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  • Writer's pictureSergio Rodriguez, OTR, MOT

Improving Your Child's Wellness with Pediatric Pelvic Floor Therapy in San Antonio, TX

Child during physical therapy for pediatric pelvic floor therapy and toileting

Potty training can be one of the most frustrating challenges for parents, especially when children struggle with "holding it" or dealing with constipation. Pelvic floor dysfunctions are often the reason why potty training is harder for your child, as they affect the muscles involved in going potty. Pediatric pelvic floor therapy offers a solution to these underlying issues, helping your child succeed at potty training. Are you aware of how pediatric pelvic floor therapy can transform your child's life?


Key Takeaways

  • Pediatric pelvic floor therapy improves urinary and bowel control

  • A pelvic floor therapist is a licensed PT or OT with specialized training to help with pelvic floor disorders in children.

  • Early intervention is a non-invasive solution that leads to better long-term outcomes and prevents chronic issues.

  • Understanding common symptoms helps in timely detection and treatment


What is Pediatric Pelvic Floor Therapy?

Pediatric pelvic floor therapy targets specific pelvic floor dysfunctions in children. This condition occurs when the muscles that support the pelvic organs and control urinary and bowel functions do not work properly. Trained pediatric therapists use techniques tailored for children to improve muscle coordination, reduce pain, and enhance bladder and bowel control.


The primary goal of pediatric pelvic floor therapy is to provide relief from symptoms like incontinence, constipation, and chronic pelvic pain. With this targeted approach, children experience significant improvements in their daily lives.


Who Can Be a Pelvic Floor Therapist?

A pelvic floor therapist is a licensed physical or occupational therapist with specialized training in treating pelvic floor disorders. They undergo extensive education, including a doctorate or master's degree, followed by specialized courses in pelvic floor rehabilitation. These therapists help with conditions such as urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, and postpartum recovery, providing crucial support for both adults and children.


physical therapy for pediatric pelvic floor therapy

Role of Physical Therapy in Pediatric Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Physical therapists help kids with pelvic floor dysfunction. They check how the child's pelvic floor muscles are working and make a special plan for each child. Therapy sessions can make the pelvic floor muscles stronger or more relaxed, depending on what the child needs. They also teach families how to help at home. Using different rehabilitation services like exercises and fun activities, physical therapy supports children with pelvic floor dysfunction to feel better.


Signs of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction in Children

baby fatigued because of pelvic floor activities for kids
  • Urinary Issues:

  • Frequent urination or urgency

  • Incontinence or leaking urine

  • Difficulty starting or stopping urine flow

  • Pain during urination

  • Bowel Issues:

  • Constipation or straining during bowel movements

  • Incomplete emptying of the bowel

  • Fecal incontinence or soiling

  • Pain during bowel movements

  • General Signs:

  • Frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs)

  • Bedwetting beyond the typical age

  • Discomfort or pain in the pelvic area

  • Avoidance of using the bathroom

  • Reflux

  • Vomiting

  • Decreased Appetite


Some children complain of chronic pelvic or abdominal pain, which can be a sign of underlying dysfunction. Additionally, difficulty initiating urination or straining to pass urine are other red flags. Recognizing these symptoms early on allows for timely intervention through pediatric pelvic floor therapy.


Benefits of Pediatric Pelvic Floor Therapy

The benefits of pediatric pelvic floor therapy extend beyond symptom relief, impacting the child's overall well-being and long-term health.

  • Improved Bowel and Bladder Control: Therapy helps children gain better control over their bowel and bladder functions, reducing accidents and increasing confidence.

  • Non-Invasive Approach: Pediatric pelvic floor therapy does not involve internal assessments, focusing instead on external muscle coordination and strengthening exercises.

  • Reduction in Embarrassing Accidents: One of the primary benefits of pelvic floor therapy is the significant reduction in embarrassing accidents.

  • Increased Confidence: Children who undergo therapy often experience increased confidence at school and in social settings, as they no longer fear frequent accidents.

  • Enhanced Emotional Well-Being: The successful management of symptoms through customized exercises and treatments enhances the child's emotional well-being, leading to a happier and more fulfilling life.

  • Prevention of Chronic Pelvic Issues: Early intervention through pediatric pelvic floor therapy prevents the development of chronic pelvic issues.

  • Reduction in Surgical Interventions: Consistent therapy reduces the likelihood of requiring surgical interventions in the future, offering a non-invasive solution to pelvic floor dysfunction.

  • Lifelong Management Strategies: Children learn lifelong strategies for managing their condition, empowering them to maintain better pelvic health.

  • Active Lifestyle: With the right treatment and support, children can enjoy a healthier and more active lifestyle.


successful kid participating in interventions for pelvic floor therapy

Interventions Used in Pediatric Pelvic Floor Therapy


  1. Kegel Exercises: These exercises involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles.

    1. How to Perform:

      1. Have the child sit or lie down comfortably.

      2. Instruct the child to tighten the pelvic floor muscles as if trying to stop the flow of urine.

      3. Hold the contraction for a few seconds, then relax for the same amount of time.

      4. Repeat 10-15 times, gradually increasing the hold time as the muscles get stronger.

  2. Balloon Blowing Exercises: Blowing up balloons helps strengthen the diaphragm and abdominal muscles, which support the pelvic floor.

    1. How to Perform:

      1. Have the child take a deep breath and blow into a balloon.

      2. Encourage them to fully inflate the balloon with several breaths.

      3. Repeat this exercise a few times daily.

  3. Deep Breathing and Relaxation Techniques: Teaching the child to relax their pelvic floor muscles through deep breathing.

    1. How to Perform:

      1. Instruct the child to sit or lie down comfortably.

      2. Guide them to take deep breaths in through the nose, filling the abdomen with air.

      3. Exhale slowly through the mouth, focusing on relaxing the pelvic floor muscles.

      4. Practice this breathing technique for 5-10 minutes daily.

  4. Pretend Toileting: Practicing toileting mechanics without the stress of actual bathroom usage.

    1. How to Perform:

      1. Have the child sit on a chair or a mock toilet seat.

      2. Practice the steps of using the bathroom, such as proper posture, relaxation, and pushing techniques.

      3. Reinforce good habits and correct any issues with their technique.

  5. Single Limb Hopping and Jumping Jacks: Strengthening the core and pelvic floor through fun physical activities.

    1. How to Perform:

      1. Have the child practice hopping on one foot and then switch to the other foot.

      2. Incorporate jumping jacks into their routine to improve overall coordination and strength.

      3. Encourage regular practice to enhance muscle balance and coordination.

  6. Skipping and Backwards Crawling: Activities that promote gross motor skills and pelvic floor coordination.

    1. How to Perform:

      1. Teach the child to skip, focusing on the rhythm and coordination of the movement.

      2. Practice crawling backwards to strengthen the core and pelvic muscles.

      3. Incorporate these activities into playtime to make them enjoyable and beneficial.

  7. Proper Toileting Posture: Teaching the child the correct posture for using the toilet to enhance pelvic floor function.

    1. How to Perform:

      1. Ensure the child’s feet are flat on the floor or on a step stool.

      2. Encourage the child to lean slightly forward with elbows on knees.

      3. Teach the child to relax and take their time while using the toilet.

Conclusion

Pediatric pelvic floor dysfunction can significantly impact a child's quality of life, presenting symptoms like constipation, bedwetting, and daytime leakage. Pediatric pelvic floor therapy offers a non-invasive and effective solution through specialized exercises such as single limb hopping, jumping jacks, and skipping, which strengthen and coordinate pelvic floor muscles. This therapy involves parents throughout the process, ensuring consistency and support at home, and is accessible globally through virtual coaching sessions. Early intervention can prevent long-term complications, boost a child's confidence, and enhance their overall well-being, leading to a happier, healthier life.

 

Pediatric Providers at Pediatric Constellations

If you are seeking reliable recommendations, consider Pediatric Constellations. Pediatric Constellations was founded by two pediatric therapists, Rosa Benavidez (Speech Therapy) and Sergio Rodriguez (Occupational Therapy). They have personally worked with and met every therapist listed under Pediatric Constellations to know the latest availability around San Antonio, Texas, making it easier for you to find not just who is available today but who would provide the best care for your family. Use their resources to save time, avoid frustrations, and bypass long waiting lists for services.

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