Pelvic Floor Therapy for Children

Bladder or bowel incontinence is sometimes due to pelvic floor dysfunction. This condition occurs when muscles in the pelvis do not work as they should. But Children’s Hospital Los Angeles offers hope for healing with pediatric pelvic floor therapy.

Our team includes pediatric physical therapists with special training in pelvic floor physical therapy. We are one of the few colorectal and pelvic anomalies programs on the West Coast with this offering. Our services help more children achieve better bowel and bladder function.

Pediatric Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy: Why Choose Us

With pelvic floor dysfunction, rectum or bladder muscles are too tight, weak or lack coordination. Dysfunction causes a variety of toileting challenges, including urgency, incomplete emptying and accidents. Pelvic floor therapists at Children’s Hospital use various techniques to help these muscles work as they should.

Highlights of our program include:

  • Compassion: Your child receives care from physical therapists, doctors and other staff specializing in colorectal and pelvic anomalies. We understand the sensitive nature of these issues and their impact on daily life. Our team is easy to talk to and treats your family with the dignity and kindness you deserve. Meet our team.
  • Efficient care: Pelvic floor physical therapy can reduce the need for medications or surgery. If your child needs these treatments, therapy can enhance the response leading to better outcomes.
  • Personalized therapies: Physical therapists work with surgeons, urologists, pediatricians and gastroenterologists to optimize your child’s care. We discuss the diagnosis and therapy goals. These conversations help us tailor physical therapy to your child’s unique needs.
  • Patient- and family-centered care: We describe tests and treatments in ways that are easier to understand. We take the time to answer your questions and provide additional support to help you and your child have an outstanding experience. To learn more, read our colorectal and pelvic anomaly patient and family resources.

Pediatric Pelvic Floor Therapy: What to Expect

Pelvic floor physical therapy starts with a comprehensive assessment. We ask questions about medical history and bowel habits. There is also a physical exam to assess posture, muscle strength and pelvic floor dysfunction. This information helps us develop your child’s pelvic floor physical therapy plan.

The plan may include:

Pelvic floor exercises

Exercises activate, release and strengthen muscles that support bladder and bowel control. Therapy helps your child engage certain muscles when there’s an urge to pee or poop. Doing so increases the likelihood of making it to the bathroom on time. We also teach your child how to relax muscles for more complete bladder or bowel emptying.

Exercises may involve moving legs in a specific way, holding certain postures and breathing. These efforts engage the pelvic floor and nearby muscles such as the buttocks or thighs. Therapists may also give your child exercises to do at home. This extra work helps your child form daily habits using the techniques we teach in therapy.

Additional pelvic floor dysfunction therapies

Additional pelvic floor physical therapies help your child achieve the best possible results. Care may include:

  • Medications, which optimize bladder and bowel function. We may prescribe medications that calm overactive bladder muscles. Other drugs increase muscle activity in the digestive tract.
  • Biofeedback, which uses sensors and a computer to enhance awareness of pelvic floor activity. Having better awareness improves coordination. We may use gaming technology to make treatments fun.
  • Relaxation techniques, such as diaphragmatic breathing, that lengthen and stabilize pelvic floor muscles. Your child takes deep breaths that engage muscles in the top of the abdomen. Doing so calms your child’s mind and stabilizes the pelvic floor.

Comprehensive Colorectal and Pelvic Anomaly Care for Children

We offer access to multiple pediatric subspecialists in one convenient location in Los Angeles. Find out more about our Colorectal Center.

Contact Us

To schedule an appointment with a colorectal and pelvic anomaly specialist, call 323-361-5711.