I was sitting in my office between patients, and I heard the front door open. Suddenly, I heard a lot of other sounds. My chairs scooting, what sounded like a matchbox car on the wall (it was), and a worn-out mother yelling at her little blessing to sit down before she “lost her mind.”
We had a lot of kids in the practice, and this was a fairly common occurrence, as we had developed a reputation for helping children with behavioral issues and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). I was pretty confident that in the next week or two, this family's entrance to the office would be considerably different (read more quiet), and it was.
While we don’t “treat” ADHD, the fact is that it is often caused by a disruption in the nervous system. And, my job as an upper cervical doctor, is to look for disturbances to the nervous system. We almost always see problems caused by the spinal distortions in the upper neck. In fact, this link between the spine, brain stem dysfunction and ADHD is common.
Upper neck injuries in children are more common than you might think. Often, issues with the upper neck bones (c1 and c2, right below the skull) are the result of birth trauma. So many things happen that can affect the baby’s neck during birth causing it to become misaligned. This can include the cord getting wrapped around the child’s neck, the doctor’s use of forceps, Mom getting a c-section, or even just an extended labor. Anytime the head has to be pulled on to get the shoulders through the birth canal, it can cause damage. Add to that, falls while the child is learning to walk, car accidents, or any number of other slips and falls can misalign the bones in this delicate area.
Regardless of what puts the bone out of normal alignment, the resulting pressure can disrupt the way the nervous system communicates and functions. This malfunction can present itself in a number of ways, one of which is the “symptoms” of ADHD.
When a child comes in, we do a very specific exam to find out if this might be the cause of their issues. If so, precise x-rays are taken so we can see exactly how the bone is misaligned, and what needs to be done to put it back into it’s proper place.
Once we have that information the adjustment is gentle, pain-free, and doesn’t involve any twisting or “popping” of the neck.
Removing the interference from your child’s nervous system isn’t a 100% guarantee that all of their “symptoms” will disappear, but a healthier nervous system is a healthier kid. That’s a pretty good benefit all on it’s own.
Oh, and the little guy that drove the matchbox car on the walls was later voted most improved behavior in school, and... he may or may not have convinced me to play with his cars on my adjusting table. You'll have to come in and ask me about that!
Dr. Lee Angle
Dr. Lee Angle is originally from southern West Virginia. After having his life changed through Upper Cervical Care he chose to pursue it as a career. He has been practicing Upper Cervical Chiropractic for over nine years. Dr. Angle previously worked as a certified personal trainer. This background allows him to educate his patients on proper movement and exercises to speed their recovery and enhance their Upper Cervical Care.