AKA: nighttime incontinence or nocturnal enuresis
It is defined as: involuntary urination at night, but at an age where dryness is expected.
There are many causes of nighttime wetness. Some include:
Bladder Control Issues - Whether a small bladder or inability to feel a full bladder
Internal Condition - Hormone Imbalance, Sleep Apnea, Diabetes, or a UTI
But, we are chiropractors, so we are here to talk about the Nervous System's role in this.
Let's start with an anatomy lesson:
- Your sacrum is made up of 5 bones that fuse together in your late teens to mid twenties.
- This means that in a child, the bones are not fused yet
- Your bladder is controlled by:
Pelvic Parasympathetic Nerves from the Sacrum - these excite the bladder + relax your urethra, allowing you to pass urine
Lumbar Sympathetic Nerves from the Lumbar Spine - these inhibit the bladder by constricting the urethral sphincter
Here is a pictures showing the relationship between the sacrum, bladder nerves, and bladder:
From a chiropractic standpoint, having a vertebrae that is not moving like it should, can affect the nerve that it controls.
This includes the nerve that controls the bladder.
Your nerves that relax the bladder are located in your sacrum, specifically around your 2nd sacral vertebrae. As stated earlier, a child's sacrum is not fused yet, meaning that it is not uncommon for a specific sacral vertebrae to be malpositioned, or not moving well.
Therefore, a sacral vertebrae not moving like it should, can wrongly stimulate the nerve it affects, possibly leading to bedwetting.
By encouraging proper movement, through adjustments, we can help take this pressure off the nerve, helping lead children to more dry nights.
There have actually been documented studies that show a positive correlation between spinal adjustments and reduction of bed wetting!
While there are other solutions to bed wetting, such as limiting fluids before bedtime, having them use the restroom before bed, or trying out the alarm trick, sometimes it could be an internal issue.
Now, I do recommend ruling out the other internal issues, such as diabetes or an ADH imbalance. These usually do come with other symptoms outside of bed wetting.
Here at Woodland, we have had personal success in treating children with bed wetting. Sometimes results are seen immediately, and other do take time. There is no perfect care plan for these children, but we recommend at least a few visits to get their sacrum moving like it should.
We also check for primitive reflexes in children with bed wetting, but that is another article for another day.
Is your child experiencing bed wetting?
Reach out, we would love to see if we can help!