The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on February 1, 2016, documenting the case of a baby boy suffering from constipation being helped by chiropractic. The study reports that constipation is a common pediatric problem affecting about 3% of children.
According to the Mayo clinic website, constipation in infants and toddlers is not determined by the frequency of bowel movements but rather by the difficulty, pain and consistency of the movement. Their website describes how to detect painful movement in an infant. "Infants experiencing painful bowel movements might arch their backs, tighten their buttocks or cry. Keep in mind that infants have weak abdominal muscles and often strain during bowel movements."
The authors of the study note that most medical approaches to constipation are not very effective. They explain, "When one considers the perspective that approximately 30% of children beyond puberty continue to struggle with symptoms of constipation, new therapeutic strategies are necessary thus making alternative therapies an attractive care option for children suffering from the disorder."
In this case, an 8-month-old baby boy was brought to the chiropractor by his mother to see if he could be helped with his constipation. The infant's mother noted that her son had not had a bowel movement for five days and was in obvious pain and discomfort. She observed that her son would strain for a bowel movement without success. The baby was given fluids and not given any medications.
A chiropractic examination consisting of heat readings, static and motion palpation was performed. It was determined that subluxations were present, and with the consent of the mother, specific corrective chiropractic adjustments were begun.
The effects of the chiropractic adjustment were immediate. The case study reports, "As the mother and son were in their car to leave the clinic parking lot, the patient proceeded to have a very large bowel movement while sitting in his car seat. The mother phoned the clinic two hours later to inform that the patient had proceeded to have an additional two bowel movements since they had left the chiropractic clinic." The mother also reported that her infant son's disposition had greatly improved.
In their conclusion the authors wrote, "We described the successful chiropractic care of an infant suffering from constipation. In addition to resolving the child's presenting complaint, the patient's quality of life improved significantly as reported by his mother."