Having a child experience difficulty with bowel/bladder control can be an emotional situation for both the parent and child. It is often difficult to understand the dysfunction as a parent and frustrating not knowing how to help. Children are often left feeling shame and embarrassment, which can sometimes lead to behavioral changes.
Millions of children suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction and are often not getting the right help. Physical Therapy is a non-invasive approach that can be very effective in helping your child gain control and independence with bowel and bladder function. Our specialists offer a variety of treatment techniques and modalities to manage and overcome the painful and debilitating effects that can result from these conditions.
Your Child is Not Alone
- 20% of pediatrician visits are for incontinence problems
- 15% of visits to gastrointestinal doctors are for lower-bowel dysfunction
- 3% of visits to pediatricians are for constipation
- 5 million youngsters complain of nocturnal enuresis (nighttime bedwetting)
Do I Need a Referral?
In many states, Physical Therapists can be legally seen directly without a referral under what is known as ‘direct access.’ However, some insurance companies require referral in order to pay for your treatment. As a convenience to you, all Therapeutic Associates locations will gladly verify your insurance benefits prior to your first visit.
What to Expect
Our treatment plan is a non-invasive team approach that includes input from the referring physician, the parents/caregivers, the child, and the physical therapist. It is imperative that the child and parent feel comfortable, respected, and supported in the therapy process.
All treatment includes a parent or parent-authorized caregiver to be present with the child and therapist during all evaluation and treatment. The initial evaluation includes a review of current bowel/bladder function, and review of health history and any special tests that have been completed. Next, a physical examination is performed to look at the muscles of the abdomen, pelvis, and legs. The treatment also includes biofeedback, muscle strengthening and/or stretching, muscle relaxation techniques, behavioral and diet modification, and a home exercise program.
Common Health Problems and Diagnoses
Pediatric pelvic floor dysfunction refers to a wide range of problems that occur when the muscles are weak, in spasm, and/or too tight. These muscle problems can cause bowel and bladder leakage, day or nighttime incontinence (bedwetting), or dysfunctional elimination. Diagnoses that often involve pelvic floor dysfunction include:
- Chronic Constipation
- Encopresis: Bowel Incontinence and/or Inability to empty bowel
- Enuresis: Urinary Incontinence
- Excessive Gas, Abdominal Bloating
- Fecal Urgency/Frequency
- Painful Urination or Defecation
- Urinary Frequency/Urgency
- Urinary Retention
- Vesicoureteral Reflux
How to Get Started
Treatment is specialized, focused on the individual needs of each of our patients, and can include various specialized techniques. Prior to treatment, we recommend the following to get started:
- Get a thorough examination from your physician to rule out any medical conditions
- Schedule an appointment with one of our Pediatric Pelvic Floor specialists at one of our participating locations
- Complete the New Patient Forms: Click to download 3 forms (PDF packet) >
- Complete the Pelvic Questionnaire/Health History: Click to download PDF
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