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Chiropractic Research

Can Chiropractic Help ADHD?

ADHD, also known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a chronic condition that includes attention difficulty, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. It often begins in childhood and can persist into adulthood. It is very common, with nearly 3 million cases diagnosed in the United States per year. If left untreated, it can contribute to low self-esteem, troubled relationships, and difficulty at school or work.

What causes ADHD?

The cause of ADHD is unknown, but current research shows that genetics play an important role. Additionally, scientists are studying other causes and risk factors that include:

  • Brain injury
  • Exposure to environmental risks during pregnancy or at a young age
  • Alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy
  • Premature delivery
  • Low birth weight

Signs and symptoms

Although many children have trouble focusing and behaving from time to time, children with ADHD do not grow out of these behaviors. Some signs and symptoms of ADHD include:

  • Frequent daydreaming
  • Forgetfulness
  • Constant squirming or fidgeting
  • Talking too much
  • Taking unnecessary risks
  • Trouble getting along with others

How is ADHD treated?

The most common treatment methods for ADHD are behavioral therapy and medication. Parental training is also particularly important for managing a child who has ADHD.

Prior to starting medication, it is recommended that parents implement lifestyle changes to help their child. Some of these include:

  • Developing healthy eating habits
  • Participating in daily physical activities
  • Limiting screen time (TV, computer, phones, and other electronics)
  • Getting ample rest
If implementing lifestyle changes is not enough, doctors will often prescribe medication to combat the symptoms of ADHD.

Chiropractic for treating ADHD

Chiropractic for ADHD is an often-overlooked treatment method, although it’s been proven through scientific research to greatly reduce ADHD’s symptoms and provide long-lasting results. 

Chiropractic focuses on the correction of subluxations, or areas within the spine that cause a disconnect in signaling from the brain to body. Under consistent chiropractic care, the nervous system’s function improves by increasing it’s ability to adapt or process external stimuli. This results in better focus, less impulsivity, and improved behavior.

Case studies showing positive changes in ADHD after chiropractic care are becoming more and more abundant, as scientists are looking for alternative treatment methods to help ADHD. Although chiropractic is not a treatment for any specific disease, it is designed to maximize your body’s functional abilities. Many patients who undergo chiropractic treatment for ADHD have been able to reduce or stop taking medications prescribed by their doctor.

can chiropractic help adhd

Research supporting the treatment of ADHD with chiropractic

“Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care For A Nine-Year-Old Male With Tourette Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Depression, Asthma, Insomnia, and Headaches,” is a case report by Erin L. Elster that describes a child who was diagnosed with multiple conditions at the age of 6. Forceps were used during his delivery. His medications included Albuterol, Depakote, Wellbutrin, and Adderall.

Chiropractic analysis revealed subluxation existed in the patient. Chiropractic care using an upper cervical technique corrected and stabilized the patient’s subluxation. After 6 weeks of care, all conditions were no longer present and all medications were discontinued with the exception of a half-dose of Wellbutrin.  

At the conclusion of his case after 5 months of chiropractic care, all symptoms remained absent. The response to care suggests a link between the patient’s traumatic birth, the upper cervical subluxation, and his neurological conditions.

Another study supporting chiropractic care for the treatment of ADHD is, “Noah’s Story,” by Leisman N. (Kentuckiana Children’s Center) that was published in the Int’l Chiropractic Assn. Review.

Noah was a 10 year old boy that suffered from chronic congestion, possible allergies, and “high energy and activity levels.” He had previously been prescribed Ritalin, but it was discontinued as it affected his ability to think, learn, and organize information.

Chiropractic analysis revealed vertebral subluxations in Noah’s spine. He was also found to have high levels of aluminum and lead in his system.

Noah underwent chiropractic treatment, nutritional supplementation, and dietary recommendations. After treatment, his chronic congestion was resolved. Additionally, his activity level decreased in intensity and his focus improved.

“Adjusting the hyperactivity/ADD pediatric patient,” is a study by Peet JB that details the case of an 8 year old boy who was diagnosed with ADD and hyperactivity. Since kindergarten, the child had been on Ritalin, Prozac, and behavioral modification. 

The child underwent chiropractic care and by his second adjustment his mother noted that he could sit still longer. After 3 weeks of chiropractic care, all medication was removed. After 6 weeks of care, the school noted improvement in his cognitive skills, task concentration, ability to control emotions, and decreased aggressiveness.

How long does it take to see results?

Patients have reportedly experienced improvement in as little as one visit, although a treatment plan involving continued chiropractic adjustments is recommended. Everyone’s situation is different, which is why it’s necessary to receive a comprehensive chiropractic evaluation to assess your child’s needs. 


If your child is suffering from ADHD, chiropractic is a proven treatment method that’s all natural and maximizes your child’s ability to function.

We invite you to schedule an appointment with our chiropractic office to receive a comprehensive consultation where one of our doctors can assess your child’s situation, properly diagnose the issue, and recommend a treatment plan to help reduce your child’s ADHD symptoms and experience long-term remission.