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Pediatric & Adolescent Pelvic Health

Pediatric & Adolescent Pelvic Health for Bedwetting, Medical Conditions and Disabilities in Chicago Lakeview

Pelvic Health for Children & Adolescents

Physical and occupational therapists provide specialized care for pelvic health concerns in the pediatric population. Our therapists can support children in developing a variety of skills and addressing conditions or concerns, including:

  • Bedwetting (enuresis) for children older than 6 or 7 years of age
  • Accidental or unintentional urination (urinary incontinence)
  • Bowel incontinence 
  • Chronic constipation
  • Pelvic pain 

For children with medical conditions or disabilities contributing to impaired bowel or bladder control, such as neurogenic bowel or bladder, our therapists can help address toilet training challenges, as well as developing specialized toileting routines for children learning catheterization or ostomy care.

Our Specialists

Dr. Debbie Victor cares for patients in our Lakeview location.

Bedwetting (Enuresis)

Many children experiencing bedwetting also have issues with constipation, bladder leaks, urinary urgency or other lower urinary track symptoms. A pelvic health physical or occupational therapist will assess the factors that may be contributing to bedwetting episodes, with treatment that may include:

  • Treatment to decrease frequency or severity of constipation
  • Education in developing positive daytime habits, such as positioning for voiding, fluid consumption and timing, and physical activity habits
  • Addressing range of motion deficits related to muscle or joint restrictions
  • Training in coordination, interpreting and increasing awareness of body sensations
  • Support in developing coping skills
  • Coordination with family members to support in skill development and habit building

Constipation

Constipation is a common diagnosis that impacts toileting routines for children and can effectively be treated by a pelvic health physical or occupational therapist. Withholding stool due to fear of pain or discomfort during potty training also can lead to constipation. Signs and symptoms of constipation can include:

  • Infrequent bowel movements (less than 3 times per week)
  • Hard stools
  • Excessive straining or pain during bowel movements
  • Bloating
  • Flatulence
  • Decreased appetite
  • Depression
  • Leaking stool (encopresis)
  • Avoidance of using the bathroom

A pelvic health physical therapist or occupational therapist can treat constipation through education on proper defecation techniques, nervous system desensitization, pelvic floor muscle re-education, addressing bowel habits, diet and hydration, and assessing for musculoskeletal tension limiting bowel evacuation. 

Chronic constipation can contribute to other issues or conditions, including:

  • Fecal impaction: Hardened stool gets lodged in the rectum, causing pain and discomfort.
  • Anal fissures: Tears in the anus from straining during bowel movements.
  • Hemorrhoids: Swollen veins in the rectum or anus.
  • Loss of bowel control: Stool leakage due to stretching of the rectum.

Treatment May Include:

  • Dietary changes, such as strategies for increasing fiber intake and promoting adequate hydration
  • Behavioral strategies: Encouragement for a regular toileting routine and addressing any toilet training anxieties
  • Biofeedback: In some cases, biofeedback can be helpful for children struggling to relax their pelvic muscles during bowel movements.

Please call (773) 665-9950 for more information or schedule an appointment.

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