Objectives: To present the case of a 7-year-old female previously diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and the improvement and management of symptoms under regular chiropractic care, including the integration of a retained asymmetrical tonic neck reflex (ATNR).
Methods: Online review of the literature on motor development delay and chiropractic was performed using The Index to Chiropractic Literature, PubMed and Google Scholar. Search terms “ADHD”, “chiropractic” and “spinal manipulation” were used.
Clinical features: A 7-year-old female previously diagnosed with ADHD presented with anxiety, sleep disturbances, learning difficulties and behavioral issues. Her mother reported sleep disturbances began at 22-months following a fall onto her forehead. Previous treatments for ADHD, including behavioral therapy, psychotherapy and dietary intervention, had marginal success. A retained ATNR and aberrant H-test (cranial nerves III, IV, and VI) was identified. Direct objective indicators of vertebral subluxation at C1, T2, T4, T9, and sacrum were identified on spinal examination.
Intervention and outcomes: Modified Diversified using an Activator instrument as a force application was applied to correct vertebral subluxation. Within the 4 visits, the child’s behavior, mood and sleep patterns had improved, and the retained ATNR had integrated. Cranial nerve findings had resolved. Direct objective indicators of vertebral subluxation had reduced. Ongoing care continued to improve and manage the presenting behavioral symptoms.
Conclusion: Chiropractic care focused on the correction of vertebral subluxation, was associated with improvements in the child’s presenting symptoms associated with ADHD.
Author keywords: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; ADHD; Chiropractic; Pediatric; Vertebral Subluxation; Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation
Author affiliations: CF: Private Practice, Auckland, New Zealand; BC: Council member, New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association;
DDR: Board member, Scotland College of Chiropractic Trust
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