Fiona McMahon PT, DPT
Did you know kids can suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction too? Pelvic floor dysfunction in children can result in pain, bladder holding or constipation, embarrassing soiling accidents, frequent nighttime accidents, as well as trouble going potty. For most kids, there is an underlying physical component that needs to be addressed by an expert pediatric pelvic floor physical therapist.
It is very upsetting for a parent, guardian or caregiver to see a child suffer with pain or embarrassment, but there is so much that can be done to help out children with these issues. We use positive charts to develop short term and achievable goals to reinforce behaviors and steps towards healthy toileting. Simple techniques like using the improving toilet posture, practicing deep breathing with bubbles, using a timer to assist in times voiding, educating the parent/guardian/caregiver on the colon massage, developing a core stability and stretching program, and more can go a long way towards improving bowel and bladder symptoms.
If your child is suffering from urinary or fecal accidents, bed wetting, skidmarks, or painful defecation, join me on May 11th, at 7pm , to discuss pelvic floor dysfunction in children, common conditions affecting pottying, and practical tips you can use to make potty time easier.
This is our last Pelvic Health 101 class of the spring series. We want to thank for an awesome season! Keep your eyes on the blog for the Fall’s PH101 classes!
Fiona McMahon, DPT, PT
Pelvic Health 101 is back with some old favorites like, “Something’s wrong with my what?” and “Why is pooping so difficult?” We have also added a new course on pediatric pelvic floor issues.
If you have questions, we have answers. Join us for lectures and question and answer opportunities with expert pelvic health physical therapists, childbirth educators, and nutritionists. Please reserve your spot early at pelvichealth-101.eventbrite.com. Remember spots fill up quickly. As always, light refreshments will be served.
By Fiona McMahon, PT DPT
This past Friday, I hopped on a double decker bus and made my way up to Boston (Norwood) for a continuing education in pediatric pelvic floor disorders. Physical therapists are required to accumulate a certain amount of course hours a year to maintain their license to practice, but more importantly to continue to grow as a clinician. Pediatric pelvic floor physical therapy, like adult pelvic floor physical therapy is complex and rapidly evolving. Although, I had been trained in pediatric pelvic floor PT at Beyond Basics Physical Therapy, I knew I was in for a weekend of furthering my knowledge and expertise.
First of all, the ride up was beautiful. This time of year New England’s countryside is on fire with the red, yellows, and oranges of fall foliage. I spent until sundown looking out the window to soak up the scenery.
The course itself was fabulous. I think the most powerful part of the course was hearing specific children’s stories of their struggles with bedwetting, constipation, fecal soiling, and incomplete urination. Physical therapy changed their lives. I am not saying this lightly. By helping a child rid his or herself of these extremely embarrassing and isolating conditions, the child is able to return to the activities of play, learning, and adventure, that they were previously unable to experience secondary to embarrassment and fear of bullying.
It is just so important that there are clinicians out there who can treat these disorders and help kids return to their role as children. The need is there. If you are a pediatric healthcare provider and are not sure how to help these kids with bladder and bowel disorders, I implore you to refer to a pediatric pelvic floor physical therapist for an evaluation to see how they can help. You will be directly improving the lives of children. If you are a parent, I urge you to seek out help for you child’s bowel and bladder issues. There really is so much to be done to improve your child’s well-being from a medical and physical therapy aspect. We at Beyond Basics Physical Therapy treat a range of pediatric disorders. Please consider us if your child is suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction.
Photo: Right: Me (Fiona McMahon), and Left: Dawn Sandalcidi PT, RCMT, BCB-PMD instructor of Herman and Wallace: Pediatric Incontinence and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
By Riva Preil
Many children face challenges during the toilet training years. Some children have difficulty with controlling urine flow during the day, and other children have difficulty remaining dry through the night (commonly referred to as bedwetters). Both of these can affect the child’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being. They might be embarrassed if their parents have to intervene or if their peers become aware (ex. unintentionally leaking urine while playing during recess).
Very often, diet (including food and fluid intake) can strongly affect a child’s ability to “hold it in.” For example, many of the popular sport drinks contain dyes which irritate the bladder. This may result in involuntary bladder (also known as the detrusor muscle) contractions which contribute to unintentional voiding. In addition, some children may also have bowel issues (ex. constipation) which create stress and confusion in their pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor therapy is an appropriate avenue to address the aforementioned symptoms. Pediatric pelvic floor therapists like those at BBPT appropriately educate both child and parent regarding how to properly contract and relax the pelvic floor muscles, and they also help incorporate diet and lifestyle changes to promote improved continence and passing of bowel movements.
Yesterday morning, Dania and Amy made grand rounds at Cornell with the pediatric GI department. It went very well, and was well received. There were about 15 people there: physicians, nurse practitioners, fellows and attendees. They liked the non-invasive approach that Dania and Amy have and that they try to make the treatment educational and fun for the kids. Amy gave out her book, Heal Pelvic Pain, to a couple of the physicians there, which has a chapter specific to pediatric pelvic floor dysfunction.