Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) happens when the brain doesn’t correctly receive and coordinate information from some or all of the five senses. This condition affects 10% of children and interferes with activities such as reading, balancing, and social interaction. Teens and adults can also have SPD.
Understanding Sensory Processing Disorders
SPD can affect receiving, interpreting, and acting on sensory information. When an individual’s SPD occurs determines which category it is assigned. The three main categories of SPD are:
- Sensory Modulation Disorder
- Sensory Discrimination Disorder
- Sensory-based Motor Disorder
An individual living with Sensory Modulation Disorder, the most common form of SPD, might live with a kind of sensory attention deficit. They can’t fine-tune the attention they give to sensory information. They are flooded with glaring lights, putrid stench, and continuous hammering when others are in a well-lit, recently cleaned room with a clock hanging on the wall. Such environments can be overwhelmingly irritating and stressful.
Others with Sensory Modulation Disorder SPD can experience the opposite. They seem unmoved by sensory information that enchants or annoys others. These individuals are often drawn to performing dare-devil stunts and other thrill-seeking behaviors.
Although it is less common than Sensory Modulation Disorder, Sensory Discrimination Disorder can also profoundly impact safety and quality of life. Individuals with this SPD variety have difficulty determining the origin of sensations. They might find it hard to tell whether an ambulance is approaching, decide when they are hungry, and move through a room without running into objects.
Sensory-based Motor Disorders occur at the intersection of feeling and doing. This can make tasks difficult that require you to constantly adjust your performance based on sensory information. While many people think of walking, handwriting, or another active job, sitting still with proper posture requires constant micromovements based on many sensations.
Children and adults with SPD frequently also have a wide range of neurodevelopmental issues such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Although individuals with ASD or ADHD may have SPD, not all individuals with SPD have ADHD or ASD.
Whether it is a stand-alone condition or occurs with another disorder, all forms of SPD have a profound impact on the brain and must be treated. In response to their SPD, some adults and children can become:
- Socially isolated
Chiropractic Sensory Processing Disorder Treatment
The nerves, spine, and brain form the body’s master communication system from a chiropractic perspective. When a child or adult has SPD, these pathways have been damaged from transmitting stressful experiences such as physical pain or emotional trauma.
When physical stress such as spinal misalignment or an injury is transmitted to the brain, it can reduce mental focus while increasing anxiety. An example is a child recently injured during gym class who suddenly can’t sit still or concentrate.
When mental stress from work pressures or personal fights travels from the brain through the nerves to the body, it can cause physical symptoms linked to nerve dysfunction. The classic portrait of this is the middle-aged executive going through a divorce who suddenly is chronically constipated, sick, and physically weak.
While these scenarios include individuals with mild SPD, the general principles still apply to more severe cases. Stress from the body to the brain causes plummeting attention levels with skyrocketing hyperactivity and anxiety. Stress from the brain to the body causes nerve dysfunction responsible for constipation, reduced immunity, and physical weakness.
Benefits of Chiropractic Sensory Processing Disorder Treatment
One of the most significant stresses that the body can experience is vertebral subluxation. This occurs when the spinal vertebrae are not optimally aligned for unrestricted movement. Since the nerves are so delicate, any misalignment can interfere with sensory messages. Research has found that infants with colic who sensitively withdraw from sensory input tend to cry more than babies who actively seek out the same experiences. Seeking Sensory processing disorder treatment to address spinal issues that underlie such sensitivity can encourage your child to calmly and curiously explore their environment.
When you seek chiropractic Sensory processing disorder treatment with Dr. David Foss, you begin a new lifestyle. This is because Dr. Foss believes in a comprehensive approach for a complex condition like SPD. In addition to treating vertebral subluxation, Dr. Foss prescribes a full range of research-supported lifestyle changes that can include exercise, a nutrient-dense diet, and stress management.
Many adults and children with SPD avoid physical touch. Fortunately, Dr. Foss has experience with working with these individuals. His approach uses a calming deep pressure touch.
Most physical contact involves light touch, which can overwhelm the brain. The type of deep pressure touch Dr. Foss used for Sensory processing disorder treatment is relaxing because it travels through a different nerve path than a light touch. Since 60% of deep pressure sensation occurs in the spine, chiropractic care can be quite calming.
Learn More About Sensory Processing Disorder Treatment
If you’re wondering what Sensory processing disorder treatment can do for you or your child, we encourage you to reach out as soon as possible. Children who seem to have “grown out” of SPD have brains that have compensated in ways that do not address the underlying issue. Contact Dr. Foss at the Vital Wellness Center by email, phone, or his appointment setting page online for comprehensive Sensory Processing Disorder Treatment.
How Will You Feel After Your First Treatment?
Wondering how you’ll feel after your first few adjustments? Read on:
Some people report feeling great!
Research indicates that some patients receiving chiropractic adjustments may experience a mild side effect of some kind (Cagnie, Vinck, Beernaert & Cambier, 2004; Chaibi, Benth, Tuchin & Russell, 2017). Many patients feel the effects of an adjustment right away, while it may take a bit longer for others. Since everyone is unique, it’s impossible to make exact predictions about how your body will react to the first adjustments from Dr. Foss, so here are some common experiences reported by patients to help you prepare for the possibilities!
Some feel a little bit sore…
Other people report minor discomfort after their first adjustments, particularly in the areas of greatest subluxation. A 2017 study by Chaibi, Benth, Tuchin and Russell indicates that 11.3% of patients receiving chiropractic adjustments during the study experienced a mild, localized tenderness afterward. Muscle soreness is also a common experience and was noted by a study in which 13% of participants reported sore muscles after an adjustment (Meier, Evans, Hartvigsen, Shulz & Bronfort, 2015). The muscles around your spine have been pushing and pulling in the same directions for many years, which has maintained the misalignment of your vertebrae. Now those muscles are being asked to push and pull in the directions that maintain correct alignment, so it’s only natural to expect them to be a bit sore!
Regardless of the type of discomfort, it tends to be mild and usually occurs within 4 hours after an adjustment and resolves within 24 hours (Cagnie, 2004).
(Side note: the “muscle memory” that maintains incorrect vertebral alignment is why multiple adjustments are needed to correct the spine – the muscles need to be retrained!)
Don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Foss about any concerns!
Some people report not feeling much different.
Lastly, some people report not feeling any different after their first adjustments. Even though you may not notice any effects, rest assured that important changes are taking place! Chiropractic adjustments won’t always make you feel better instantly, but they’ll make you heal better instantly!