On December 10, 2018, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study showing chiropractic helping a teenager who was suffering with back pain, and was also wetting his bed at nights.
The study begins by defining bedwetting. “According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, enuresis is the involuntary wetting of clothes or bedding by urine during the day or at night with nighttime bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis) being the more common of the two.”
Typically, there are two modes of treatment for nocturnal enuresis. One method is behavioral changes that involves things like emptying the bladder before bed, avoiding fluids later in the day, or even bedwetting alarms that wake the subject up if moisture is detected. These have a reasonable degree of success, but are not permanent unless the altered activity is maintained. Additionally, many families report stopping the modified behavior themselves.
Medication treatment of nocturnal enuresis also has some degree of success, but comes with a variety of drug side effects including headache, nasal congestion, nosebleeds, abdominal cramping, water intoxication, allergic reactions, hyponatremia, anorexia, nausea, bad taste in mouth, and visual problems. Additionally, when the medication is stopped, there is a high degree of total relapse.
In this case, a 17-year-old boy accompanied by his parents went to the chiropractor to see if chiropractic could help his bedwetting. In addition to his primary concern, he was also suffering from both lower and upper back pain. The boy had been under medical care for the bedwetting and was given medication to be used if he attended a sleep-over. Additionally, the boy was forced to wear pull-ups at night, however, he would soak through them most nights. His parents bought him bedwetting alarms and had also tried acupuncture, all to no avail.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included a postural analysis, spinal palpation, spinal Surface EMG scans, spinal thermal heat scans, and spinal x-rays. Based on the findings of the examination, subluxations were determined to be present and a series of specific chiropractic adjustments was started.
The study notes that on the 12th chiropractic visit, the boy’s mother reported that her son no longer had any back pain. She also reported that her son had not had “an accident” since starting chiropractic care. Prior to starting chiropractic, the boy would wet his bed at least once per week. It was also reported that the boy would regularly be sick with a fever and would wet the bed several times throughout the night. Since initiating chiropractic care, the boy had only experienced two fevers and in each case, he remained dry through the night.
In their conclusion the authors wrote, “This case report provides supporting evidence on the benefits of chiropractic care in children presenting with nocturnal enuresis.” It should be noted that what was not discussed in this case was the positive emotional effect on a 17-year-old boy who, thanks to chiropractic, no longer wets his bed and can continue his life as a normal young man.