Pediatric pelvic health is important… and physio can help!
At Kids Physio Group, our goal is to support children in doing what they do best – just be kids! If your child is affected by incontinence of their bowel and bladder, pediatric pelvic floor physiotherapy can help. We recognize these conditions can be stressful for the entire family and challenging to manage. We are here to ensure your child feels comfortable and empowered to improve their incontinence and regain their confidence.
Pediatric Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Pediatric incontinence typically occurs when the pelvic floor muscles are not working effectively with the bowel and bladder muscles to allow for typical voiding (passage of waste). This may result in a number of pelvic conditions including:
- Enuresis or bed wetting: voiding of urine while asleep at an age when overnight bladder control is expected
- Constipation: sometimes even children with daily bowel movements can be experiencing constipation. Constipation can lead to increased pressure on the bladder and contribute to both urine and fecal leaks.
- Overactive bladder: frequent need to urinate which may cause the child to wake overnight.
- Urge incontinence: strong, sudden urge to urinate which may result in leaking.
- Postponement: using holding strategies to avoid using the washroom resulting in leaks
- Dysfunctional voiding: squeezing of the pelvic floor muscles during voiding which disrupts the flow of urine making it challenging for the child to empty successfully
- Stress or giggle incontinence: leaking of urine in response to activity (jumping, sneezing, sport) or laughing
Incontinence during the day or night is a common pediatric issue affecting up to 1 in 7 school age children. For many of these children, they are unable to control leaking urine or feces due to issues with their pelvic floor musculature. Often, these incidents are outside of their conscious control and require intervention to improve. Similarly to when other muscles of the body are not working effectively – physiotherapy can help!
Pelvic Health Physiotherapy
If you child is over 5 years of age and experiencing any of the above symptoms, we recommend active physiotherapy management.
A Pediatric Pelvic Health Assessment may include:
- Education for the child and parent on digestion, anatomy and how the pelvic floor works to support continence.
- Tracking a “bowel and bladder diary” for a number of days including dietary information, voiding habits and leaks
- Functional assessment of breathing and core functioning
- Visual assessment of the pelvic floor contracting and relaxing
- Making a treatment plan together with your physiotherapist to suit your families needs and schedule.
Following your assessment, a specialized treatment plan will be designed for your family. This may include
- Pelvic floor muscle home exercise program to address dysfunction
- Toilet positioning and habits to improve success with fully emptying
- Bladder schedule to regulate voiding and avoid leaks
- Dietary recommendations including fibre, fluid intake and removing bladder irritants
- Constipation management including abdominal massage and collaboration with your physician
- Bed wetting management program to manage enuresis based on the pattern of overnight leaks
- Education on pelvic floor anatomy, bladder functioning, urge control and more
Your physiotherapist will tailor the treatment program to address your child’s specific needs. Our goal is to use FUN physiotherapy strategies to empower your child to fully participate in all activities without concerns of leaks.