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Chiropractic Care and ADD/ADHD

Many parents of children living with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are justifiably concerned about the negative effects of medications on growing bodies. Some are making the intuitive choice to seek out drug-free care with an expert in functional neurological disorders (a Doctor of Chiropractic) to treat their child’s neurobehavioral developmental disorder. Chiropractic care in Sea Girt, NJ for ADD and ADHD patients offers a safe and effective method of addressing and fixing the issues that lead to such disorders.


The Problem with Medication

All medications and drugs carry inherent risks. For children taking medications, this statement is particularly frightening; their bodies are growing while under the influence of harmful substances.

Because of the explosion in ADD and ADHD diagnoses in recent years, the use of medications in children has become a widespread problem. Since the early 1990s, the number of children prescribed Ritalin (Methylphenidate, a stimulant similar to amphetamines) has increased by a factor of five. Ritalin is a Class II controlled and addictive substance. It has not been tested for effectiveness or long-term use in pediatric ADD patients, although many doctors suspect that such stimulants can impact normal brain development and prompt or exacerbate psychiatric conditions.

While effects of long-term use in pediatric patients are debated but still unclear, the following is a list of common, expected side of effects of taking Ritalin in low doses*:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Rash
  • Headache
  • Irregular or rapid heartbeat
  • Suppressed appetite
  • Impairment of voluntary movement

Other medications for ADD and ADHD include non-stimulants such as Strattera or Intuniv. Some patients are prescribed antidepressants. Like any medication, these have their own specific set of symptoms; none of them have been studied for long-term effects in children with ADD/ADHD.

Perhaps the worse news of all about ADD and ADHD medications are that they do nothing to address the underlying cause  of these conditions.


What is the connection between Chiropractic Treatment and ADD/ADHD?

The spine is vulnerable to misalignment and disorder from the very first moment of life. Infants and children may experience spinal injury (and resulting neurological issues) due to modern and traumatic birthing practices; falls from cribs or beds; normal tumbles while learning to walk; and any other trauma.

As experts in neurological disorders, Doctors of Chiropractic get to the root cause of ADD and ADHD by identifying spinal issues which may be affecting normal neurological functioning and development. In particular, misalignments (subluxations) in the neck (cervical spine) have been found to be related to brain stem dysfunction.

When input to the brain is distorted or altered because of subluxations in the spine, output is also compromised. Information from the upper cervical area is an important source of sensory input to the brain. Chiropractic treatment works to correct spinal issues so that the entire central nervous system can perform properly , including the flow of sensory information to and from the brain.


Chiropractic Treatment for Children in Sea Girt, New Jersey

Chiropractic care for children (with or without ADD or ADHD symptoms) is an important element in ensuring proper health during the developmental stages of life. For those living with the symptoms of these conditions, chiropractic care treats the underlying neurological issues that can cause ADD/ADHD. For many children, this means an improvement in functioning without drugs.

Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation provides gentle and safe chiropractic adjustments for children. We use a caring, hands-on, and individualized approach that focuses on providing effective treatment in a comforting environment.


Please contact Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation to learn more about chiropractic care for Attention Deficit Disorder near Sea Girt, NJ. Our jersey shore chiropractic office also provides physical therapy services, acupuncture, and massage therapy.

*Brands, Bruna, Beth Sproule and Joan Marshman (editors). 1998. Drugs & Drug Abuse (3rd edition). Toronto, Ontario: Addiction Research Foundation.