Bed wetting yearly disappoints thousands and thousands of parents across the land and angers many. Children often receive psychic scarring because of shame, not to mention outright abuse. Much strange and wonderful paraphernalia has been contrived for centuries to awaken kids before the inevitable accident happens.Occasionally there is a valid psychological reason for bed wetting, but time after time, while a chiropractor is working to correct a child's spinal problems, the accidents stop.

There are several generally accepted theories among chiropractors as to why the wetting stops. The most common thought is that the misaligned spinal bones interfere with the nerves that pass by, on their way from the brain control center to the bladder. At the mouth of the bladder is a small band of muscle that must remain tight all night to stop the urine. As the pressure builds up inside the bladder, signals are sent to the brain over the nerves. The brain monitors the pressure, and sends just the right signal back down to the muscle to keep it holding. The stronger the pressure, the stronger the signal to hold.

Very simply, if a spinal vertebra out of place blocks the message going up, no stronger message to hold will be created, and the little muscle will eventually give, releasing the urine. Naturally.if the vertebra blocks the nerve going back down, the muscle can not hold tight either.

It all seems so easy. Adjust the vertebra to move it off the nerve, and the automatic intelligence in the brain can make the muscle hold the urine. After thousands of years of frustration over this, chiropractors just happened to notice the wetting stopping while they were working to put spines back in place.

 A second theory that bears consideration is that the child sleeps too soundly to sense the need to waken and empty the bladder. Again we must realize that the brain itself and the sleep mechanism can be affected by vertebrae out of place at the top of the neck. This is due to pressure on the brain stem. Chiropractors regularly see nervousness disappear; also hyperactivity. Sometimes even mental dullness and confusion leave because the top vertebra being out of place can interfere with patterns in the brain.


The body secretes an antidiuretic hormone (ADH) that slows down the production of urine by the kidneys. Some children who wet the bed are thought to be in a stage where they produce too little of this hormone at night. In chiropractic, we say that the nervous system ultimately has control over hormonal production, and that a vertebra (usually in the neck) slightly out of place and interfering with the nerves can interrupt this internal control.

Whichever theory is correct, the fact remains that the nervous system is in some way influenced or the bed wetting wouldn't stop when the spine is corrected. The nerve system is all important for making the body run efficiently.

Vertebrae can originally be twisted out of place during the birth process, rough handling, falls, and accidents, and can cause all manner of trouble in the nervous system if not corrected early. There is usually no spine or neck pain either, from these fairly minor deviations - -nothing to tip you off to a problem there. So you do your best to live with it.

If you or your child are fearful of untimely release of the bladder, try chiropractic. A blocked nerve may be all there is to it. (In our practice, we have found that the most likely place the nerve is blocked is at the base of the brain. Be sure your chiropractor has a good system for checking and correcting that area completely, or the desired results may not be forthcoming.)

(Now, as a side-note: When you do make an appointment, we recommend that you do not discuss any of this with your child. In this way, when the wetting stops, your friends will not be able to say that it was psychological.)

© J. W. Kribs, Chiropractor, Beecher Rd. Chiropractic, Flint, MI

Phone (810) 733-3370 for a free spinal screening.

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