Chiropractic care has been proven to be beneficial in treating a wide range of different medical conditions. It surprises many patients to discover that it can be successfully used in helping to combat neurological conditions as well as physical ones. This includes three fairly common issues – sensory processing disorder, ADD and ADHD. These conditions can be difficult to manage, and many parents will have tried a wide range of therapies to try and help their children. These parents are often anxious, seeking answers, hope, and help. Chiropractic care could be a solution.
Sensory Processing Disorder, or SPD for short, is a condition in which the brain has difficulty receiving and managing the information that it receives via the patient’s various senses – touch, taste, sound, sight, and smell. As a result, the response that the patient exhibits to these sensory stimuli can be very different from that which would be expected from someone who doesn’t have the condition.
Sensory processing disorder may not be that well known, but it still estimated to affect between 5 and 16% of school-aged children and can impact them so significantly that it affects their learning as well as their day to day lives. There are also believed to be many more adults living with the condition who are undiagnosed since they don’t realize that there is a name for the symptoms that they are experiencing.
Patients with SPD may find it difficult to adapt to changing environments and this can, in turn, cause them to experience high levels of stress when they can’t regulate their sensory responses. As a result, they may cover their ears/eyes, refuse food/drink or actively avoid certain situations.
Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADD, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, are two of the most commonly diagnosed neurological conditions affecting children of school age and into adulthood. Sometimes their names are used interchangeably since both conditions exhibit primarily the same symptoms, with the only difference being that those patients diagnosed with ADHD have a hyperactivity element to their behavior which can make their condition even more challenging.
Males are almost three times as likely to be diagnosed with ADD/ADHD than females, and at the current time, estimates suggest that around 6.5 million children have been diagnosed with these conditions, and that number is set to rise over the coming decade. Some of the difficulties faced by patients with ADD/ADHD include the following:
- A constant need to move/fidget (ADHD) for example may run everywhere rather than walk or may not be able to sit still for a film and may squirm and fidget
- Unable to maintain concentration on one task at a time for long/at all
- Lack of focus in conversations
- Becomes distracted easily
- Has a low threshold to change/tradition, such as a new teacher or classroom (also the case in SPD)
- Trouble connecting the dots between different elements, for example, changes in conversation or school tasks
- May not finish exam papers or may rush through them without being thorough and checking answers
-Takes comments literally and doesn’t understand subtle changes in language/communication
- Struggles to interpret body language
Unsurprisingly, conditions such as ADD/ADHD can be challenging for both children and their parents, and getting the right support in place is essential to ensure that your child has the opportunity to fulfill their potential at school, whilst also managing their condition at home so that your home is a safe, calm and comfortable environment for them.
Chiropractic care does not suit every child with SPD, particularly those who are hypersensitive to touch and therefore shy away from contact. However, studies have shown that many sufferers of SPD, as well as ADD and ADHD, can benefit from regular chiropractic treatments. There are several reasons for this.
Subluxations, which are described as being incomplete or partial dislocations of joints, are believed to be a contributing factor in neurological conditions like SPD, ADD and ADHD. This is because the compression and irritation of these joints can scramble the neurological feedback loop by altering the rhythm with which messages are passed between the brain and body. Experts believe that in patients with these conditions, a subluxation received at birth may be responsible. The most vulnerable area of the newborn is the upper cervical spine, located in the neck. This is also where the brain stem ties into the top of the spinal cord. Any sort of trauma experienced during birth, even something like a forceps delivery, can cause subtle damage to this area and create a subluxation.
Chiropractic spinal adjustments are carried out with the goal of eliminating subluxations so that there is reduced pressure on the nerves, easing the flow of communication and signals between them. It is important to be aware that there is no cure for these conditions, but that treatments such as chiropractic adjustments can make it easier for patients to manage the effects that impact on their day to day lives.
If you have witnessed the stress that conditions such as SPD, ADD and ADHD are having on your child’s life and are looking for help to overcome the challenges that they face, our chiropractic team would be delighted to help. Contact us to schedule an evaluation to see who chiropractic care can help today.