Chiropractic Helps Child with Autism

Research News Staff
Chiropractic Helps Child with Autism

New Research Sheds Light on Chiropractic and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Recent research in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic reporting on improvement in a 6 year old boy with autism undergoing chiropractic care reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in managing children with autism. The research includes a review of the literature supporting the role of chiropractic in children challenged with autism.

CLICK HERE to review the research 

“Research is revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system, and the brain” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. “Basic science and clinical research shows that the proper development of the brain relies heavily on proper structure and movement of the spine from an early age.” 

Research has shown not only that the developing brain relies on normal structural integrity and joint movement, but that complex neurochemical communication and pathways involved in helping humans to “feel good” are tied into spinal biomechanics and their related neurological pathways. 

“It makes perfect sense when you think about it” stated McCoy. “Neurobehavioral disorders such as autism may be related to how the entire body communicates with the brain and the most critical area for this is the spine.” 

Some researchers believe that the increase in the diagnosis of such disorders as autism, ADHD, pervasive developmental disorder, Tourette’s Syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders, have their root in a “perfect storm” of abnormal spinal development.    

According to McCoy, “People’s nervous systems need the constant stimulation of movement in order to develop and function properly. Abnormal position or movement of the spinal vertebra can develop and this can lead to nerve interference. It is this interference, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.” 

The child reported on in the study was a 6-year-old boy who was previously diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder by a neurologist. The parents stated he had developed aggressive behavior and was hindered in his activities, more socially than physically. The patient was waking often throughout the night, getting up very early in the morning, both leading to not sleeping well through the night. The child was sensitive to light, sound and crowds and had trouble focusing in school. 

The boy had a traumatic birth with a C-section delivery. The parents stated the doctor assisted in the birth and the baby was twisted and pulled. An epidural was used during the birth and he developed Erb’s palsy as a result of this traumatic birth. Pyloric stenosis also developed at a young age with surgery at 6 weeks old. 

The patient had been vaccinated since birth and was late in reaching his milestones of crawling and walking. Since his birth he had multiple ear infections and took antibiotics for each occurrence. He was taking prescription medication for the autism including Risperidone and Tenex.  

The boy's mother brought him to the chiropractor who examined him and found evidence of vertebral subluxations. One week after beginning chiropractic care care the patient began to fall asleep earlier than normal and slept in later than usual. As care progressed, the boy's mother reported improvement of behavior at school including a better focus. There was also an improvement in the eating habits as reported by the mother. She stated he was eating slightly more at once, as well as eating healthier foods, more often, without complaints. Mother reported that he now had a good, positive attitude, his attention during homework improved and his teachers also reported an improvement with his behavior. 

The boy was able to discontinue taking his medications. 

The researchers reviewed other studies of chiropractic which demonstrated improvements in autistic patients and call for more research on chiropractic, subluxation and autism.         

Contact Information:

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH

Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic 


McCoy Press