How Kids Can Benefit and Thrive with Pelvic Physical Therapy

One of the most important things we teach adult pelvic health patients is how to effectively and gently empty their bladder and bowels (see below for tips). After mastering these techniques and seeing the impact it has on their symptoms, people often ask, “Why didn’t anyone teach me this when I was a kid?” Pediatric pelvic floor therapy is so powerful because it allows us to teach these skills early and potentially prevent things like pelvic pain and bowel and bladder dysfunction in adulthood! 

Bowel and bladder control is a motor and behavioral skill that, like other basic skills, comes easier to some kids than others. Just like with walking, talking, dressing, and eating, it’s easy to overlook how complex the task is when it comes easily, and it can be overwhelming and confusing when it doesn’t. The good news is that with the right intervention, kids’ bowel and bladder problems can often be resolved. 

Many common childhood bowel and bladder issues, such as incontinence, bedwetting and constipation have a pelvic floor component that can be addressed through physical therapy. We also address things like bathroom habits, breathing, and diet that have a significant impact on bowel and bladder function. This holistic approach can be very effective at addressing problems and make a big difference in kids’ lives.  

We work collaboratively with pediatricians and specialists and if we suspect an underlying medical condition that hasn’t been fully addressed, we will communicate with parents and doctors. All interventions are non-invasive, age-appropriate, and done with the expressed consent of the child and their parent. We work creatively with patients and their families to keep kids motivated and find solutions to all the challenges that arise along the way. 

It’s amazing when working with kids how much a little goes a long way and wonderful to empower them with skills and an understanding of their bodies that will benefit them throughout their lives! 

Interested in pelvic floor physical therapy for your child? Call us at 202-803-2068 to schedule an evaluation or click here to request a free 15 minute phone consultation to learn more about what personalized treatment will look like for your child.  

Tips for toileting for kids and adults: 

To pee:  

  • If you have a vulva, sit on the toilet 
  • If you have a penis, sit or stand 
  • Never hover over the toilet 
  • Fully support feet (no dangling or tippy-toes) 
  • Relax, breathe (never push) 

To poop:  

  • Sit (never hover over the toilet) 
  • Fully support feet (no dangling or tippy-toes) 
  • Relax and breathe out as you push, maybe even making a sound (never hold your breath) 

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