Chronic Childhood Constipation Helped With Chiropractic - A Case Study

The January, 2007 issue of the scientific periodical, the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) published a case study showing the beneficial effects of chiropractic care on an 8 year old boy suffering from chronic constipation. In this case the boy had been suffering with the condition since birth and was treated medically with laxatives, high fluid intake, and high fiber intake, all of which had no effect on his condition.

In this case the young boy's condition was such that he only had a bowel movement at 7 to 10 day intervals and at times approaching every 2 weeks and were quite painful. He was apparently born healthy and was breast fed until 6 months of age. No other underlying diseases were identified by his medical physicians.

The child's mother brought him to a chiropractor who examined him and determined the presence of a sacral subluxation. Care was initiated and adjustments were given to correct the subluxation. In this case the patient reported an immediate dramatic improvement in bowel function after just the first visit. His mother was very excited and reported that he had a bowel movement on the day of his first visit and 2 days later. She reported that this was extraordinary because her son had never in his life had 3 bowel movements in 4 days.

Care was continued for four weeks and he continued to report improving bowel function. After one month it was reported by both the patient and his mother that he was experiencing consistent normal bowel function. Months later follow up reports continued to show that the boy was experiencing normal bowel function. In this case there was also a follow up phone call conducted 13 years later, and the patient still reported normal bowel function and stated that his bowel function was nearly "clock-like" with daily bowel movements.

The study points out that chronic childhood constipation accounts for 3% of visits to general pediatricians and nearly 30% of visits to pediatric gastroenterologists. They note that medical treatment usually includes dietary management, biofeedback, and laxatives. However, statistically 30% to 50% of children do not respond to these treatments and continue to have long-term problems.