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At what age should bedwetting become a concern?

As adults, when the bladder gets full, it sends a signal to the brain to wake up or you start dreaming about water or going to bathroom, and then you wake up, but for kids the signal isn’t quite strong enough to get them awake, this is referred to as an immature nervous system.  Most children should achieve some degree of bladder control by 4 years of age. Daytime control is usually achieved first, while nighttime control comes later.

Factors that affect the age at which wetting is considered a problem include the following:

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  • The child’s gender: Bedwetting is more common in boys.
  • The child’s development and maturity
  • The child’s overall physical and emotional health. Chronic illness and/or emotional and physical abuse may predispose to bedwetting.

Few parents realize that bed wetting past the age of 4-5 years old can impact greatly of a child self esteem, causing feelings of shame, guilt, embarrassment and impaired social skills. Especially when the child starts having sleepovers away from home with friends or family.

At Chiropractic Dubai our doctors know that a child’s inability to stay dry at night may be a sign of an underlying problem. We approach these cases with sensitivity and compassion. While chiropractic is not a treatment for bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis), many children have been helped by using gentle chiropractic care.

One distressed mother brought her 4 year old daughter into our clinic for bedwetting. Dr. Pamela looked at the child’s medical history, having a normal birth the child suffered from frequent colds and had a mild asthmatic cough. After a chiropractic examination, Dr. Pamela found the child had a reduced curve in her lumbar spine, Left C1 translation in the upper neck and muscle spasm in the back. An indication that this could be affecting the nerves for bladder control.

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There are two important muscles that control emptying the bladder called the detrusor and trigone muscles. Nerves that exit the spinal column in the lower back and sacrum control these muscles. During the early years of life, the sacrum has five separate segments. Later, they fuse together to form the triangular-shaped bone that adults have at the base of the spine. If these segments misalign through falling, learning to walk, riding a bike for example, they can compromise nerves responsible for bladder function. We use gentle chiropractic treatment to reduce these misalignments focusing on the nervous system control which helps restore regulation of the bladder.

After a few gentle chiropractic treatments the little girl started to show some signs of improvement but was still irregular with bedwetting, then after the sixth treatment the mother reported her child’s bed wetting had noticeably reduced. By the eight chiropractic treatment the mother was so happy to report her child had no bed wetting incidents and she really noticed the positive difference this was having on her child.

What a parent can do from their side to decrease the chances of bedwetting

  • The child should try to not take excessive fluids, chocolate, caffeine, carbonated drinks, or citrus after 3 p.m. Routine fluids with dinner are appropriate.
  • The child should urinate in the toilet before bedtime.
  • Younger children typically goes to bed earlier than their parents. A way of teaching the child that it is more important to wake up to go to the bathroom (when it’s needed) than waking up to a dry bed is to wake him/her up, and take them to the bathroom before you go to bed.  However, this should be used as one of the last resorts to avoid interrupting sleeping patterns, and the child should locate the bathroom on his/her own for this strategy to be successful.
  • A reward chart might be a good idea. The child gets a sticker on the chart for every night of remaining dry. Collecting a certain number of stickers earns a reward. For younger children, such a motivational approach has been shown to provide significant improvement (14 consecutive dry nights) in most children with a low relapse rate (two wet nights out of 14).
  • An important aspect of this process is the parents’ attitude toards it all.  Motivate the child and don’t blame or make an issue out of bedwetting every single time.  Some say including the child in the cleaning process works too.

If your child is suffering from bedwetting past the age of 4 years old, chiropractic might help. Call 043481166