The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on January 8, 2015, documenting the case of a young girl with chronic bed-wetting being helped by chiropractic. Nocturnal enuresis, more commonly known as bed-wetting, is diagnosed when a child wets the bed three times or more per week.
Nocturnal enuresis is common in younger children, occurring in about 10% of children up to age seven. Bed-wetting affects about 5 to 7 million children in the US, and 200,000 in Canada. Some sources believe that the underlying cause is related to the central nervous system. Common medical treatment is a drug called Desmopressin, which can carry certain side effects including headache, belly pain, nausea, slight rise in blood pressure, vomiting, hives, trouble breathing, and swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
In this case, a 10-year-old girl was brought to the chiropractor after recurrent right ankle sprains and primary nocturnal enuresis. The young girl started having the bed-wetting issue after a number of urinary tract infections that she had at age four. She had received several rounds of antibiotic treatments at that time. Her mother noted that the bed-wetting started immediately after her daughter started taking antibiotics. At the time of her initial visit to the chiropractor, the young girl was wetting her bed about 5 times per week.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included postural observation, range of motion tests, static palpation, paraspinal surface electromyography (sEMG) and rolling paraspinal thermography scans. Based on the findings, and with the mother’s consent, chiropractic care was begun.
Following the girl’s first adjustment, her mother reported that her daughter only experienced one night of bed-wetting. Her mother also reported that her daughter felt the urgent need to urinate on the car ride home from the chiropractor to the point where the mother had to make a quick stop for her daughter to find a restroom.
Following the girl’s second visit, her mother reported that her daughter did not have any more wet nights and no more increased urgency to urinate. The study records that after her second chiropractic adjustment, the girl had all dry nights. Given the success of chiropractic in addressing their daughter’s bed-wetting issues, her parents decided to continue their daughter on a wellness chiropractic care program.
Citing the results of this study, the authors make the point in their discussion that chiropractic should be included in cases of bed-wetting. “When left unresolved in childhood, adolescents may continue night time bed-wetting and can be very difficult to manage,” state the study authors. “Given the effect of compromising the quality of life and risk for psychological and physical abuse in these children, there is a need for an integrative approach [chiropractic] to their care.”