Constipation problems are relatively common and may affect any age from babies to seniors.
What Is Constipation?
Most parents define constipation as bowel motions that are not frequent enough and or painful to pass. They may be too hard or large .
How Often Should My Baby Be Passing A Bowel Motion?
This does depend on whether your baby is breast or bottle fed.
In the first few months of life, exclusively breast fed babies may pass a motion four times a day or more, or only once every 7 days.
Formula fed babies should be passing a bowel motion every day.
Babies on solids should be passing a motion at least once per day.
Children and adults should also be passing a bowel motion daily.
Is Straining Normal?
Momentary straining may be considered normal. Bowel motions should not be difficult to pass and any straining should only be for a few seconds before the motion is passed. The bowel motion should be soft.
What Causes Constipation Problems?
Constipation problems may be caused by:
. Not enough fluid intake
. Changes in diet – introducing solids.
. Certain medications
. Cow’s milk protein allergy
. Refraining from emptying the bowel (fear of pain when passing a bowel motion).
. Poor diet
. An imbalance in gut bacteria
. Spinal misalignments in either the low back, neck or cranium.
How Spinal Misalignments may affect Constipation Problems?
The entire bowel is under the influence of the nervous system (parasympathetic). The Bowel consists of a small bowel and a large bowel. The large bowel is involved in constipation problems.
Approximately one third of the large bowel is supplied by pelvic Splanchnic nerves which exit from S2-4 sacral segments(bones in the low back). Their function aids in emptying the bowel (rectum) .
Misalignments of the sacral spine may cause less optimal nerve function , resulting in constipation.
The small bowel and two thirds of the proximal large bowel are supplied by the vagus nerve. The Vagus nerve exits the skull (jugular foramen) between the temporal and occipital bone in the skull. The Vagus nerve then descends through the neck and into the chest supplying the heart, lungs, stomach and bowel.
Interference with the nerves which supply the bowel (vagus nerve and or splanchnic nerves) may result in the bowel not functioning properly, leading to constipation problems. Correcting spinal misalignments in the low back and or neck/cranium through gentle chiropractic adjustments may restores optimal nerve function, allowing the bowels to work properly.
When this occurs your babies bowel motions may become more frequent and easier. Usually resulting in a more happier and settled baby.
Several research studies have shown constipation to improve following chiropractic treatment.
(6.) J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2001 September; 45(3): 185–191.
(7.) Ian Kim , Keith Hammond , Joel Alcantara , Kelly Holt Immediate Resolution of Constipation in an Infant Following Chiropractic Care: A Case Report & Selective Review of the Literature Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic ~ Volume 2012 ~ Issue 2 ~ Pages 61-65
(8.) Marko, S.The Effect of Chiropractic Care on an Infant with Problems of Constipation: A Case Study Chiropractic Pediatrics Vol. 1 No. 3 Dec. 1994.