The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on June 11, 2018, showing chiropractic facilitating the resolution of adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The study begins by reports that ADHD is one of the most common psychological disorders in children. The study also notes that ADHD cannot be diagnosed in an adult because the diagnostic reference book used to classify metal illnesses, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5), which states that ADHD must be diagnosed before the age of 12 for it to be considered a true state of the disorder.
It is estimated that between 5% and 8% of children in the U.S have ADHD. The condition is more common in girls than boys. As children develop into adults, many seem to outgrow the symptoms of ADHD. However, estimates are that 40-70% of children will continue to experience symptoms of ADHD as adults. Accordingly, between 3-6% of the adult population is estimated to have adult ADHD. According to WebMD, every adult who is considered to have ADHD had the condition as a child but may not have been diagnosed with it.
Adults with ADHD tend to have more instability at work, higher rates of incarceration, lower socioeconomic status, high rates of divorce as well as more frequent job changes, and more minor violations such as speeding tickets.
In this case, a 38-year-old man presented himself to the chiropractor. The man was suffering with a variety of conditions including adult-onset attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, constant headaches, incapacitating low back pain, numbness in the back and sciatica in his left leg. He described his conditions as excruciating and constant, interfering with his daily activities. He was taking several medications including one for his ADHD for the past 13 years. Even though the criteria for diagnosis of adult ADHD does not exist, his MD diagnosed him with the condition at the age of 23.
A chiropractic examination noted muscle spasms over much of his spine, reduced ranges of motion, and postural abnormalities. A heat reading thermal scan showed significant abnormal variations in surface temperature over his spine.
Based upon the findings of the examination, it was determined that subluxations were present and specific chiropractic spinal adjustments were started. Using a scale of 1 to 100 to rate the patient’s pain, the initial pain rating before chiropractic was 60 out of 100, with 100 being the worst. After chiropractic care was started, the pain rating had dropped to 36 out of 100. After one month of care, the man’s spinal range of motion had shown significant improvement. There was also a notable decrease in his muscle spasms.
Within a month of beginning chiropractic care, the man reported that he had met his goals of being able to focus and exercise. He reported an 80% improvement of his symptoms. After two months of chiropractic, he had discontinued all his ADHD medication. He commented that he felt more focused and energized than he had ever felt before.
In the authors’ conclusion they wrote, “Patients suffering from ADHD are highly effected by the symptoms that manifest, interrupting their ability to function in any setting. If the removal of vertebral subluxation complexes can be correlated to a reduction or resolution in symptoms, chiropractic could greatly improve the quality of life for ADHD patients.”