The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on January 24, 2019, documenting the improvement with chiropractic of a young girl who had been suffering with irregular bowel movements.
If a child is 4-years-old or older, and has already been potty trained but still soils his or her pants with stools, the term for this condition is encopresis. By the age of four, children should be able to control themselves enough to not have this issue occur except under rare or extreme circumstances. Medical treatment for encopresis typically involves medications, some behavioral modifications, and dietary changes.
It is estimated that approximately 1-2% of children under the age of ten suffer from encopresis. Boys are much more commonly affected by this condition with 80-90% of all cases being in males.
In this case, a 9-year-old girl was brought to the chiropractor for an evaluation of an issue not related to encopresis. It seems the girl’s gymnastics coach had observed that her hips were uneven. The girl’s health history included having asthma, for which she had received allergy shots. She also had suffered for elbow dislocations before she was 4-years-old. Additionally, her history did record that she was suffering with irregular bowel movements. She was taking 4 Colace pills per day to regulate her bowels. It was later revealed that she was having accidents where she would soil herself and her clothing.
A chiropractic examination with spinal x-rays was performed. From the examination, it was determined that there were multiple areas of vertebral subluxation in the girl’s spine, affecting her nervous system. Based upon the findings of the examination and x-rays, specific age-appropriate chiropractic adjustments were used to address the subluxations.
During the course of chiropractic care, gradual improvements were seen with the girl’s regularity of bowel movements and with the incontinence she was experiencing. After one month of care, it was reported that the girl was virtually “accident free.” Beyond the one-month point of her care, the girl was no longer having accidents and was able to sleep in normal panties for the first time ever. After a two month follow-up, there was no longer any reports of the problem and the girl was leading the life of a normal 9-year-old.
In their discussion about the mechanism of how chiropractic could help this girl’s case the authors wrote, “Chiropractic adjustments act as a physical means to correct vertebral subluxations and reduce dysfunction in the body.” They continued, “When this dysfunction is removed and musculoskeletal stresses are reduced, afferent input to the central nervous system is regulated, decreasing the sympathetic hyperactivity. This mechanism may be attributed to how chiropractic adjustments help alleviate fecal incontinence in this case study.”