ADHD and osteopathy/manual therapy – what can be done

Lately I’ve had a few people asking me my opinion as a health professional (osteopath) about ADHD and osteopathy.

First off research – well in regards to research about Osteopathy and ADHD there is a study released in 2014:

Effect of Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy in the Attentive Performance of Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

This is research done with a relatively small group in Italy (28 children aged 5-15) and divided into two groups – one who received conventional care, and one who received conventional care and Osteopathic manual therapy.  Those who had the manual therapy did have improvements in outcomes testing for Biancardi-Stroppa Modified Bell Cancellation Test.  This is a test that looks at the ability of a child to find certain shapes and ignore background or distracting information.

Overall the research suggested further study would be a good idea – increasing the number of children involved in the study.  It it also noted that this research is performed in Italy, and while treatment may be of a similar nature, I could not verify if the techniques used would of been similar to that in Australia.

So research is very limited in its opinion of osteopathy in Australia and how it can help with ADHD.  With the AHPRA regulations for Osteopaths in Australia that means it is not allowable to advertise that Osteopathy can help with ADHD.

However People/children with ADHD get tight and sore muscles much the same as anybody else and that is something that osteopathy may be helpful for.  Having fallen down off a trampoline, or tripped while running, or any other number of injuries can result in muscular sprains and strains that may benefit from the attention of an osteopath (such as Luke at Good Health Osteopathy in Diamond Creek).

Other considerations:

Other things to consider can be other factors which may affect ADHD.

  1. Diet and Gut Microbiome: There are pretty definitive links between Autism Spectrum and Changes to Gut Microbiome (balance of different bacteria’s inside the digestive tract), and as of yet it has not been shown in those with ADHD.  What is known however, that those with ADHD are almost 3 times more likely to suffer from constipation, and those born via C-section have slightly increased likelyhood of having ADHD later on in life.  Both of those would likely indicate an increased chance of having gut dysbiosis.
  2. Retained ‘primitive reflexes’:  There is a neonatal/baby reflex known as the galant reflex that you will see in babies usually up to about 6 months.  This is a reflex believed to help with birth and to help establish hip mobility and crawling patterns.  At times this reflex can be retained until later on into childhood and even adulthood.  This study found higher levels of retained reflex in children with ADHD, and other research has linked this retained reflex to higher levels of children bed wetting over the age of 5.

For those wanting to be more proactive in managing an individual with ADHD there are exercise and advice that could be given to potentially help with the above two points.

Dr. Luke Richter (Osteopath) and Angie Richter (Massage)
329-347 Diamond Creek Road, Diamond Creek 3089
Providing massage and osteopathic treatment for those in Diamond Creek, Greensborough, Eltham, Hurstbridge and surrounding suburbs.



End those Winter Blues – Start Exercising now

It’s getting towards the end of winter, and time to start thinking about coming out of hibernation. Not in the literal sense of course, most of us have still been working long days, taking children to school and sporting events and socialising with whatever energy is left.

What most of us don’t do through winter however, is maintain good exercise routines, stretch often and take care of ourselves physically. Rainy and cold days often provide a good excuse not to go out for that walk, and the dog is often just as happy to stay inside as you are.

Now that the days are beginning to get a little longer and there is light at the end of the proverbial tunnel is a great time to muster up some motivation to start back into exercise. Just a few tips before starting back into exercise though.

  1. Stretch before starting your new exercise

If you are thinking about starting exercise to prepare yourself for the coming summer and beach days, start to stretch NOW. By starting your stretching routine a week or two before your exercise routine you can help with a little flexibility and mobility. As an Osteopathy often seeing patients in South Morang, Doreen, Diamond Creek and Greensborough – I frequently need to suggest stretching programs. These aren’t special exercises that you can only learn when coming for an appointment, they are often the basics you’ve learnt in school. Stretching your legs for activities that require walking/running. Stretching shoulders for people who are stuck behind a desk etc.

  1. Start gradually/slowly

Most people have been struck with sudden motivation to exercise. Running is a great example: First you go out and buy new runners (or dust off the runners you’ve gotten from the last time you started running). Next perhaps you download a running app on your phone so you can track distance and time. Mentally you plot out your course and typically overestimate your fitness levels so will aim for a 3-5km round trip. On goes the shoes, out the front door and away you run. You might get to the end of the 500m – 1km before breathing like a wounded animal and having to stop running for a breather, before starting off again just before you fully regain your breathe.

If this is anything like you in the past, perhaps this year try to start a bit slower, walk for the distance you plan to jog, and slowly increasing your pace with some rest days in-between walks/jogs/runs.

Very frequently jumping head first into a challenging running program will result in injury, time off exercise and perhaps a need to visit your local Osteopath.

  1. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.

Winter and dehydration can often go together. Feeling cold in your body doesn’t often kick up the thirst drive like it does in the middle of summer and getting in the 1.5-2.5 Litres a day can be very challenging. Often when you are sedentary while working it may not be a major issue, however when you start exercising and sweating this mild dehydration can lead to increased aches and pains, headaches and poor recovery.

Exercising without adequate hydration is like running your car without oil. Don’t be that person!

If you want to discuss anything written feel free to contact Good Health Osteopathy Diamond Creek

Dr. Luke Richter (osteopath)

Good Health Osteopathy

5B 329-347 Diamond Creek Road,

Diamond Creek

Good Health Osteopathy – Quality health care commonly servicing patients from Diamond Creek, Greensborough, Doreen, and Eltham