Children with ADD and ADHD Benefit from Chiropractic Care in Monmouth County New Jersey

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a neurobehavioral developmental disorder. It is diagnosed when a child exhibits an inadequate or shortened attention span and/or impulsive behaviors that are inappropriate to the child’s age. When children also display hyperactive behavior, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is identified. The common occurrence of hyperactivity is such that ADD is often simply recognized as ADHD.

While controversy surrounds the actual incidence of these two disorders, it is estimated that ADD and ADHD affect between five and ten percent of kids. Boys are diagnosed ten times more often than girls. Symptoms of these conditions may be identified before the age of four, and a diagnosis is almost always made before seven years of age.

Signs and Symptoms

Possible signs of ADD are:

• Difficulty sustaining attention

• An inability to follow instructions or finish tasks

• Failing to notice or pay attention to details

• Avoidance of tasks that require mental effort

• Often misplacing items

• Becoming distracted easily by stimuli unrelated to the task at hand

• Forgetfulness

Hyperactivity (ADHD) manifests in the following ways:

• Fidgeting or squirming

• Running around or climbing excessively

• Inability to sit in one place for any length of time

• Talking excessively or a failure to play quietly

A diagnosis is based on the number of symptoms present, as well as the frequency and severity. These behaviors must also be present in two separate environments (home and school, for example) in order for ADD or ADHD to be considered for a diagnosis.

Chiropractic and ADD/ADHD

Doctors of chiropractic are experts in functional neurological disorders; it makes sense to treat ADD and ADHD, which are neurologically based disorders, with chiropractic. Chiropractic care addresses the underlying cause of ADD and ADHD by identifying and eliminating subluxations (spinal misalignments) that lead to neurological dysfunction.
The symptoms related to these conditions (such as hyperactivity or impulsivity) indicate a disturbance in brain stem function. The correlation between brain stem function and chiropractic is interesting because subluxations in the upper cervical (neck) area may be at the root of brain stem dysfunction.

Input from the upper cervical area is required by the brain stem before neurological functions can be performed. If the quality of the input to the brain is altered (because of subluxations in the upper cervical area) the output from the brain stem will also be distorted. It’s important to note that information from the upper cervical area is the most important spine-related source of sensory input to the brain stem.

From the moment of birth, children are vulnerable to subluxations in the upper neck area as well as anywhere else in the spine. With traumatic birthing practices (including an increase in caesarean sections), falls from beds or cribs, tumbling while learning to walk, or any other damaging experience, babies and children can develop spinal and neurological issues. Chiropractic works to resolve these problems.

Medication and Children

The use of medications in children has exploded in recent decades, mostly due to the high prevalence of ADD and ADHD diagnoses. Methylphenidate (Ritalin) is a nervous system stimulant and the most commonly prescribed drug for children with ADHD. Since the early 1990s, the number of prescriptions written for methylphenidate has increased by a factor of five. The production of Adderall and Dexedrine, also quite commonly given to children, has also risen.

There are many concerns surrounding the use of Class II controlled substances in children. Some of these drugs, including Ritalin, have not been tested for the safety or effectiveness of long term use in pediatric patients. Another major concern is the possibility of addiction; high doses over a period of time have been shown to produce dependence. It is possible to develop a tolerance to the drug, so that higher doses are necessary to produce the original effect.

Common side effects of Ritalin can include insomnia, nervousness, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, weight loss, and abnormally fast heart beat. Even worse, this drug does nothing to address the underlying neurological issues associated with ADD or ADHD.

Treatment for Children at Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation

Every child living with subluxations requires chiropractic care, regardless of whether or not they are experiencing symptoms. It is the first step in putting a child on a lifelong path to wellness.

For children with ADD or ADHD, it is important to treat the underlying neurological problems associated with these disorders. By correcting nerve interference caused by subluxations, functioning can be improved and drug therapies terminated.

Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation offers safe, gentle, and effective chiropractic treatment for children. Using a practice known as Chiropractic Biophysics (CBP), we focus on total spinal alignment for the best possible health during a child’s formative years and beyond. Our staff has been carefully selected for both skill and attitude; we have created an atmosphere that is free of stress and friendly to children.

Please call Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation for a free consultation to learn more about chiropractic care for children with Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.