Potty training brings a multitude of challenges even in the best of circumstances. However, when constipation, “holding”, and accidents complicate the process, it can be overwhelming for both the child and parents. The good news is, there’s help! A branch of pediatric physical therapy is now available and is devoted to helping parents and children through this process while successfully navigating the various complications that can arise.
By the age of six, most children have mastered control of bowel and bladder function. Still, pediatricians confirm that a large number of children continue to struggle well beyond this age with issues surrounding bowel and bladder function.
Pelvic floor muscle dysfunction (also referred to as dysfunctional elimination) can result in recurrent urinary tract infections, enuresis (bladder leakage), encopresis (bowel leakage), constipation, abdominal bloating, pain, night time bedwetting, and can lead to embarrassment and/or social stigmas.
Pediatric gastroenterologists or pediatric urologists will complete testing to rule out infections, congenital abnormalities, and endocrine or central nervous system causes of dysfunctional elimination. If it is determined that sensory and muscular causes are the problem, your child may be referred for physical therapy for pelvic floor muscle training using biofeedback.
The ring of muscles surrounding the openings where bladder and bowel elimination occur can be weak and/or dysfunctional. Physical therapy can address this muscle dysfunction through biofeedback training for muscle activation or relaxation.
What to expect:
- Children are seen for treatment in a private room with the parent or guardian present.
- Children and families are educated on how the bowel and bladder work.
- Information is obtained through written questionnaires and interview regarding the history of bowel and bladder habits and diet.
- The child’s posture is assessed and an evaluation of pelvic floor muscle function is completed using biofeedback.
- External electrodes are placed on the pelvic floor muscles and are connected to a computer monitor. Child friendly graphics or more traditional graphics (for our older clients) are used as a tool to help the child understand and learn how to use the pelvic floor muscles. No part of evaluation or treatment process is painful for your child.
- Once enough information is obtained, the physical therapist can educate the child and family regarding the problems noted and the recommended plan for treatment.
In addition to biofeedback, physical therapy treatment for pelvic floor muscle dysfunction may also include:
- Use of a bowel and bladder diary
- Dietary/nutritional education
- Postural muscle training and education
- Breathing techniques and exercises
- Manual therapy (belly massages muscle or visceral relaxation)
The success of treatment depends on the collaboration of a team of doctors, therapists, the parents, and child. Fox Valley Physical Therapy and Wellness, LLC, currently offers pediatric pelvic floor muscle training. A compassionate and positive approach to bowel and bladder dysfunction can result in improved confidence, self-esteem, and independence for your child.
Please contact our office at 630-549-0511 if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule an appointment.
My daughter first began seeing Mary Kelly at the age of 16 months, after her first of four major orthopaedic surgeries. It was clear in the beginning that Mary is no ordinary physical therapist. Over the four years that my daughter has been Mary’s client we have always found her to be a kind,...
- Shelby M.
“Mary Kelly has been working with our son for over a year now. Thanks to her incredible insight, she has been able to unravel several issues that no other therapist had even identified. With her perspective, patience, and extensive experience, Mary has given our son the opportunity to overcome...
- Kathy M.
My daughter has severe physical disability and has been treated by Mary Kelly for the last 8 years. Mary provides professional knowledge, detailed explanations, and compassionate care. She is absolutely the best in the Chicago area! ...
- Kim L.
Chris and Mary provide a very caring and motivating environment for the patients. They also instill a very collaborative approach that benefits the patient. Highly skilled in their respective specialties with the ultimate goal of helping you. ...
- Karin H.
Intense discomfort in the hip area made walking difficult and disallowed my main hobby: golf. Chris Kelly, through careful listening and knowledgeable probing questions, discovered the true source of the pain and created a regime to treat the offending area as well as promote flexibility and...
- Stephen Frost
If you are looking for a private, personalized and professional physical therapist, Fox Valley Physical Therapy and Wellness is the choice for you. Both Chris and Mary Kelly are knowledgeable, caring and dedicated. I arrived with severe pain and difficulty walking and standing and have shown...
- Barbara W.
I saw Chris Kelly for physical therapy after an ACL injury and was really pleased with the quality of care that I received. As an active person, it was very important to me to be able to return to all the things I had done prior to the injury. Chris treated me as a partner in my care and made my...
- Rose Ann D.
You feel all their efforts are directed toward resolving your problem. They’re some of the BEST in physical therapy. I would definitely recommend patients to them for treatment. ...
- Mary C.
I came to physical therapy with a skeptic view as to its benefits having had prior experiences that didn’t always work out with other injuries. Following my podiatrist’s recommendation, I went to see Chris, gave PT another chance, and was thrilled by the results. I arrived...
I am very glad that I came to Fox Valley Physical Therapy and Wellness. I began physical therapy with Chris Kelly for a torn hamstring in October 2011. The injury was not healing well and my doctor advised “immediate and aggressive physical therapy” or he believed I would lose the use of my...
- John A.
Mary Kelly has been working with our son for over a year now. Thanks to her incredible insight, she has been able to unravel several issues that no other therapist had even identified. With her perspective, patience, and extensive experience, Mary has given our son the opportunity to overcome his...
- Kathy M.
Our team of therapists provides clinical expertise to thoroughly evaluate and diagnose the problem behind the symptoms.
Our therapists offer their clinical expertise to thoroughly evaluate and diagnose the problem behind the symptoms.