2 LOCATIONS:   BETHESDA, MD. 4905 Del Ray Ave, Suite 508   |   MCLEAN, VA. 1305 Vincent Place

Does My Child Need Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?

Things like bedwetting and constipation can be very distressing for children, as well as for the parents who love them. If you have a child who has difficulty voiding or controlling their urine and stool, it’s important to understand why they’re struggling and what can be done to help them.

Did you know that bowel and bladder problems in kids are often a sign of pelvic floor dysfunction?

If your child has bowel and bladder issues, I strongly encourage you to have your child evaluated for pediatric pelvic floor dysfunction


Keep reading to learn more about this pediatric health concern and how our Bethesda and McLean physical therapy team can help your child feel more confident and comfortable.

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction In Kids: Common Causes and Risk Factors

Most of us have heard about pelvic floor dysfunction in adults, especially in postpartum women. But many people are surprised to learn that issues with pelvic floor muscles—including weakness, incoordination, overactivity, low tone, and tightness—can develop in children and teens, as well.

Risk factors for pelvic floor dysfunction in kids can be genetic, behavioral, and environmental, and may include things like:

  • Holding their bowels and/or bladder for too long (I see this behavior often in children who feel too shy to use the bathroom at school)
  • Constipation, which is often related to diet and lifestyle
  • Underlying medical conditions that can affect pelvic floor muscles, including spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, diabetes, obesity, and Down syndrome


Signs That Your Child May Benefit From Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

It may be helpful to know that nighttime bedwetting is common in childhood, and as many as 15 percent of kids will continue having occasional nighttime bedwetting until the age of six. If your child wets the bed very frequently, or if their bladder and bowel problems begin to negatively affect their sleep, self-image, social skills, and school performance, it’s important to seek help.

In addition to problematic bedwetting, other signs that your child may benefit from a referral to a pelvic floor physical include:

  • Stress incontinence (leaking bowels or bladder when laughing, coughing, jumping, running, etc.)
  • Chronic diarrhea or constipation
  • Urinary frequency and urgency
  • Chronic or recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Daytime wetting, especially after a child has been potty-trained
  • Inability to fully empty their bowels or bladder when going to the bathroom

Some children with pelvic floor dysfunction will also complain of things like pelvic pain or abdominal pain or pain while going to the bathroom.

How our  Physical Therapist in McLean Can Help Your Child With Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Good bladder and bowel control is an essential component of your child’s overall health, self-esteem, and quality of life. As a physical therapist serving  McLean, VA and  Lauren Starace, PT, MSPT works with kids and teens of all ages whose daily lives have been affected by pelvic floor dysfunction.

With services such as patient and caregiver education, biofeedback, and effective, child-friendly exercises that improve pelvic floor function, she tailors her treatment approach to meet the needs, developmental stage, and goals of each young patient and their caregivers.

We are  also happy to collaborate with other providers, including pediatric urologists and pediatricians, to ensure that all children receive the comprehensive and personalized support they need!

Looking for Pediatric Pelvic Floor Therapy in McLean VA?

At ITR Physical Therapy, we treat all our patients—and their caregivers—with dignity, compassion, and attentive care. If you’re interested in talking to a pelvic floor physical therapist in McLean VA about your child’s health, schedule an appointment at ITR Physical Therapy today by calling 301-770-7060.