MU Health Care offers noninvasive, nonsurgical treatments to help children improve bowel and bladder issues resulting from pelvic floor dysfunction, including pain, constipation and bedwetting.

Pelvic floor disorders occur when the muscles of the pelvic floor are too weak, too tense or uncoordinated. Symptoms can include bedwetting, pain when going to the bathroom, abdominal or pelvic pain, constipation, frequent urinary tract infections and frequent trips to the bathroom. If your child is having bowel or bladder problems or experiencing abdominal or pelvic pain, ask your doctor about a referral to one of our practitioners.

Our therapy team helps families by evaluating and diagnosing the problem, using therapy to treat the issue, providing information about normal function and establishing healthy toilet habits and patterns. Our goal is to help your kid experience less pain, fewer wet nights, fewer interruptions during school or social activities and better self-esteem.

Dedicated Therapy

With pediatric therapy offered at three locations in Columbia — Children’s Therapy Center, Battle Avenue Medical Building and Mizzou Therapy Services-Rangeline — we provide convenient care to help your family find solutions.

Our Children’s Hospital is home to many pediatric specialties, including therapy services and a pediatric gastrointestinal motility clinic, in case your child has more specific needs. Thanks to the team care available right here in Columbia, we provide many options to best serve your needs.

Pelvic floor therapy techniques

  • Biofeedback tools to improve muscle awareness and strength.
  • External manual therapy to help improve tissue and organ function.
  • Education about toileting posture and how to go to the bathroom without straining.
  • Detailed information about normal bowel and bladder function.
  • Exercises to improve awareness of pelvic floor, bowel and bladder.
  • Exercises to improve posture and coordination.
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).
  • Counseling on behavioral and lifestyle modifications.
  • Nutrition counseling and easy access to a dietitian, as needed.
  • Referral to feeding team specialists, as needed.
  • Occupational therapy for sensory processing.
  • Speech therapy for breath support training.

When to seek therapy services

We help diagnose and treat children experiencing disorders such as frequent trips to the bathroom, urinary or fecal incontinence, pain or difficulty when using the bathroom, pain in the abdomen or pelvis, or frequent urinary tract infections.

How we treat pelvic floor disorders

Our team will meet with your family to discuss your kid’s symptoms and concerns, and evaluate their overall development, muscle function, coordination and balance. Using this information, we work with your family to develop a personalized treatment program, which may include exercises to improve bowel and bladder function and reduce pain as well as behavior and lifestyle changes to help your kid meet their goals. Our specialists also offer you and your child counseling on behavior and nutrition.

What to expect at your first therapy appointment

During the initial evaluation, your child’s pelvic floor function will be assessed noninvasively using ultrasound imaging and/or specialized biofeedback equipment. We evaluate your child’s flexibility, strength and coordination to maximize improvement and habits. This allows us to specifically assess your child’s overall pelvic floor function and develop the best treatment program to meet their individual needs.