It’s distressing to have parents come into our clinic and tell us their medical doctor said “it is normal” for an infant or a child to go a week between bowel movements. We all know the discomfort of bloating and constipation, babies and children feel the same pain and discomfort.
Often constipation is the result of poor nutrition where the body can’t properly digest food, dehydration that causes solid waste to be too dry to move properly through their gut, or a disturbance of the nerves that feed the digestive system.
Chiropractic care can help by assessing the lower back and sacrum for tension on the nerves that control the intestines and can help them to relax and help restore regular bowel movements. Also, taking Probiotics can help restore the balance of good bacteria their gut, heal it, and function properly.
At Brown Family Chiropractic, we often see children and infants brought in for constipation. Kids that go three to four days, even up to a week between bowel movements. That is not a healthy thing. The body isn’t functioning properly and toxic stool isn’t being eliminated from the body causing an unhealthy buildup.
So we help by working on digestion and work on promoting elimination in the body to get all that toxic load out of the body. You know how it feels when your gut is not feeling great. You’re bloated. You’re uncomfortable. Kids or infants even have the same symptoms.
Constipation may be due to an issue in the very lower part of their spine. The sacrum, which is a triangular bone at the base of the spine, is the last bone to become completely bone in the human body. Not until you the age of about 25 does that become completely solid bone. In a child, it’s cartilage. That means it’s not quite as hard as normal bone.
When a child falls right onto their bum or have a significant slip on the ice and come down on their on their lower back, oftentimes, that sacrum will buckle, or it’ll create just a little buckle, in that the nerves that leave that area go to the bowel and bladder. So that produces a little pull on those nerves. And that often can cause things like constipation, diarrhea, or bedwetting.
Muscle tension in the spine and neck can lead to vertebrae being out of alignment and possibly reduce the signal of the nerve leaving that vertebra. If they are not able to send a good signal to the organs they lead to, this can lead to issues arising in those organs.
So how can we make them feel better, provide some relief, and get their digestion moving a little bit faster? In infants and children, we assess and focus the sacrum or the lower back right at the base of their spine. Gentle movements of the sacrum can help facilitate the nerves that feed the digestive system and the colon. If there’s some restriction in the joint, or where that nerve leaves, an adjustment will open up that communication and can promote digestion. We’ve even seen babies suffering from constipation have a bowel movement (in their diaper of course!) on our table immediately after an adjustment.
Spondylitic Activation Therapy
Our Sympathetic Nervous system controls our “fight or flight” functions and our Parasympathetic Nervous System controls our body’s “rest and digest” functions. A lot of times when kids or infants have digestion issues where they’re not going very frequently, they’re in sympathetic overdrive – fight or flight mode. So they’re saying I need to survive today. I’m not gonna put digestion upfront right now because that’s on the back burner. So we need to balance out those systems. In infants, we also perform Spondylitic Activation Therapy by intermittently tapping on the sacrum to help activate the parasympathetic nervous system – which controls the rest and digest function in our bodies. This helps get that bowel movement frequency up and running again and more consistent. So that’s a great adjunct with chiropractic adjustments to help open up that communication again between the brain and that digestive system.
After a toxic overload like constipation, we also may suggest probiotics for the child or the infant to help rebalance the good bacteria that live in their digestive system. These good bacteria outnumber human cells four to one and their health is very important to a normal functioning gut. Unfortunately, the “Standard American Diet” generally feeds bad bacteria and yeast which leads to an imbalance in the number of the bad organisms in our digestive system versus the good ones. So we need to switch that around and put more good bacteria in their digestive system to help break down food, that they can absorb it, and can eliminate properly.
Probiotics are a great adjunct to use for constipation issues. Also hydration. Kids often don’t drink enough water. They sometimes drink a lot of sugary juices or maybe sodas. Getting sugary drinks out of the diet and focusing on hydration with water can really help push waste through the cells and detoxify the body. The colon, or the lower end of your digestive system, is where you absorb water from foods and drink. So if there is a lack of water in your child’s body, the solid waste is going to be more dried out than their body can handle at the end of digestion. Children need proper hydration and nourishment to help pull all that new absorption of water back into the body and have a nice smooth release on the way out.
Hydration, probiotics, chiropractic adjustments, and spondylitic therapy are great ways to get the digestive system up and running again and get our kids healthy. If you have a child or an infant with these issues feel free to give our office a call. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
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