A case study was published in the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics November 2018 issue that documented the improvement and eventual resolution of bedwetting in a little girl as a result of chiropractic care. The technical name for bedwetting at night is nocturnal enuresis.
According to this study, “Nocturnal enuresis can be defined by the involuntary loss of urine during sleep, without organic disease at a developmental age of 5 years or older.” Nocturnal enuresis is more common in younger children but can be present as a child grows older. The prevalence shows that this condition occurs in 15% to 20% of children of five years of age. It then decreases in prevalence to 5% of children of 10 years of age, and only 1% to 2% of children at age 15 years or older.
Common medical treatment involves medications or behavioral interventions. However, in many cases the problems re-occur when the medications are discontinued. Bedwetting can lead to a social and emotional stigma, a reduction in the quality of life, and can lead to self-esteem issues.
In this case, a mother brought her 10-year-old daughter to the chiropractor. The mother was seeking a second opinion to see if chiropractic could help her daughter with bedwetting that had been unsuccessfully treated both medically, and with behavioral modification. Prior to seeking a chiropractic evaluation, the young girl had never experienced a dry night. She had no history of traumas, accidents or other injuries. Due to her problem, the girl has been sleeping with pull-up diapers since age five.
A chiropractic examination was performed with the primary goal of looking to see if subluxations were present. According to the study authors, “In chiropractic, a vertebral subluxation is a biomechanical change in the spinal column that causes neurological dysfunction. The urinary bladder is supplied by both autonomic and somatic nerves emerging from the lumbopelvic region of the spine.” If there was a subluxation affecting the nerves that control the bladder, then correction of that subluxation could cause normal bladder function and the correction of the nocturnal enuresis.”
After obtaining informed consent from the girl’s mother, specific chiropractic care was started to address the subluxations that were determined to be present. The young girl was initially seen twice per week for four weeks, after which visits were reduced to once per week. The girl was asked to keep a diary of her progress so that she could monitor changes.
After the first week of chiropractic care, the girl reported two consecutive dry days. After her third chiropractic visit, the girl reported in her diary that she was no longer waking in the morning with fully wet pull-up diapers. After five chiropractic visits, she reported having four consecutive dry nights. The young girl was very pleased with her results as she was very happy and proud to show her bedwetting progress she had recorded in her diary. Between the girl’s 8th and 12th visit she did experience some minor setbacks due to family activity and stress. However, between her 12th and 14th visit, it was reported that she was totally dry, which represented the longest period of her life that she had experienced dry nights.
Long-term follow-ups of this girl’s case showed that she continued to remain free of nocturnal enuresis. This created a positive change in the girl’s mood and self-esteem. It was reported that she was able to participate in more frequent sleepovers with friends without the stress and fear of wetting the bed.