As pediatric chiropractors we are REALLY comfortable talking about what goes on in the bathroom, or more specifically what is NOT happening in the bathroom. So, let’s talk about this somewhat messy subject and why chiropractic can be so effective in helping with both constipation and bedwetting.
Constipation is something we see often when it comes to our infants and toddlers. When a newborn is having trouble in that department it is often due to position while in utero (imagine being tucked up in a little ball for 9 months and then having to straighten out) or positioning during birth. During the initial evaluation we check all the joints of the low back and specifically the sacrum which is the triangular bone at the bottom of the spine that most people refer to as their tailbone. When we perform a gentle and effective chiropractic adjustment to realign this bone it can have amazing results in relaxing the muscles of the low back and taking pressure off the nerves. Once this happens, we can visibly see our little patients relax and when they are relaxed it helps everything to move a whole lot easier. In fact, I tell the parents of our infant patients to always bring a diaper bag and possibly a change of clothes 😊 Another time constipation can become more prevalent is when children are learning to walk because they are constantly pulling themselves up on things and then falling. Landing over and over on the sacrum can cause subluxations, or spinal misalignment, in the low back as well.
Bedwetting is another concern parents will commonly ask us about. These kids are usually school aged, and parents believe for a long time they will “grow” out of it. But when bedwetting persists it leaves parents wondering what might be wrong and more importantly, what to do about it. There are several areas in the spine that we must address to find the root of the problem. After all the bedwetting is a symptom and won’t usually resolve if there is an underlying issue. The first thing we check is once again the low back. The nerves that allow the bladder to stay full until a signal is sent to the sphincter to relax are also located in the low back. When we find restrictions, or spinal misalignment, in that area it can causes signals between the brain and the bladder to be interrupted. Another area of the spine that we may need to evaluate is the mid neck region. There is a nerve located there called the phrenic nerve and it controls smooth muscle, the bladder is made up of this type of muscle. When we sleep our breathing slows and if the phrenic nerve isn’t working properly the diaphragm is not triggered correctly, carbon dioxide begins to build up and smooth muscle relaxes. You can imagine is the bladder relaxes what comes next.
If this post is ringing true and you have more questions, I have good news. Dr Jen and I will be doing a webinar on this very topic. We will dive even deeper into the topics of constipation and bedwetting and answer any of your questions. The webinar will be via Facebook live on March 6th at 6:00pm. Head over to the event page on Facebook for more information to register for this event. We see a lot of children with both of these issues and love that when they resolve how much happier both kids and parents become!