Pediatric Pelvic Floor Therapy

By Riva Preil

Great news! Pelvic floor physical therapy benefits adults and children alike…and research is proving it!  The European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine reports a recent study which supports pelvic floor physical therapy for children with dysfunctional voiding (DV).  DV is involuntary contractions of the pelvic floor muscles and/or the external urethral sphincter during urination in children with intact neurological systems.  DV is strongly correlated with urinary incontinence both during the day and at night (called nocturnal enuresis), urinary tract infections (UTIs), constipation, difficulties with urination, pelvic holding patterns, and vesicoureteral reflux.

The aforementioned controlled study was performed in an outpatient clinical facility and it included forty three children aged 5-13 with DV.  Treatment consisted of education about proper fluid intake, toileting posture, timed voiding schedule, hygiene issues, and constipation reduction education.  In addition, children were educated on the proper performance of diaphragmatic breathing exercises (for abdominal muscle relaxation) and pelvic floor muscle strengthening exercises (three second hold followed by thirty second release).  After one year of treatment, daytime urinary incontinence was cured in 83% of participants, nocturnal enuresis was cured in 63% of participants, and constipation was cured in 100% of participants.  In other words, PELVIC FLOOR PHYSICAL THERAPY IS APPROPRIATE AND INDICATED FOR CHILDREN in certain instances.  If your child or someone that you know may benefit from these services, Beyond Basics Physical Therapy has a wonderful pediatric program.  Please ask your child’s pediatrician for a prescription for pelvic floor physical therapy, and we look forward to helping!

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