Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is most common in children. Studies have found that approximately 3 to 7 percent of all U.S. school-age children suffer from some form of ADHD. Furthermore, approximately 70 percent of these children will continue to show symptoms in adolescence, and 50 percent will still have some degree of ADHD as adults. Boys are three times more likely to have some form of ADHD than are girls. It is important to get a child properly diagnosed with ADHD as soon as possible, because the disorder will affect his or her schoolwork and ability to make friends. Later in life, it may cause difficulties in the workplace and in relationships.
What Are the Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments for ADHD?
The precise cause of ADHD is still not known. However, researchers believe that it may be linked to brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. For people with ADHD, these neurotransmitters are less active in the parts of the brain that control attention. Researchers also think ADHD may be genetic, as well as related to fetal exposure to cigarette smoke and alcohol.
Symptoms of ADHD can vary, but will often include: forgetfulness, inability to pay attention, difficulty sharing with others, poor time-management skills, and being easily bored. Some research has shown a distinct difference in childhood ADHD symptoms between boys and girls. Boys are more prone to hyperactivity and impulsiveness, while girls are more prone to forgetfulness and distractibility. There is even speculation that the reason ADHD appears more often in boys is that their behavior will garner more attention, so they are more likely to get an ADHD diagnosis.
The usual recommended treatment involves behavioral therapy and medication. Some ADHD medications are actually stimulants, which may seem counter-intuitive. However, they work by stimulating neurotransmitter production. However, they can cause mood changes and, in some cases, suicidal thoughts. Other risks include heart attack or stroke. Nonstimulant ADHD medications carry the risk of drowsiness, low blood pressure, decreased appetite, or dizziness.
How Can Chiropractic Adjustments Treat ADHD?
One of the basic tenants of chiropractic care is that many chronic illnesses stem from the spine being out of proper alignment. If the spine is out of alignment, it can cause stress and tension in the joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles, all of which can be considered the root cause of chronic illness. A spinal adjustment will shift the spine back into proper place, which will then cause the body to release tension. In the case of ADHD, it will lead to proper posture and motor skills, which are two of the basic functions of the brain. Some studies with children have shown that proper posture leads to proper motor development, which allows the brain to properly balance out development in the various parts of the brain, including those responsible for attention span and impulse control.
Because it is so vital to diagnose and treat ADHD as early as possible, Dr. Nathen Horst recommends regular spinal adjustments, even for children, along with changes in diet and behavior. Chiropractic care is a safe way to help children and adults with ADHD manage their symptoms to lead more fulfilling lives.
Contact Horst Chiropractic to schedule a consultation.