Can Chiropractic Help Adult Incontinence?

Incontinence, or the difficulty in controlling one’s bladder, affects 4 in 10 women and 1 in 10 men during their lifetime.  About 17% of children younger than 15 years are also affected. In a survey of 2,500 women aged 55–95, 64% reported that urinary incontinence was of great concern to them, but only 25% perceived that it was being adequately addressed by their healthcare provider.  Urinary incontinence is associated with poor quality of life, poor self-rated health, social isolation, depressive symptoms, decline in the instrumental activities of daily living, and an increase in out-of-pocket expenses.

Changes to your posture not only can affect your back, neck, knees and even breathing, it can also affect the alignment of your pelvis, which houses your digestive and elimination organs. If the angle of your pelvis is slightly off alignment, then these organs, particularly your bladder, may not be properly supported.  When you are young, your pelvic floor muscles are generally strong enough to compensate for bad posture. But, as you age, the tissues throughout your body can become less resilient - unfortunately, that will include the muscles of your pelvic floor as well.

By maintaining good posture as you age, you may be able to maintain your continence much longer than you ever expected. Remember, though, incontinence is NOT an inevitability! Of course you will want to keep your core muscles as strong as possible, but incontinence typically responds well to the pressure-relieving and function-restoring benefits of a good chiropractic adjustment.  When the Chiropractor makes an adjustment to your spine, the resulting improvement in communication can affect your entire body. The spinal cord carries the messages of the brain; together they make up your central nervous system, which controls and coordinates everything in your body. Through the nerves to the bladder, urination is activated and coordinated effectively.

When a Chiropractor makes an adjustment to the spine, she may be re-balancing inappropriate pressure which has been interfering with the proper communication between your brain and your bladder. With the miscommunication corrected, normal body function can return.

A study of 21 patients who were followed for 6 years showed that:  in 48% of the cases, their urinary incontinence symptoms resolved totally; another 33% considerably improved; and a further 19% slightly improved. That equates to 81% of the case studies showing at least some level of improvement with urinary incontinence.

Based upon the numbers of people who suffer from urinary incontinence and the treatment choices available, Chiropractic should be considered a reasonable and effective option,  especially as there are no side effects to consider, unlike medication protocols and treatments.

Reference:

Journal of Chiropractic Medicine (2012) 11,49-57 Scott, C., Rosner A., Conservative chiropractic management of urinary incontinence using applied kinesiology: a retrospective case-series report