Nocturnal enuresis, commonly known as bedwetting, is a condition that causes a lot of stress to children, parents and siblings. It is normal for a baby to wet the bed at night, and even during the day, but as a child matures, he or she should be able to better control their bladder movements, and the bladder sphincter should automatically remain shut through the entire night. There are two type of enuresis; primary enuresis occurs when a child over the age of 5 cannot control their bladder movements. Secondary enuresis occurs when a child who had stopped bedwetting, starts doing so, at an advanced age.
How does chiropractic help in stopping bedwetting?
The phrenic reflex is the one that allows all smooth muscles of the body, including all sphincters to remain closed throughout the night. When you sleep, this reflex stops you from bedwetting (#1), or passing from passing feces (#2). There are two reasons why the child may not be having a great phrenic reflex at night.
Firstly, the development of the reflex may be slow, and this slow development is found to be hereditary in most cases. Secondly the phrenic nerves, which control the phrenic reflex are found at the 3rd, 4th, and 5th neck (cervical) vertebrae. Subluxation of these vertebrae can interfere with the normal function of the nerves, and this will lead to the poor phrenic reflex experienced by these children.
In the first case, there is not much that the chiropractor can do, but in the second case, using Spinal Manipulation Techniques, the subluxations can be removed, and the phrenic nerves can function normally, thereby stopping the enuresis. X-rays and physical examinations may not clearly tell between the two types of bedwetting, and therefore the best way to tell if it is due to hereditary factors or the subluxations is to try a few chiropractic treatments.
In some cases, the child will have an immediate response to treatment and the bedwetting will stop immediately. In other cases, the child may have to come for a number of manipulation sessions, and then take some time off, before coming back for more care. This is a complex condition, and patience must be exercised by the child, the parents, friends and family members.
At home care to help stop bedwetting
After the chiropractor has done the spinal manipulations, he will give you instructions to help the child to stop bedwetting. The first and most important, is to avoid giving the child fluid before he or she goes to sleep. This stops the bladder from getting full at night, thereby reducing the propensity to do a #1 in the middle of the night. Secondly, the child should not be exhausted before getting into bed; sometimes deep slumber is the cause, where the child does not even feel that he is wetting the bed. Chiropractic care will help the child recover from the anguish of wetting the bed. Occasionally kids cannot go#1 or #2 as a result of cramps, which chiropractic can help alleviate. It can be a trying time for kids when they can’t function like other children. Some have been limited from participating in sleepovers with friends, scout camps, or other overnight activities for fear of embarrassment. Bedwetting can be a source of a lot of anguish for the child and the family. The child will suffer ridicule from peers and also siblings, which can lead to anguish and depression. Dr. Hamilton can help!
Dr. Hamilton D.C., is a licensed chiropractor who practices chiropractic medicine and Ancient Chinese acupuncture in Aurora, Colorado. He can be very helpful to children suffering from nocturnal enuresis. Seek the counsel and treatment that Dr. Hamilton offers at his clinic on the eastside of the Denver Metro.