The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on Jan. 20, 2014, documenting improvement in constipation and abdominal pain in a young boy who received chiropractic care. The study authors note that the prevalence of constipation ranges from 0.7% to 29.6% in children worldwide. A Medical Expenditure Panel Survey found that between 2003 and 2004 an estimated 1.7 million children in the United States suffered from constipation.
In this case, an 8-year-old boy was brought to the chiropractor with a history of constipation and associated problems that had been present since birth. On average, the boy would only have one bowel movement per week, and he also suffered from some involuntary releases. Additionally, he was experiencing long-term severe abdominal pain. The boy's problems and pain resulted in him not enjoying recess at school, and resulted in weekly calls from school reporting "accidents" related to his problem.
A pediatrician and a gastroenterologist prescribed medications which had little or no effect. Medical x-rays did not reveal any problems, and finally, the doctors recommended exploratory surgery. The boy's mother did not want to pursue the exploratory surgery, deciding to go with chiropractic instead.
A chiropractic examination was performed that included palpation, spinal range of motion, thermographic studies, and spinal x-rays. It was determined that subluxations were present and chiropractic care was started. Dietary changes to increase water intake and decrease sugars were also recommended.
A re-evaluation performed after 12 chiropractic adjustments showed a marked improvement in the thermal scans. The boy's mother reported that her son was having regular daily bowel movements and was no longer having any accidents. Because of his improvement, the boy was now enjoying outdoor activities for the first time in his life. He began playing sports such as soccer and enjoying a normal life.
In their conclusion the authors wrote, "This case reports on the successful resolution of symptoms of a child with chronic constipation and fecal incontinence through chiropractic care. Subluxations were detected and corrected to restore proper biomechanical and neurological function. This case contributes to an already existing body of case studies within the chiropractic literature."