ADHD and Chiropractic Care?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a controversial diagnosis, as there are no clear objective clinical tests that can establish whether or not a patient has the condition. ADHD belongs to a spectrum of neurological disorders with no physiological basis (no clear lab tests exist) and often include other conditions such as learning disabilities, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or Tourette’s syndrome. Early-onset mania or bipolar mixed state can be difficult to differentiate from ADHD or they may co-exist with ADHD.

To complicate matters with regard to diagnosing ADHD, some kids may simply be at the high-end of the normal range of activity or have difficult temperaments. Poor attention may be caused by altered vision or hearing, seizures, head trauma, acute or chronic illness, poor nutrition, insufficient sleep, anxiety disorders, depression, and/or the result of abuse or neglect. Various drugs (such as phenobarbital) may interfere with attention ADHDas well.

Since the 1990s, the number of prescriptions to treat ADHD has skyrocketed 700%, possibly due to the increased awareness of the symptoms associated with ADHD and/or an increase in the diagnoses for ADHD, often demanded by frustrated teachers and/or parents. The classic medical model has embraced the use of Ritalin (methylphenidate) to treat ADHD. For parents who would like to explore other avenues of treatment, what can Chiropractic offer?

In a recent study involving 28 children aged 5-15 years with a primary diagnosis of ADHD, investigators randomly assigned 14 participants to a spinal manipulation (SM) group with conventional care and the other 14 to a control group (conventional care only). The researchers found the patients in the SM group experienced better outcomes based on several assessments and that a larger scale study would be necessary to verify their findings.

Nutrition may also have a role to play in the management of ADHD. In a 2015 study, researchers provided Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (a probiotic) to infants at six months of age and then followed them for the next 13 years. At age 13, six of the children in a placebo group had been diagnosed with either ADHD or Asperger syndrome while none of the kids in the probiotic group had been affected by either condition. The researchers concluded that probiotic use early in life may reduce the risk of neuropsychiatric disorder development later in childhood.

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What Exercises Are Best for Neck Pain?

Past research has demonstrated that combining spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) with exercise yields the best long-term results for individuals with neck pain. So what neckpain-e1464705188848exercises should we consider when neck pain rears its ugly head?

In the acute phase of an injury, rest and ice may be appropriate, but patients will often benefit from lightly applied isometric exercises. Place your hand against the side of your head and lightly push your head into your hand for a count of five seconds. If tolerated, tip your head sideways five to ten degrees and repeat the process. This can be repeated multiple times at progressively greater angles until you’ve accessed your full range of motion (ROM).

The above isometric exercise can be repeated in the opposite direction as well as forwards, backwards, and into left and right rotation directions. The KEY is to always stay within reasonable pain boundaries—no sharp/”bad” pain allowed!

You can then move on to isotonic neck exercises. Using the same amount of light pressure, gently push your head into your hand as you did before, but this time, allow the head to move slowly toward the shoulder against the pressure of the hand. This too can be repeated on the opposite side, forwards, backwards, and into left and right rotation.

Using only one or two fingers rather than the whole hand helps to prevent you from pushing too hard with your hand or head when performing isometrics or isotonic exercises. Also, the same movements of the head can be done without any hand/finger resistance, but faster results seem to occur when pressure is applied.

Studies also show that weakness of the deep neck flexor muscles is

very common in people with chronic (more than three months) neck pain. These are deep, involuntary muscles, so to properly strengthen them, look straight ahead, tuck in your chin as far as you can, hold for five to ten seconds, and repeat five to ten times.

Beyond treatment options for neck pain such as spinal manipulation, mobilization, and exercise, your doctor of chiropractic may utilize soft tissue therapies such as myofascial release, active release technique, as well as various physical therapy modalities, ergonomic modifications, and more in the effort to help you get out of pain and return to your normal activities.

Chiropractic Care… Safe and Cost Effective

“Ever since I was in my early teens, I’ve had muscle and joint problems that would come and go but never put me down where I couldn’t function. I was very active and played basketball, tennis, and ran in track but over the last 10 years I’ve avoided a lot of activity due to my problems. Now, after having a couple of children and gaining some weight, I notice more frequent and intense back problems and I’m getting quite concerned over the changes that have been taking place and afraid to do things. I talked about this with my family and friends and some have recommended chiropractic, some recommend physical therapy, others suggest medication and one even suggested shots! Quite frankly, I’m totally confused as to what to do!”

This scenario may sound familiar to many people.

lower-back-pain-s1-factsThe choice of health care provision is a personal one, often influenced by those around you – family, friends, teachers, and more!

It seems like everyone is an “expert” with different opinions and their advice, often conflicting, can lead to confusion about what is best for you.

There are many ways to approach back trouble, regardless of the diagnosis or condition.

First, all health care providers are biased in that they naturally focus on their specialty. If you choose to consult with a surgeon, s/he will look at your condition from a surgical perspective. Various surgical options may be discussed, tests are usually recommended and the process begins.

When consulting with a family physician, the typical approach is pharmaceutical or drugs such as anti-inflammatory medications (Advil, Nuprin, Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Aleve, Tylenol, etc.), heat or ice, activity modifications (possibly rest or mild/moderate activity), and possibly referral for chiropractic or physical therapy.

In reviewing the various guidelines, it is recommended to start with the least invasive, safest, most cost effective approaches first.

Unless “red flags” like cancer, fracture, infection or progressive severe neurological losses are present, surgery is not a logical initial approach.

Chiropractic has been recommended as a first or initial choice as it has been found to be safe, highly satisfying, non-invasive, and cost effective.

The typical approach includes a thorough history, an examination that includes an analysis of posture, motion, function and includes the whole body.

For example, if one leg is short, the pelvis will tilt and spine is often crooked. That needs to be corrected for both long and short term results.

If the feet pronate and the arches are flat, the effects on gait/walking on the ankle, knee, hip and back can lead to trouble or perpetuate current problems.

Deconditioning or, being out of shape is an important aspect included in the chiropractic management process.

If these methods fail to bring about satisfying results, referral for more invasive approaches will be considered.

Ask the Doctor: I have been feeling great since I started chiropractic but… is chiropractic appropriate for children?

I’m glad you ask, because this is a very common question amongst patients. When a patient sees me working with a small child, they often ask me, “Is Chiropractic Important for Children?” A patient usually finds my office because they were in pain or were referred. Since most patients typically only come in when the need arises, it seems a foreign concept that children would be adjusted… so as to prevent future problems.

The spine and your child

   Every child needs a healthy spine column because it’s the framework that will support your child during the years their body develops and grows. Children today are also more active than ever before with: swim lessons; soccer; clubs and leagues, etc., keeping our little ones constantly on the go, and increasing the wear and tear on their bodies.

Chiropractic and new born infant?

   Childbirth is traumatic to the infant body!  Robert Mendelsohn, M.D. author of Confessions of a Medical Heretic writes that babies born in the hospital are…

6x’s more likely to suffer distress during labor and delivery

8x’s more likely to get caught in the birth canal

4x’s more likely to need resuscitation

4x’s more likely to become infected

30x’s more likely to be permanently injured

In a German medical journal it was found that of the reported infant problems, 95% of these children had some sort of spinal problem. Chiropractors who treat children can tell you that “sickly” children become healthy children after being adjusted. This is a regular experience for most of us. This is the reason every chiropractor adjusts their own children.

The gift of a strong beginning

   One of the greatest gifts you can give to your child is the gift of a strong beginning. If you’ve never considered the role chiropractic might play in the lives of your children, please consider it. The next time you come for an appointment, why not bring your child and I can quickly evaluate the possible benefits. If you have any other questions, please contact my office. We’re here to help!

Ask the Doctor: “My co-worker complains about constant headaches. Does chiropractic work for migraines?”

The answer is: Yes! Chiropractic is actually one of the most effective solutions for Headaches. It is a common myth that headache pain comes only from stress. Many people wonder how headaches occur. Headaches are caused from a blockage in the neck or spine. In the same way that back pain can be caused from a blockage in the spine!

Picture a congested expressway. When you are under stressful situations your heart rate increases and other vital signs increase. This causes a “traffic jam” on the expressway.

When there are problems with the spine and vital signs increase due to stress – which in combination block the body’s ability to cope with the situation adequately – that is when you get a headache. A headache is your body trying to tell you that there is a blockage somewhere in the neck or spine.

This makes perfect sense if you think about it. Your body is trying to tell you what’s wrong and showing the pathway to fixing it!  The next time you or someone you know experiences a headache; remember that it is your body’s way of letting you know that it’s time to remove the blockage!

What if someone you love has been suffering headaches? If they have had frequent headaches occurring 2 or more times weekly, you should seek an appointment with a chiropractor as soon as possible before the problem progresses. We’re here to help… just give us a call at (309) 692-6800 and we’ll take it from there!!