Sensory Processing, Sleep, Speech & Chiropractic

General features of Sensory Processing Disorder include difficulty in detecting, modulating, interpreting, and/or organizing sensor stimuli to the point that it interferes with daily life. Challenges can include speech, sleep and sensory processing. Sensory processing disorder can lead to significant social, behavioral and communication challenges.

Research is revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system, and the brain. 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.

Neurodevelopmental challenges such as sensory processing disorder 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 neurodevelopmental disorders have their root in a “perfect storm” of abnormal spinal development.

People’s nervous systems need the constant stimulation of movement in order to develop and function properly.

Abnormal structural spinal shifts can develop and lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.

In the case reported on in the study a 3½-year-old boy presented to the chiropractic clinic with a diagnosis of sensory processing disorder, difficulty sleeping and speech delay. He had a history of respiratory tract infections, 5-6 ear infections, frequent colds, colic, and night terrors. He woke up 1-3 times per night screaming and crying. The patient’s mother reports that he had experienced these complaints since birth.

The chiropractor examined the child and found structural spinal shifts in his upper neck mid and lower back. These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct. Nerve testing revealed that the structural shifts were obstructing his nervous system.

Following chiropractic care the mother reported a dramatic improvement in sensory processing, sleep, and speech. He was less emotional, his speech improved and his night terrors stopped.


Resolution of Sensory Processing Disorder, Sleep Challenges, and Speech Delay in a Child Following Chiropractic Care to Reduce Vertebral Subluxation: A Case Study & Selective Review of the Literature. Dave Hanson, DC & Andrew Rupp, DC. Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, Chiropractic ~ September 27, 2018 ~ Pages 123-137

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