Can a Chiropractor Help OAB?

Can a Chiropractor Help OAB?

How Overactive Bladder May Be Influenced by Spinal Nerves and What to Do About It

You may not realize that the bladder is controlled by spinal nerves, and that spinal adjustment of these nerves may be enough to positively affect the condition of overactive bladder or urinary incontinence. This makes chiropractic a great overactive bladder natural treatment.

Here’s an example of this happening from a chiropractor in private practice in Hutchinson, Minnesota. His patient was a boy, only five years old, who had bowel and bladder incontinence as a result of serious surgery to the low back. The boy had needed the surgery because of a fatty tumor growing in the spine that had tethered his spinal cord. At the time, the boy had spinal dysfunction and pelvic dysfunction, too.

Our heart can only go out to this little boy. The chiropractor used the Activator Adjusting tool to adjust the boy as well as shortwave diathermy to his lower back during five treatments over 4 weeks. The Activator is a tool that delivers an impulse to ‘wake up’ the nerves in the vertebrae. No excessive force is used, and neither are any twisting motions used.

After the initial 5 treatments, the boy was able to have normal continence for six months. Then his bowel and bladder incontinence recurred, and the chiropractor gave four more treatments over a month. This did the trick and the incontinence never returned.

The 13-Year-Old Girl Whose Incontinence Was From Muscle Imbalance

In another case reported in the medical literature, a 13-year-old girl developed appendicitis and had surgery for it. Immediately after the surgery she experienced pain in her right hip and overactive bladder and had to constantly wear incontinence pads for 10 months. Her parents took her to the chiropractor and a different form of chiropractic called applied kinesiology or AK was used. He found pelvic floor muscle and joint abnormalities and treated her according to what was indicated by protocols in AK.


The overactive bladder and hip pain resolved themselves quickly. Six years later there weren’t any other incidents of overactive bladder.

But those are only case histories, you may say. What about other studies on more people with overactive bladder?

Chiropractic Has Helped More Than A Few People

There is one additional study from a chiropractic health center in Pueblo, Colorado. For this one, researchers examined 21 patients who had overactive bladder for anywhere from 4 months to 49 years, and low back pain and/or pain in the pelvis. They found distortions in the pelvic floor muscles, muscles in the lower back, and in the pelvis. The joint between the lumbar spine and sacrum was dysfunctional in 13 cases and in 8 cases there was no feeling in this area of the spine.

The chiropractors worked on the soft tissue in these areas and adjusted the area with a special chiropractic tool that ‘thumps’ the body when pressed, as well as a Cox table. Ten patients had complete resolution of the overactive bladder and seven patients experienced a considerable improvement. Only four cases were slightly improved. Follow-up visits between two and six years showed that the results remained positive.

Why It Works

Nerves and the nervous system control every part of your body. We tend to take the act of urination for granted, but it only works properly if the nerve flow to the bladder is as it should be. Overactive bladder could afflict the body if nerve flow is not as great as it should be, resulting in an inability to hold the urine until the time is appropriate.

Chiropractic manipulations, even different methods of chiropractic, have been successful at treating overactive bladder and resolving it. It’s possible that those who only had partial results in the largest study simply needed another round of treatment and that the chiropractors gave up on them a little too early!

What to Ask Your Chiropractor at Your First Visit

Since chiropractic isn’t generally considered by patients of overactive bladder, it’s a good idea to ask your chiropractor if they’ve ever treated it and been successful. If they say no, you might bring them a copy of this article and they’ll have a better idea of how to treat you. In the event they still believe your condition is insurmountable, ask the Chiropractic Association in your state to refer someone who uses the AK method. This way you will be able to get good results.

Above all, keep faith. Chiropractic has worked as an overactive bladder natural treatment for many patients and it’s a matter of time and the right chiropractor to resolve your overactive bladder.


Kamrath, K.R. Chiropractic management of a 5-year-old boy with urinary and bowel incontinence. J Chiropr Med 2010 Mar; 9(1): 28-31.

Cuthbert, S.C. and Rosner, A.L. Conservative management of post-surgical urinary incontinence in an adolescent using applied kinesiology: a case report. Altern Med Rev. 2011 Jun; 16 (2): 164-71.

Cuthbert, S. C. and Rosner, A.L. Conservative chiropractic management of urinary incontinence using applied kinesiology: a retrospective case-series report. J Chiropr Med 2012 Mar; 11 (1): 49-57.

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