.  These medications include but are not limited to Ritalin, Focalin, Methylin, Dexedrine, and Adderall. Essentially they are classified as stimulants, and some (including Adderall and Dexedrine) are also in the Amphetamine category.  Yes, giving your child a regular dose of amphetamines should scare you.  These are dangerous medications than can cause many long lasting side effects. Aside from the dangers of taking the medication, the main issue is that this approach fails to address why they have this problem in the first place.  Dig deeper and try to look for the root cause(s) of the problem.

Look At Everything

There is not one sole cause of ADHD symptoms, and it can get very complex.  However, the following tips and lifestyle changes are a great place to start in order to begin to get the symptoms under control.

  • Diet:  Strive to virtually eliminate sugar, food additives, and processed foods from their diet.  These things can have an enormous impact on how your child's body functions.  While you are at it, join them. These products are not good for an adult either.  Get healthier at the same time you are trying to help your child.
  • Exercise:  Are they getting enough exercise?  Many children today sit around way too much.  Get them involved in regular exercise.  This can be signing them up for a high energy burning sport like basketball, soccer, hockey, etc..  These activities can really help them to burn off excess energy.
  • Allergy testing:  Many children today (for reasons which are somewhat unknown) are allergic to many common foods and substances.  Get them tested to see if this could be playing a role.

The Role of Chiropractic

If you think chiropractic is limited to adults and back pain, you are mistaken.  Chiropractic care can benefit children of all ages including those with ADHD.  Nervous system pressure, particularly in the upper portion of their neck, can significantly impact how their body functions.  This happens when one of the top vertebrae in your spine become misaligned.  We call this problem a spinal subluxation.  Specific chiropractic adjustments correct subluxations and help restore proper nerve flow between the brain and body.  This has been shown in study after study to have a significant positive impact on a child's behavior.  Combining this with the necessary diet and lifestyle changes can help lead your child to better health, and allow them to...

LIVE well. BE well.