Physical therapy can be effective in helping a child gain control of his or her bladder. A group of muscles and soft tissue, called the pelvic floor, supports the pelvic organs and helps control bladder function. Problems can occur in children when the pelvic floor muscles do not work well with the bladder. This can happen when these muscles are too tight, too weak, or in spasm.
Physical Therapy May Help with the Following:
Child is over 4 years old and still wears pull ups
Leaking urine/loss of urine (enuresis)
Bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis)
Waking up at night to urinate (nocturia)
Giggle incontinence: leaking urine before or during laughing
Frequent urination or overactive bladder
Infrequent urination or under active bladder
Constipation/diarrhea, painful bowel movements, over/under active bowels
Fecal incontinence (encopresis)
What to Expect for Your Child’s Appointment
Your physical therapist with specialized training in pediatric pelvic floor therapy will examine the muscles of the abdomen and pelvis with a parent present. Treatment often consists of muscle retraining, biofeedback, patient and family education, behavior and diet modification, soft tissue massage, stretching and strengthening of the pelvic floor and surrounding muscles, and a home exercise program.