Today Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects up to 11% of children. Difficulty concentrating, behavioral struggles, poor academic performance, and emotional outbursts have led to many children depending on psychiatric drugs to navigate school and their relationships—despite the risks and side effects.
While there isn’t an outright cure for ADHD, there are holistic and natural ways to treat, manage, and alleviate many of the symptoms of this frustrating and limiting condition. Let’s look at how chiropractic care can support a child with ADHD.
Can Going to a Chiropractor Help ADHD?
Chiropractic care approaches your child’s body as a whole. It is unique in that it goes further than asking, “What symptoms does your child exhibit?” Instead, it asks the question, “Why?” Here are the ways that chiropractic care supports children with ADHD.
Through careful manipulation, your chiropractor will perform adjustments to correct any misalignments of the vertebrae in your child’s spine. Even the smallest misalignment puts pressure on the surrounding nerves and prevents the brain from sending and receiving signals accurately. Spinal manipulation has been shown to improve ADHD children’s emotional and intellectual functioning.
Soft Tissue Therapy
Your chiropractor will identify any areas of tension or limited movement around your child’s spine (especially in the neck area, close to the brain). They will use manual therapy and specific stretches to increase circulation and restore full range of movement and balance in your child’s body. Along with spinal manipulation, soft tissue therapy supports the functioning of the nervous system.
Did you know that certain physical movements target different areas of your child’s brain? Through specific exercises, your child can build new neural pathways that stimulate mental activity in parts of the brain that might not function as they should. This brain-based model of care, which is still being studied, holds amazing promise for children with ADHD—and other behavioral and learning difficulties!
What Else You Should Know
For the best results as you learn to manage your child’s ADHD holistically, consider their entire lifestyle. What they eat, how they sleep, and their daily activities (including stress) play a major role in their ability to process information and meet expectations—socially and academically.
The best diet for a child with ADHD is a high-protein and anti-inflammatory diet. You’ll want to include as much nutrition as you can while limiting sugar, caffeine and processed foods. Adding vitamins and a polyunsaturated fatty acid supplement is also recommended. While changing kids’ diets isn’t easy to do, taking small steps towards healthier eating will definitely pay off in the long run!
Be sure your child is getting enough sleep so their brain and body can rest, “file” new information effectively, and face each day with energy and confidence. Children should sleep between 9-12 hours at night. But ADHD children often struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep. Limited screen time, a predictable bedtime routine, a weighted blanket, white noise and other tools can help.
Exercise holds so many benefits for everyone, but for children with ADHD it is especially helpful in reducing stress, building core muscle strength—and alleviating symptoms! Besides the specific exercises recommended by your chiropractor, encourage your child to engage in aerobic exercise and move their body as much as possible.
There’s a lot more to discover about chiropractic care for ADHD, but the evidence is encouraging. Contact Integrated Health, your local chiropractor in Atlanta, GA, to learn how chiropractic treatment can reduce or eliminate the need for psychiatric drugs and boost your child’s social well-being and learning ability. Let us help you turn ADHD into a bridge rather than a barrier for your child!