According to the International Children’s Continence Society (ICCS) children should have daytime and nighttime bladder control by age 5 for a typically developing child. Having a child suffer from bowel/bladder issues can be an emotional roller coaster for both parent and child. Parents often become frustrated of not knowing how to help, and children are left feeling shame and embarrassment. 

Pelvic floor physical therapy is a non-invasive approach that can be highly effective in helping children regain control of their lives and independence of their bowel and bladder function. 


  • 15% of visits to gastrointestinal doctors are for lower bowel dysfunction
  • 20% of pediatrician visits are for incontinence problems
  • 5 million children complain of nocturnal enuresis
  • 3# of visits to pediatricians are for constipation 

Citation: Treating Pediatric Incontinence with Physical Therapy. PT and Me. (2016, February 26). Retrieved October 26, 2021, from


What to Expect

At evaluation, a detailed musculoskeletal exam and history taking will occur with parent(s) or guardian present. The exam will be performed over clothing, and visual inspection of the perineum is recommended. Treatment is one-on-one, hands on, and lasts about one hour in private treatment rooms. We incorporate a holistic approach, looking at diet, sleep, behavioral issues, and toileting habits.


  • How long do we need to come to therapy: That is individualized and patient specific. Some patients rehab quickly, others take longer. Your evaluating therapist will review further after evaluation. 
  • Will you perform a vaginal or rectal exam on my child?: NO. Vaginal and rectal exams are NOT performed by physical therapists in the pediatric population. However, is it very beneficial for the evaluating therapist to perform a visual inspection of the perineum to observe for skin irritation, redness, soiled underclothing, pelvic floor muscle activation, sensation, and reflexes with light touch. 
  • What is Biofeedback?: Biofeedback (also known as Surface Electromyography, SEMG) is specialized equipment that therapist utilize to assist adults and children to learn how to find and isolate their pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that assist in bowel and bladder control. Any individual learning how to contract, relax, find awareness, isolate, coordinate, and strengthen their pelvic floor may benefit from the use of biofeedback. 
  • What conditions can be treated?: Some conditions treated but not limited to: 
    • Overactive Bladder (OAB)
    • Urge Incontinence
    • Stress Incontinence
    • Giggle Incontinence 
    • Voiding Postponement
    • Underactive Bladder
    • Dysfunctional Voiding
    • Vaginal Reflux
    • Increased Daytime Frequency
    • Bowel Bladder Dysfunction
    • Constipation
    • Enuresis (Intermittent Nocturnal Incontinence) 
    • Functional Constipation 
    • Slow Transit Constipation
    • Fecal Incontinence (Encopresis)
    • Functional Fecal Retention
    • Toilet Phobia
    • Toilet Refusal Syndrome