Most people associate chiropractors with back or neck problems, recognizing their ability to use hands-on manipulation to align the spine and musculoskeletal system to reduce or eliminate pain. While spinal manipulation can certainly help with adult back pain, it can do much more than that. Studies have shown that chiropractic care can help some children who suffer from nighttime bedwetting.
While younger children who are in the process of learning to use the toilet may experience nighttime bouts of incontinence, it’s not unusual for older children – even pre-teens – to suffer from bedwetting without any known cause. But there is a solution.
Some parents go as far as trying medications or biofeedback at a urologist, but they’re missing out on a non-invasive, drug-free alternative that may work to help your child manage nighttime wetting. Seeing a chiropractor for bedwetting is definitely an option that has been proven to work for certain children and is worth trying if yours is dealing with bedwetting issues.
Can Chiropractors Help With Bedwetting?
Around five to seven million American children suffer from bedwetting, with 10 percent to 15 percent of them wetting the bed until age six. There is a terrible stigma related to bedwetting, a condition which is difficult to treat and results in feelings of embarrassment and hopelessness.
Parents often will do everything they can to prevent wet nights, including digging into their wallets for treatments that aren’t proven to be effective. Children may hope for a solution, but wake up ashamed. Chiropractic offers hope and often delivers on its expectations for results from enuresis, the official diagnosis given to the inability to control urination through the night.
How Does a Chiropractor Help with Bedwetting?
Numerous clinical research studies have shown that chiropractic care can help prevent nighttime wetting through the removal of irritants that are affecting the nerves which control bladder function. One such study showed an 8-year-old subject who was seen by a chiropractor to treat her regular bedwetting, which occurred seven nights a week. She had no other symptoms or complaints.
The patient was treated with manipulation of the left sacroiliac joint over three visits and at her follow-up three months later, it was discovered that her bedwetting was resolved after only three subsequent episodes.
A larger study was published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics that included 171 children who were treated with chiropractic for bedwetting. One quarter of patients experienced a 50% reduction of wetting.
How Can Chiropractic Care Affect Your Bladder?
How can chiropractic care help with bladder function is a common question many parents ask, since the link isn’t obvious. Your chiropractor can remove any irritation that is affecting the nerves that control the bladder. The nerves exit the spine at an area called the sacrum. In adults, the sacrum is a single bone that is resistant to injury, but in children, it is separated into five separate sections that will later fuse together.
It’s possible that these segments of the sacrum become misaligned due to trauma, such as a fall. This, in turn, will affect the nerves responsible for bladder control. Chiropractic care can realign the sacrum bones, restoring the nerves to their proper functioning, and relieving the child of bedwetting episodes.
What Does the Chiropractor Do to Help With Bedwetting?
When you go to a chiropractor for the first time for bedwetting, the chiropractor will start by asking about your child’s background, including their medical history. They may look at and feel your child’s spine and may even do an adjustment on the first visit.
A spinal adjustment won’t hurt your child. The chiropractor performs a spinal manipulation by pushing, twisting, or pulling on different parts of your child’s body. You may hear a popping sound, but this is normal. During an adjustment, the spinal joints are slightly separated, causing the release of a gas bubble, which makes the popping noise.
The chiropractor will also discuss the number and frequency of return visits. This will depend on your child’s unique condition. The corrections may take regular visits over time to repair the nerve issues that are causing the bedwetting. Setting expectations will be something the chiropractor discusses with you.