Pelvic floor issues including constipation and incontinence can affect kids as well as adults. At Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy our therapists work with you and your child to make a safe and comfortable environment to treat these common issues to help your child function at their best and prevent pelvic floor issues in later childhood and adulthood.
The first visit is a thorough 90 minute evaluation, this gives the therapist time to get to know the parent and child as well as complete a thorough evaluation. Pelvic floor conditions, especially in the pediatric population can be complicated- there are many factors which could be contributing to the problem including chronic constipation, bowel/bladder habits, movement patters, toileting positioning, among other things. Once we understand the root causes your child's pelvic floor issue, we will come up with a treatment plan to help your child feel better and get back to the activities that they care about like school and recreation.
These days, getting 90 minutes alone with a practitioner is pretty rare. At Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy, we believe in the importance of having time to get to know you and your child, understand the complete medical history, perform a thorough orthopedic exam, as well as a pelvic floor exam.
In this article we will outline exactly what to expect on a first visit for a pediatric client.
Therapists will interview both the parent and the child regarding symptoms, issues, and medical history. We want to tease apart what the different layers are that may be contributing: bowel/bladder habits, diet, orthopedic or sensory issues.
Our therapists will then educate both you and your child about pelvic floor therapy (don't worry, we can do it in a kid-friendly and parent-friendly way). What is the pelvic floor? What does pelvic floor therapy look like? How will this therapy help? We will address any questions and concerns at this point so both you and your child understand how we can help.
Most pelvic floor conditions involve other parts of the body. At Fusion Wellness and Femina Physical Therapy, we believe in treating the whole person, not just individual areas or muscle groups.
Following the discussion of medical history, your therapist will screen the entire body of your child, looking for tight muscles, dysfunctional movement patterns, neuropathic, and orthopedic issues that might be playing a part in your pelvic floor issue.
We will evaluate your posture, pelvis position, hip and spine flexibility and range of motion, position of the sacrum, and muscle tone throughout your abdomen, back, hips, glutes, and thighs.
After your orthopedic exam an external evaluation of the pelvic floor muscles will be performed with your informed consent.
Our pediatric pelvic exams are external.
The therapist will leave the room so that your child can undress from the waist down and put on an examination gown. After the therapist returns to the room they will perform an external pelvic floor examination.
This will begin with a skin check, looking for any irritation or dryness of the tissues. After that, there will be an external palpation of the pelvic floor muscles from the outside, the therapist will palpate around your pubic bone and sitting bones, assessing pelvic floor activity and looking for dysfunction. After palpation, the therapist may ask your child to do a kegel (contract the pelvic floor muscles as if you are stopping the flow of urine) and they may also ask your child to bear down as if you are passing gas or a bowel movement. This is in order to see if muscle control is normal and to screen out possible conditions such as dyssynergic defecation (read my blog about that by clicking the link).
All the therapists are very compassionate and will constantly checking in with both the parent and child, to ensure comfort and safety.
Since our evaluations are a full 90 minutes, there is often time to start treatment on your first visit. Your therapist will communicate to you what they are finding and will start treatment that day, often prescribing you some “homework” to work on right away, to start improving your condition.
What does the treatment look like?
Pelvic floor physical and occupational therapy is a great option for kids with toileting issues, because treatments pose a low risk of side effects and treatment can be very effective.
The physical and occupational therapists at Fusion Wellness and Physical Therapy can help kids with incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction in the following ways:
Pediatric pelvic floor issues can lead to more serious symptoms later on in life. Help your child get on track with normal bowel and bladder function. Let the therapists at Fusion and Femina Physical Therapy help you along the journey back to wellness and function! Make an appointment today and let’s get started.