Published in the August 17, 2017, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health is a documented case of a young girl suffering from chronic constipation who was helped with chiropractic care. Constipation is a fairly common problem in children, affecting 29.6 percent of the pediatric population.
The study notes that constipation accounts for 3 percent of all visits to pediatricians, resulting in a subsequent 25 to 30 percent of referrals to pediatric gastroenterologists. The Mayo Clinic website described the problem by saying, “Constipation in children is a common problem. A constipated child has infrequent bowel movements or hard, dry stools.”
The study reports that there are two classifications of constipation: functional and organic. Organic constipation is where there is a disease or other organic cause for the problem. Functional constipation makes up the majority of the cases and does not have a discernable cause for the problem. According to the study authors, constipation has three clinical features including decreased frequency of stool passing, hard stools, and difficulty passing stools.
In this case, a 5-year-old girl suffering with constipation, bloating, and abdominal pain was brought to the chiropractor. The girl had been reportedly suffering with these problems since the age of 6 months. The mother and the girl both reported that her problems were daily. She saw no relief from the problems by the use of laxatives, oils, and high fiber diets that were prescribed by the girl’s medical doctor. She was also prescribed Miralax along with dietary changes such as adding prune juice and whole prunes for daily consumption.
The history noted that, after a difficult, high-risk pregnancy and labor, the child was born via cesarean and was a low birth-weight baby. Although the mother noticed bowel trouble in her daughter at the age of 6 month, the problem seemed to get worse at the age of 5 when the child was spending longer amounts of more painful time in the bathroom.
A chiropractic examination was performed that included visual inspection along with spinal ranges of motion, a postural analysis, and static and motion palpation. The conclusion of the examination was that multiple vertebral subluxations were present in the child’s spine. Specific chiropractic adjustments were started at the rate of twice per week for the initial two weeks followed by weekly thereafter. The girl’s mother was advised to continue her daughter’s dietary recommendations given by her MD.
After the 6th visit, the young girl began experiencing more manageable bowel movements that did not involve pain, straining, or extended time in the bathroom. The study records that by the 10th chiropractic visit, all her constipation issues and associated symptoms had been resolved. The girl’s mother also reported that her daughter’s stools were now normal. Upon re-examination at the 11th visit, it was noted that the girl’s abdomen was no longer tender or distended.
In their conclusion, the authors summed up this case by saying, “The patient discussed above and the patients referenced in the related literature all experienced favorable results after chiropractic treatment of chronic functional constipation.”