The Chiropractic Care of Children with Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Retrospective Case Series


The Chiropractic Care of Children with Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Retrospective Case Series

Joel Alcantara, James Davis

International Chiropractic Pediatric Association,
327 N. Middletown Road,
Media, PA 19063, USA.

BACKGROUND:   Characterized with hyperactivity, inattention and impulsivity, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has a prevalence in children, ranging from 2.6% to 11.4%. The medical approach is multimodal, with combination therapies of behavioral modification and pharmacotherapy. With growing concerns regarding the safety of both short-term and long-term use of psychotropic medications, the need for investigating alternative approaches to the care of children is warranted.

OBJECTIVE:   The aim of this review was to describe the chiropractic care of children with medically diagnosed ADHD.

DESIGN:   Retrospective case series were reviewed.

SETTING:   The review was conducted in a private practice of chiropractic with a solo practitioner.

PATIENTS/PARTICIPANTS:   Pediatric patients (aged < or =18 years) attending chiropractic care for a minimum period of five months following a medical diagnosis of ADHD were included in this review.

INTERVENTION:   The intervention was chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy augmented by nutritional supplements.

RESULTS:   Our review found four patient files satisfying the inclusion criteria. All patients were males, ranging in age from nine to 13 years (mean age, 10 years), with three patients having a history of medication use and two patients having prescribed medication at the start of chiropractic care. Using a 15-item parent/teacher ADHD questionnaire, the patients’ responses to chiropractic care were monitored. Using the Friedman test to compare observations repeated on the same subjects, our findings found improvement in ADHD symptoms (ie, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattentiveness, as well as behavioral, social, or emotional difficulties) and provide supporting evidence on the effectiveness of chiropractic in the treatment of children with ADHD.

CONCLUSION:   A retrospective case series of ADHD patients under chiropractic care is described. This provides supporting evidence on the benefits of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy. We encourage further research in this area.