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What is Biofeedback?

Biofeedback refers to the use of the mind to consciously change how the body unconsciously functions. When a parent uses a story book to calm a struggling, crying child, this is biofeedback. The mind starts to relax, and slowly the muscles also relax.

What is Biofeedback for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and why does my child need Biofeedback?

Research has shown that many children with urinary symptoms, such as incontinence or constipation, also have difficulty controlling the muscles used to void or have a bowel movement. For some reason, the muscles of the pelvic floor (the “bottom) seem to contract (or squeeze) when the child voids, instead of relaxing. For many of these children, the normal sensation of urge (or knowing when to “go”) is different.

How does Biofeedback help?

Biofeedback therapy can help the child to learn how to use their muscles correctly, using the latest scientific understanding of how the muscles and mind interact.

What does Biofeedback involve?

Biofeedback therapy involves muscles retraining. This takes place in the office, using a computer to help the child learn to contract and relax the muscles of the pelvic floor. It is non invasive and does not hurt. Many children look forward to their visits. Each session takes about one hour. Some children will achieve retraining in as little as three to five visits. Other children, especially those with more involved problems (such as recurrent infections, or urinary reflux), may need more visits. Successful retraining takes time. It also involves practice at home, or school. Some children may also need additional medication to help prevent accidents, or help with constipation.

Who provides Biofeedback?

A parent may notice that the therapist (including many MD’s, NP’s, or  PT’s ) having the letters “BCB-PMD” on their title. These individuals have become certified by the Biofeedback International Alliance in Pelvic Floor Therapy, a rigorous training program which requires ongoing continuing education and research. Others have had special training in this area in order to utilize many of the biofeedback programs used in this therapy.  

Does Biofeedback help with other urinary problems?

Research has shown that improvement in bladder function can help with other urinary problems, such as urinary tract infections or other more serious problems. Talk to your doctor about how biofeedback can help with these problems.