ADHD/ADD and Chiropractic

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral developmental disorder defined as a “persistent pattern of inattention or hyperactivity/impulsivity”. It is diagnosed twice as frequently in boys as in girls, though it’s not yet understood why.

ADHD used to be known as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) In 1994, it was renamed ADHD.

It is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder in children, affecting about 3 to 5% of children globally with symptoms starting before seven years of age. 30 to 50% of those individuals diagnosed in childhood continue to have symptoms in adulthood.

Common Symptoms

The classic signs that parents and teachers notice:

  • Inattention, hyperactivity and being easily distracted
  • Inability to control impulsive thoughts and behaviors
  • Always moving – fingers, hands, arms, feet or legs; always ‘on the go’
  • Procrastination, especially with tasks/activities that require concentration or extended amounts of time to complete
  • Inability to stay focused in conversations; frequent shifts from one topic to the next when speaking
  • Often has difficulty keeping emotions in check – prone to angry outbursts, tantrums

In children, these characteristics don’t often become noticeable until the child is in a school setting. With ADHD adults, these symptoms often become more apparent in work-related or social situations.


No single cause of ADHD has been identified, all though studies have shown that many kids with ADHD have a close relative who also has the disorder. Also other risk factors linked to ADHD include; smoking during pregnancy, premature delivery, very low birth weight and injuries to the brain at birth.

However we do know that ADHD is caused by changes in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These chemicals help send messages between nerve cells in the brain. The neurotransmitter dopamine for example, stimulates the brain’s attention centers. Therefore a person with low amounts of this chemical, or *subluxations may show symptoms of ADHD.

What can Chiropractic do for a child with ADHD?


Your child has been diagnosed with ADHD. . . . So now what? Ritalin? Adderall? Concerta? Some other type of drug to control symptoms, that has just as worrying side effects as the disorder it’s treating?

That is, of course, the usual ADHD treatment. But what about a natural, drug-free alternative? Is there even such a thing?

Chiropractic Care is your answer! By definition ADHD is a neurologically based disorder and should therefore be treated by experts in functional neurological disorders- doctors of Chiropractic. (Chiropractors work in reducing and removing nervous system disturbances, therefore optimizing the function of the nervous system allowing the brain and body to be in better communication with each other.) Many parents are now turning to Chiropractic care for natural, drug-free approach that actually treats the underlying cause of ADHD not just suppress the symptoms as medications does.

Chiropractic and ADHD have a long history together – for decades clinical case studies have reported on the effectiveness of Chiropractic care for children with many kinds of neurological conditions including learning disorders, hyperactivity, dyslexia, inability to concentrate and behavioral problems.

When children with ADHD are adjusted regularly many of their symptoms will reduce in frequency and severity. Chiropractic adjustments help to optimize the function of the nervous system and allow the brain and body to be better able to communicate with each other.

Drugs, such as Addarall and Ritalin with unknown long-term side effects
or chiropractic care? Doesn’t seem like much of a decision now, does it?

>*Subluxation; a subluxation is the result of spinal bones with improper motion or position affecting nerve communications between your brain and your body.

Resource: Hodgson, N. & Vaden C. (2014) Improvement in Signs and Symptoms of ADHD and Functional Outcomes in Four Children Receiving Torque Release Chiropractic: A Case Series. Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, 2014(14), 55-79.