Pain in the Rear: Constipation 101 from Dr. Tom

The last thing a parent wants is to see their child in discomfort. Worse yet, discomfort due to constipation. We have heard it all from parents using laxatives, prunes, fiber sources, increasing water intake, and even the thermometer method to get things started for their child. Although these techniques can help, they don’t always result in lasting regularity.

What’s a parent to do?

Straining, abdominal pain, and possible rectal bleeding are the common signs of constipation. However, have you also noticed other effects including poor sleep and irritability when your child hasn’t had a bowel movement in days?

It’s important to note that constipation is not the result of decreased laxatives or prunes in your child’s system. Constipation can be the result of dehydration or dietary reasons; however most likely there is something else going at a deeper level as well. This may be why you haven’t found a lasting result or consistent routine even after you have made lifestyle changes.

Constipation and Chiropractic Care

According to Dr. Jennifer Barham-Floreani (2009), one of the top 10 reasons parents take their child to see a chiropractic is to “alleviate bedwetting and digestive concerns (i.e. constipation).” Other reasons can be found here.

Chiropractors start at the beginning during their evaluation, analyzing pregnancy stressors for mom and the birth process for the child. Chiropractors know that birth can be a traumatic process for infants. Even the most natural of births place a large amount of pressure on the head and neck of the infant as (s)he descends from the birth canal and into the world. As interventions such as forceps, vacuum extraction, or c-section are deemed necessary, even further pressure and strain is placed on the infant during delivery.

This process can result in spinal misalignments, or “subluxations”, for the child. Spinal misalignments not only result in discomfort, but also stress on the surrounding nerves. Since the nervous system controls every other system in the body (respiratory, digestive, circulatory, immune, etc.), it is very important to have your child checked by a pediatric chiropractor to remove any interference post birth!

Most commonly, misalignments are found in the lumbar and sacrum regions when constipation is the chief complaint- but not limited. Although we don’t say that chiropractic is a “cure” for constipation, we know that when the body is free of interference, amazing things can happen!


In our office we have found that when a child is under consistent chiropractic care, constipation improves. Therefore, when bowel movements become more regular, secondary concerns such as irritability and poor sleep also improve!

What parent doesn’t want that?

The following is a testimonial from a mom in our office:

A mom brought her 18 month old into our office with the chief complaint of constipation. Her child wasn’t having bowel movements for up to 8 days at a time, and at first mom needed to help her little one along with either the thermometer method of suppositories.

After her first adjustment, the child went #2 the very next day! After that, the child continued to have bowel movements every day that week (one day even going TWICE). Mom also noted improved sleep for her child since starting care.

Let this story be yours!
We want to help you and your child live a healthy, happy life with chiropractic.

If your child is suffering from constipation, and you are ready to ditch the thermometers and suppositories, call us TODAY: 312.724.8724