When a child gets the diagnosis of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, the most common response is to medicate. As with any prescription medication, there are risks, and with stimulant medications, the side effects can include sleep problems, decreased appetite, delayed growth, headaches and stomach aches, tics, and moodiness and irritability.
I believe the most important consideration when facing any health challenge is to weigh carefully the risks to the benefits, and this works best when all options are considered.
Did you know that research shows chiropractic care can help children cope better with ADHD? One study looked at 24 ADHD children, half of whom received chiropractic care as their only treatment. Those that received chiropractic care experienced a decrease in hyperactivity and improved attentiveness, as well as improvements in both gross & fine motor coordination.
The medicated children also experienced initial improvements in level of hyperactivity and attentiveness, but these improvements decreased over time, requiring higher dosages of drugs to maintain them. There also were no improvements in gross or fine motor coordination in the medicated group.
Over half of the children receiving drugs demonstrated undesirable changes in personality, loss of appetite, and insomnia.
In a 2nd study, 1989, 7 children received chiropractic adjustments and 7 others received placebo care. 5 of the 7 children who were adjusted showed improvement in their levels of hyperactivity. Only 2 of the placebo showed similar improvement.
Brzozowske, W.T., and E.V. Walton.1980. The effect of chiropractic treatment on students with learning and behavioral impairments resulting from neurological dysfunction (parts 1 and 2). Journal of Australian Chiropractic Association 11(7):13-18 and (8):11-17.
Giesen, J.M., D.B., Center, and R.A. Leach. 1989. An evaluation of chiropractic manipulation as a treatment of hyperactivity in children. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 12:353-63.