Spinal Column: A New Look At Help For ADHD

Dr. Jim Schaffer of Kimberton Chiropractic
Dr. Jim Schaffer of Kimberton Chiropractic

There are so many children today being labelled with ADHD. It seems to be a catch-all name given to kids who don’t fit into the definition of how a child “should” behave. The criteria used to make this diagnosis fits almost every child encountered in my practice. Let’s look at the criteria that would label a child as having ADHD:

1. Fidgets and squirms.

2. Difficulty remaining seated

3. Easily distracted.

4. Blurts out answers to questions before they have been completed.

5. Difficulty waiting for turn during games.


6. Difficulty following instructions.

7. Jumps from one thing to another.

8. Often talks excessively.

9. Interrupts others.

10. Loses things.

11. Does not seem to listen.

12. Difficulty playing quietly.

If your child displays at least 8 of these criteria, he is a candidate for the ADHD diagnosis. These criteria sound like a normal, healthy, exuberant, bored, child.

Most parents do not realize that there are no laboratory tests for ADHD; that this “diagnosis” is made purely on observation and is most often initiated by schools/teachers.

Many authorities feel that these children are actually quite gifted and are very right-brained, i.e., creative. These children function with two speeds; hyper drive and collapse. There is no in-between. They are also highly visual and non-sequential processors. In other words, they learn by pictures in and at a different pace.

Did you know both Einstein and Edison had been expelled from school for disruptive behaviour? “What if they were on Ritalin?”

This phenomena has also been called it FADD - Family Attention Deficit Disorder. Perhaps the fast paced lives we have all been forced into living, with both parents working, a variety of child care providers, attending after school activities most days, sometimes more than one per day, dinners on the go…the list can go on. Think about how hard the pace of is on you! Now think about how hard that is on a child? An infant? Some family psychologists suggest that we as parents have slackened on discipline due to our busy schedules: therefore allowing our children to bounce from on activity to the next without consequences.

To treat this children are placed on the drug Ritalin, categorized as a Class II narcotic.

Class I narcotics are those substances for which there is no legitimate use. Substances that even a licensed physician can’t prescribe, eg. heroin, etc.

Class II are those substances that are also addictive but have limited medical value, eg. Ritalin,

Cocaine, etc. Class III and IV are substances which have the potential for abuse, such as Valium and other barbiturates.

Most parents may not realize that Ritalin is highly addictive and is placed in the same class as Cocaine and opium. Ritalin is a psychotropic drug; it alters behaviour and a child’s perception of the world. The purpose of this drug is to force the child to do what is expected of them! I feel it robs children of their individuality and I wonder if we are not turning our children into robots

There has to be a better way!

Chiropractic doctors have been successfully helping ADHD children for years. We often find that interference to the function of the nervous system, caused by a vertebral subluxation in the spine, is at the heart of the matter.

Imagine a spinal bone (especially in the neck) that has shifted out of it’s normal position (subluxation) from some sort of fall or accident i.e.…. learning how to walk and falling. The shifted bone puts pressure on the spinal cord and/or spinal nerves. One of two reactions will happen to the activity of a nerve that has pressure on it.

That nerve will under function (hypoactive)


That nerve will over function (hyperactive)

Whatever that nerve is controlling, it will be either under or over functioning.

If that nerve is controlling the bronchi of the lungs and it is under functioning, then those bronchi will not be able to constrict (close) or dilate (open) properly. The result is Asthma.

In relation to ADHD, if that nerve is controlling the Adrenal glands and it’s over functioning, then too much adrenaline is being released. The result is hyperactivity!

There are many factors that contribute to a child being diagnosed with ADHD. I would suggest looking at dietary changes, at how busy their schedule is, making sure they get enough sleep, and making sure their nervous system doesn’t have any pressure on it.

Chiropractic care is directed at correcting these subluxations that cause the pressure, thereby making the child’s nervous system function normally. It’s that simple.

If your child has been labelled ADHD or is in the process of being labelled, my suggestion would be to consult myself or another chiropractor familiar with paediatric care without delay.

See you next week.

Dr. Jim

Dr. Jim Schaffer of Kimberton Chiropractic Center located in Phoenixville, is a weekly contributor to the Phoenix. Call 484-921-4936 or visit www.kimbertonchiropractic.com