Signs and Symptoms
hard or lumpy stools that are difficult to pass
feeling of bowels not being completely empties
feeling of a blockage that prevents bowel movements
Causes of Constipation
blockages such as a hemorrhoid or neoplastic growth
problems with nerves that go to and around the colon and rectum
spinal cord injury or stroke
weakened pelvic muscles
The Medical Approach
Laxatives: Enemas, suppositories, stool softeners, lubricants, and stimulants are all available over the counter for use in case of constipation.
Botox: Experimentation with Botox, or botulinium toxin type A, is used to treat constipation.
Surgery: Removal of a portion of the colon that is slowing down the progression of the stool.
The Non-Medical Approach
Probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria, such a bifidobacterium and lactobacillus, have been shown to be helpful with digestive issues. An increase in fiber intake (14g for every 1000 calories) and exercise have been known to help with constipation as well.
The Chiropractic Approach
The chiropractic adjustment has been shown to be one the safest and most effective standard treatments for constipation. Taking pressure off of the nerve roots that eventually innervate the colon and rectum can result in an increased ability to eliminate. Often times, subluxations in the upper neck or in the sacrum and pelvis are the areas which lead to constipation. In one study by Schtulman and Cunningham, a 10-year-old girl suffering from constipation showed improvement within the first hour of having neck and pelvic subluxations reduced by a chiropractic adjustment.