Pelvic Health Physiotherapy for Children
Bowel and bladder dysfunction, such as urgency, leaks, constipation and bed-wetting, are common in children, but physiotherapy can help.
What pelvic health conditions do you treat in children?
Paediatric Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy can help your child address issues with:
Urinary incontinence (day time leaking due to sneezing, laughing, giggling, holding pee too long, and more)
Urinary frequency or urgency
Night time bedwetting (Enuresis)
Constipation or stool retention
Fecal incontinence/ Encoporisis
Painful bowel or bladder movements
Pain in the perineal or rectal region
What can we expect during an Assessment/Treatment?
It is important that both you and your child feel comfortable and supported throughout the process. We invite the participation of you and your child during the consultation and during treatments. Don’t worry – we keep things relaxed and engaging for your child. It’s important to hear both your perspective and your child’s perspective.
We will ask about the challenges you’ve experienced, any official diagnoses or medical testing you’ve received, your concerns and goals for seeking treatment, as well as any strategies tried so far. We will also discuss your child’s general development. We will review your child’s intake form and bowel/bladder log that are to be completed prior to your first visit
Physical Examination: We will evaluate posture and breathing, joint mobility, muscle length, strength and control. With your consent, the therapist will likely want to evaluate the external pelvic floor muscles to determine your child’s ability to contract or relax the pelvic floor. This is done visually and/or with palpation. Unlike the process for adults, there is NO internal examination of the pelvic floor muscles for children.
Treatment sessions: Treatment is highly individualized and based on the findings of the evaluation and on your family’s goals. Most importantly, we try to make it fun and meaningful for your child. It may include:
Education helping you understand what is going on and why it’s happening, and reviewing last session’s homework
Biofeedback techniques or awareness training for the pelvic floor
Exercises to retrain the pelvic floor
Manual therapy (external only) on abdomen or joints of lower body and pelvis, or the external pelvic floor
Collaborating with the rest of your care team such as your paediatrician, OT, family doctor, etc.
A home program to pull it all together (which is key to seeing results!
Homework: Treatment is most often successful when the whole family is involved and invested in the treatment plan. Homework will vary depending on the condition and goals of your family, but may include:
- Keeping a bowel/bladder diary
- Modifying toileting routines
- Behavior modifications
- Skin care/wiping techniques
- Mobility/balance/strengthening/relaxation exercises
- Self massage
What are my next steps?
If your child has any pelvic floor dysfunction, it is important that you get the help you need. Often untreated pelvic floor problems can negatively impact a child’s health and well being as they develop, however that doesn’t have to be your child’s story. Initial consultations are offered both virtually and in person with Victoria. All services are billed as Physiotherapy under the child’s name, and covered by many private health care plans, so long as they are included on it. Please note we do not direct bill.