The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published the results of a chiropractic case on October 10, 2019, documenting the resolution of chronic constipation in a child undergoing chiropractic care. According to the study authors, Constipation is considered more as a symptom rather than a disease. Some have defined constipation as less than 3 bowel motions per week or as difficulty in passing stools.
Functional constipation, sometimes known as chronic idiopathic constipation is constipation that does not have a physical, anatomical, hormonal or other body chemistry cause. The study reports that this issue is common in infants and can affect nearly 30% of the pediatric population and is one of the most common causes of visits to the pediatrician. Medical interventions commonly involve medications which have questionable results and are problematic when determining dosage and long term effects.
In this case, a 3½-year-old girl was brought to the chiropractor by her mother. Her mother reported that her daughter was having trouble potty training. It was also noted that the little girl had never had regular consistent bowel movements and would go 3 to 4 days between movements. It was reported that the girl was afraid to use the toilet because her bowel movements were painful after not having gone to the bathroom for days.
The girl’s mother had taken her to a pediatrician who had prescribed a laxative, recommended counseling and suggested a fiber supplement. However, the girl’s parents were hesitant to place their daughter on medication or a regular daily fiber treatment, so they decided to seek chiropractic to see if it could help. They were concerned that if their daughter was not potty trained, she would not be able to enter preschool.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included an overall postural inspection, palpation, and some non-invasive neurological testing. From the examination, it was determined that subluxations were present. With the permission of the mother, specific age-appropriate chiropractic adjustments were started.
The girl received two chiropractic adjustments per week for each of the first two weeks, followed by an every other month visit. The mother reported that because of the chiropractic care, her daughter was able to go to the toilet all on her own with non-painful bowel movements. She reported that her daughter was completely potty trained within three weeks of starting chiropractic. The girl was able to enter preschool and did not need to take any medications. A long-term follow up a year later reported that the girl was not having any issues with constipation.