On June 25, 2018, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published the results of a case study showing the resolution of bedwetting and constipation after chiropractic care. The clinical name for bedwetting is enuresis.
There are two types of enuresis. Nocturnal enuresis is bed-wetting at night and is the more common type of elimination disorder. Daytime wetting is called diurnal enuresis, and can occur by itself or in conjunction with nighttime bedwetting. Clinically, both nocturnal enuresis and diurnal enuresis are only considered to be a diagnosis if there is no other underlying organic disease, and after a child is five years of age.
The study points out that enuresis and constipation are very common conditions for children. Nocturnal enuresis is thought to affect up to 20% of children up to the age of seven. About 15% of the cases seem to correct themselves each year. Daytime, or diurnal enuresis is less common but commonly seen with the nighttime condition as well.
Constipation is defined as two or fewer bowel movements per week. It is the most common digestive symptom of the general population. Approximately 3 to 5% of all pediatric office visits are for child for constipation problems. The study notes that about 28% of adults in the United States suffer from constipation. Children are also commonly affected, with around 9-13% of pediatric cases that suffer from constipation being also associated with bladder symptoms, such as enuresis.
In this case, a 9-year-old girl was brought to a chiropractor for an evaluation and possible care. She was suffering with diurnal enuresis, nocturnal enuresis and chronic constipation. The history revealed that the girl was intolerant to red dye and suffered from digestive issues. She regularly experienced infrequent bowel movements that were difficult to pass.
An examination was performed which included a postural analysis and bilateral weight scales. Range of motion of her spine was evaluated. Additionally, palpation of the spine and adjacent musculature was performed. Thermography studies were also conducted to determine heat differences along the spine. Surface Electromyography (sEMG) studies were used as an assessment tool to measure the electrical activity of the girl’s paraspinal muscles. From these tests, subluxations were determined to be present and specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were started.
The results of the chiropractic care were almost immediate. It was reported that after the girl’s first adjustment, she experienced several bowel movements and remained dry for three consecutive nights. Four weeks after starting chiropractic care, the first re-assessment was performed to evaluate the girl’s progress. At that time, she reported having only one wet night in the past week. During the second re-assessment, it was reported that the girl had not had either a daytime or nighttime leakage of urine and was having regular bowel movements about twice per day.
In their discussion, the authors of the study explained how subluxations could have created problems such as enuresis, as well as how correction would allow the body to heal itself. “The nervous system controls and regulates every organ, gland and tissue of the body and controls all bodily functions to maintain a proper bodily homeostasis.31 This regulation is done through direct nerve innervation to all organ systems of the body. When there is malposition of a vertebra in the spinal column there can be negative effects on the neurological signal of the nerve in the involved area, which is called a vertebral subluxation.