Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a diagnosis that used to mean something. It was designed to apply to a very small group of mostly male youths who exhibited behaviors of hyperactivity and inattentiveness to the level that it was clinical. Unfortunately, this has become a far too common diagnosis for any type of overactive childhood displays. This wouldn’t be as critical were it not for the common pharmaceutical approach to treatment. It may be puzzling but these over stimulated children are medicated with a stimulant drug.
This formula will be seen frequently when comparing the chiropractic approach versus the allopathic approach to treating ailments such as these. The allopathic formula is often: cause, reaction, treat the reaction. The chiropractic formula is: cause, reaction, treat the cause. Ritalin is one of the most common prescriptions used to treat ADD and ADHD and it is a stimulant. The pharmacology explaining its effectiveness is interesting. The theory is that just because some of the brain is over stimulated in ADHD, other areas of the brain are under stimulated. The Ritalin works to stimulate these areas that are underperforming, balancing out these areas of the brain which works to calm the child and allow greater attention.
The chiropractic approach is to first find out if this is a legitimate diagnosis. Hyperactivity is otherwise a healthy feature of young children. Many times the diagnosis is made, medication is prescribed while the child is just acting like a healthy 8 year old.
It should be noted that this office never contradicts what the treating pediatrician or medical physician advises. If we believe that the diagnosis was made in haste, we discuss this with the parents and advise that they discuss this with their doctors before changing any medications on their own. In many cases, by treating simultaneously with chiropractic care, we can work together with the medical doctor to wean the child from his prescription medications. You have to remember that 75% of all pediatric prescriptions are for the benefit of the parents and not the children. Pediatricians are generally anxious to remove medication from their young patient’s lives.
A true diagnosis of ADHD can still respond positively to chiropractic care. If part of the imbalance in the brain is due to confused information in the nervous system, treatment to remove nerve interference may help the child with ADHD.
For example, an atlas subluxation (the upper most cervical bone) can affect upper nerve roots and even part of the brain stem. This adherent stimulation could result in the imbalance that is experienced in the brains of children with ADHD. These children may respond with greater attention and less hyperactivity when spine is functioning properly and nerve communication is optimal.
For more information or to schedule a consultation with one of our chiropractors to see if treatment might help with ADHD please contact us today.