Chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy in a 14-year-old male with persistent enuresis secondary to autistic disorder.

Justin Ohm, DC, DACCP


Objective: To examine the possible link between persistent enuresis secondary to autism and specific chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy (SMT).

Clinical Features: A 14-year-old male diagnosed with autism at 18 months presented with complaints of persistent enuresis, approximately 5-7 nights per week. Enuresis was long standing and had become more of a burden recently due to the initiation of puberty. The patient’s parents had stated that they had utilized craniosacral therapy and low force chiropractic in the past with minimal success, but were hopeful that a more osseous technique would offer different results.

Intervention and Outcome: Following history and examination, the patient received 5 chiropractic SMTs over the course of 35 days. Decreased frequency of enuresis was noted after the first treatment. The patient’s parents however, remained skeptical as frequency was often erratic. After the second treatment the frequency decreased to 1 night per week. Improvements were maintained through the 3rd, 4th and 5th visits. Of note, the parent also reported that the patient spoke his first word during the course of chiropractic care.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates how traditional chiropractic SMT can have a significant impact on improving persistent enuresis in a teenager. Additional case studies are needed to establish a more widespread relationship between chiropractic SMT and decreased frequency of enuresis.