Physical therapy for  treatment of bowel and bladder problems in children

Dysfunctional Elimination Syndrome

Dysfunctional Elimination in children may occur when the pelvic floor muscles do not work together with the bladder and/or bowel, and the normal voiding or emptying reflexes may be disrupted. This may lead to a chronic abnormal pattern of elimination which does not allow the bladder or bowel to empty completely. Some children experience

  • difficulty urinating or controlling their bladder function
  • frequent bladder infections
  • constipation
  • fecal soiling
  • infrequent voiding during the day
  • difficulty sensing bladder fullness
  • leakage during the day or wake up wet in the morning or both

This can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. If your child has experienced any of the above symptoms he/she may have been seen by a physician or specialist. I will work with the doctor to provide therapy to relax and retrain the pelvicfloor muscles.

How Can Therapy Help Your Child?

Physical Therapy can provide the tools your family needs to take control of your child’s bladder and bowel functions. Optimally, the bladder and pelvic floor muscles work opposite each other to successfully urinate. When the bladder muscle contracts or the bowels need to empty, the pelvic floor muscles relax. Your child will learn exercises to relax and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles at the appropriate time, void and empty completely, as well as avoid urinary and/or bowel leakage.

Using the tools of education and exercise about the basic mechanisms that control the bladder, your child will then learn the correct way to utilize the pelvic floor muscles. This will allow your child to control elimination.

The exercises are taught using;

  • biofeedback (a sticker on the muscle to read muscle activity) may also be used to teach your child how to strengthen the muscles
  • a specific home program based on his or her needs. 

Therapy continues with your child learning correct postures for toileting, foods that may be irritating to the bladder and how to create a regular pattern of filling and emptying the bladder through a toileting schedule. Therapy can help your child achieve dry days and nights!