By restoring proper spinal function, chiropractic care may improve brain-body communication and reduce ADHD symptoms.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that people address through a variety of different approaches, including alternative therapies like chiropractic care.

Many people with ADHD are drawn to chiropractic care because it offers a holistic and non-pharmacological approach to managing their symptoms.

Chiropractic care focuses on optimizing spinal function, which may have a positive impact on the nervous system and overall well-being.

Chiropractic care is a widely sought-after approach, with an estimated 35 million Americans, both adults and children, benefiting from it each year.

While many individuals initially seek chiropractic care for neck or back pain, an increasing number are embracing its holistic approach for addressing various conditions, including ADHD.

Older research has found that up to 68% of parents seek alternative treatment for their children’s ADHD, which includes chiropractic care.

Chiropractic care offers complementary care for individuals with ADHD by optimizing the function of the nervous system through spinal adjustments and other manual therapies.

Although there are some anecdotal reports of the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment for ADHD management, there is currently insufficient research to support chiropractic care as an effective treatment option for ADHD.

Current research almost entirely focuses on chiropractic care for children and adolescents with ADHD.

Chiropractic care for children with ADHD

Chiropractic care for children with ADHD is a topic of ongoing discussion and research.

Proponents believe that by restoring proper alignment and function of the spine, chiropractic care can help optimize nervous system function, improve brain-body communication, and alleviate symptoms associated with ADHD.

In a case study involving a 7-year-old girl with ADHD, regular chiropractic care improved her symptoms. The 11-week treatment focused on correcting vertebral subluxation, a misalignment of the spine that can disrupt the proper functioning of the nervous system.

As a result, the child experienced improvements in behavior, mood, and sleep patterns.

A 2010 review examined the effectiveness of chiropractic care for children with ADHD. Four males (ages 9 to 13) received chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy alongside nutritional supplements.

Using a questionnaire completed by parents and teachers, improvements were observed in ADHD symptoms, including hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattentiveness, as well as behavioral, social, and emotional difficulties.

While this small retrospective case series provides encouraging evidence for the effectiveness of chiropractic care in improving ADHD symptoms, further research is needed to understand its benefits and limitations better.

Chiropractic care for ADHD is believed to work by addressing vertebral subluxations, which are spinal misalignments that interfere with nervous system functioning.

It’s believed that correcting these misalignments can help improve communication between the brain, spine, and body, potentially leading to symptom improvement in people with ADHD.

Chiropractors can also provide lifestyle recommendations, like exercise, nutrition, and stress management strategies, to support overall well-being.

The goals of chiropractic care for ADHD may include:

  • reducing muscular and skeletal imbalances that affect brain function
  • enhancing communication between the brain, spine, and body
  • supporting overall nervous system function
  • alleviating symptoms associated with ADHD, like hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention
  • improving quality of life and well-being

How does chiropractic care help improve focus?

Chiropractic care may improve focus in ADHD via the following:

  • enhance communication between the brain and body by addressing spinal misalignments
  • alleviate physical discomfort or tension that can be distracting
  • promote relaxation and stress reduction, which can positively affect concentration
  • potentially influence brain function, including neurotransmitter activity and hormone regulation

There are a few limitations to consider regarding chiropractic care for ADHD:

  • Limited scientific evidence: Anecdotal reports and some case studies suggest positive outcomes, but overall scientific research on the effectiveness of chiropractic care for ADHD is limited, and more rigorous studies are needed.
  • Individual response: Each person with ADHD may respond differently to chiropractic care, and the outcomes can vary. It may work well for some folks, while others may not experience significant improvement.
  • Complementary approach: Chiropractic care is considered a complementary or integrative approach to managing ADHD symptoms rather than a stand-alone treatment. It’s typically used alongside other evidence-based treatments like behavioral therapy, medication, and educational support.

Chiropractic care aims to improve spinal function, enhancing communication between the brain and body, which may help alleviate symptoms of ADHD.

While more research is needed to fully understand its effectiveness, a growing body of evidence suggests that chiropractic interventions, like spinal manipulative therapy, may provide positive improvements in ADHD symptoms.

By addressing potential underlying imbalances and promoting overall well-being, chiropractic care holds promise in enhancing the quality of life for individuals with ADHD.