In the past decade, prescriptions for Ritalin, a stimulant medication commonly used for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), increased five-fold, with 90 percent of all prescriptions worldwide consumed in the United States. As many parents grow leery of the traditional medical approach to ADHD, doctors of chiropractic are offering promising results with non-drug treatments that focus on correcting postural muscles/biomechanics, nutrition and lifestyle changes that affect brain activity.
The traditional medical model, however, seems to follow the cookie-cutter principle. The diagnosis of ADHD is based on a questionnaire. But this is not enough, says Dr. Robert Melillo, a chiropractic neurologist. “True ADHD patients have other signs — tics, tremors, balance or postural problems, or unusual sensitivity to touch, movement, sights, or sounds.” Unfortunately, although medications can keep ADHD under control, they don’t cure it. Eighty percent of patients have ADHD features in adolescence, and up to 65 percent maintain them in adulthood.
Doctors of chiropractic and chiropractic neurologists offer a non-drug and non-invasive treatment alternative for ADHD patients that targets the underlying problems, not just symptoms. “Motor activity—especially development of the postural muscles—is the baseline function of brain activity. Anything affecting postural muscles will influence brain development. Musculoskeletal imbalance will create imbalance of brain activity, and one part of the brain will develop faster than the other, and that’s what’s happening in ADHD patients,” says Dr. Melillo.
When the problem is identified, patients are placed on a treatment program—and most of the therapies can be done at home. While chiropractors have found success in treating ADHD and learning disabilities by providing the necessary brain stimulation, they also recommend nutrition and lifestyle changes that may help correct or prevent biochemical imbalances that cause ADHD. Parents are encouraged to:
- Remove as many food dyes, sugar, preservatives, and additives from the diet as possible.
- Focus on natural, mostly organic foods with as few pesticides or herbicides as possible.
- Determine if there is an allergy—usually starting with dairy and gluten and try elimination diets.
- Stop using pesticide sprays in the house.
- Avoid taking medications, nicotine, alcohol, and other drugs in pregnancy that may harm the fetus.
- Breastfeed. The first months and years of a child’s life are critical to physical and psychological development. Breastfeeding mothers’ diets are important as well.
Chiropractic Care Can Help…
If you or your loved one is diagnosed with ADHD or has the symptoms, contact us at West Chiropractic how we can help schedule a Free Consultation for someone you may know.
To learn more visit us online at www.westendchiromn.com or call us today at (952) 500-8477