ADHD Case Study Review

This week’s blog article features a summary of a case study published in 2004, featuring a child diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The diagnosis was made by the child’s general practitioner at age 2 and the child was put on pharmaceuticals for 3 years to attempt treatment. At age 5 the child was brought to a chiropractor who uses Chiropractic BioPhysics to analyze and treat the spine. There was no previous analysis done of the spine to correlate the child’s symptoms to possible structural and postural distortions affecting nervous system function. The child was also in a hypoxic state due to birthing complications for 4 days following birth. Hypoxia has been shown to be a possible cause of ADHD as well.

The family chose to visit a CBP trained chiropractor and was analyzed for postural distortions. Upon examinations, the major posture distortions included forward head posture and right head translation. The patient was treated with CBP mirror image adjustments as well as cryotherapy, mirror image exercises and extension compression traction. The patient was treated 5 times a week over an 8-week period for a total of 35 visits. This was done because the family was moving in 2 months. The patient began care with a reversal of the normal Harrison ideal spine cervical curve of -36 degrees. The patients cervical curve measured +12 degrees and had an atlas plane line of 8 degrees to horizontal. A normal atlas plane line measurement is 29 degrees to horizontal.

After beginning care the parents reported changes in the child’s behavior at several different times. On the 12th visit the mother reported she noticed positive changes in her child’s behavior. On the 17th visit the mother reported that she noticed a decreased in the frequency of her child’s facial tics. On the 27th visit the mother reported that they had an appointment scheduled with their general practitioner to discuss the continued use of Ritalin. The medical doctor determined that based on the child’s symptoms he no longer was prescribed any of the 3 medications he had been taking for the past 3 years. On the 35th visit a post treatment radiograph was taken and the Harrison posterior tangent method was used to measure the new cervical configuration. The new measurement was a 32 degree lordosis and the new atlas plane line was a 22 degree to horizontal measurement.

Some limitations of the study include that the child may have had spontaneous remission of the ADHD symptoms, the child may have been misdiagnosed by the medical doctor, and the parents of the child may have been reporting false symptom improvement. The abnormal postures observed in the patient causes abnormal mechanical forces and strains to be put on the spine and spinal cord. The mechanical forces cause microvascular permeability changes to occur which affects impulse propagation of the nerves. Gradual decompression of nerve roots can increase intrinsic flow according to a study cited in this article. Since the central nervous system in the master controller of all of the systems in the body, it is hypothesized that the structural integrity of the spine can be a major variable in many disease processes including ADHD.


Harrison, D., Bastecki, A., & Haas, J. (2004). CERVICAL KYPHOSIS IS A POSSIBLE LINK TO ATTENTION-DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics . Retrieved April 30, 2017.

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Littleton, CO 80120
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