Nocturnal enuresis, more commonly known as bed wetting, is a frustrating and sometimes embarrassing condition found most commonly in boys. Parents will try all they can to prevent it such as withholding fluids, waking their child in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and rewards or punishments based on their nighttime dryness. When it seems like none of these methods are working, the issue might actually be the phrenic reflex.
Our phrenic nerves are located in the 3rd, 4th and 5th cervical vertebrae and subluxation in these areas could result in slow development of a mechanism known as the phrenic reflex. The phrenic reflex is your body’s way of keeping you breathing properly while you are sleeping. If your respiratory rate slows to the point of allowing too much carbon dioxide to build up, the phrenic nerves stimulate the diaphragm (the large muscle in your abdominal area) to increase its activity so that normal breathing will resume.
In some children, this reflex is inhibited and the buildup of carbon dioxide in the body can lead to smooth muscles (like the type found in the bladder) to relax. When the bladder relaxes it leaks its contents during sleep.
If cervical subluxation is responsible for a faulty phrenic reflex, chiropractic adjustments are just what your child needs to keep their bed dry at night.