By Danica Emery, Pelvic Health Physiotherapist

Physiotherapy isn’t just for adults!

It plays a crucial role in improving the lives of children facing various health challenges, including faecal incontinence. This condition can be distressing for both children and their parents, but there’s hope! Paediatric faecal incontinence refers to the involuntary passage of stool in children who are beyond the age of toilet training. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including chronic constipation, developmental delays, neurological issues and anatomical abnormalities. Regardless of the cause, the impact on a child’s quality of life can be significant.

The Role of Pelvic Health Physiotherapy:

🌟 Pelvic health physiotherapists are experts in helping children develop and regain control over their muscles and bodily functions. When it comes to faecal incontinence, these specialists play a vital role in improving the child’s ability to manage bowel movements.

  1. Assessment and Diagnosis:

🔍 The physiotherapist will undertake a comprehensive assessment, evaluating the child’s medical history, current symptoms, and conduct physical examinations to identify the underlying issues. This personalised approach is crucial as it helps determine the most effective treatment plan.

  1. Pelvic Floor Muscle Training:

💪 A key component of managing paediatric faecal incontinence is optimising strength and control of the pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic health physiotherapists work with children to teach them exercises and techniques that enhance muscle control. This can help reduce the frequency and severity of accidents.

  1. Bowel Management Strategies:

🚽 Physiotherapists educate children and their parents on effective bowel management strategies. This may involve creating a regular toilet routine, dietary adjustments, utilising stool softeners and teaching relaxation techniques to improve bowel emptying.

  1. Behavioural Modification:

🧠 Sometimes, behavioural factors contribute to faecal incontinence in children. Pelvic health physiotherapists can help identify these factors and provide guidance on behaviour modification techniques that encourage proper bowel control.

  1. Biofeedback:

📊 Biofeedback is a valuable tool in physiotherapy for faecal incontinence. It provides real-time feedback to the child on muscle activity, helping them learn to control their pelvic muscles more effectively.

  1. Emotional Support:

❤️ Physiotherapists understand the emotional toll that faecal incontinence can take on children and their families. They provide a supportive and empathetic environment to help children cope with the challenges they face.

  1. Collaboration with Other Professionals:

🤝 Children with faecal incontinence may have multifaceted causes. When necessary, physiotherapists collaborate and refer patients to other healthcare professionals such as paediatricians, gastroenterologists, dieticians or psychologists. This ensures comprehensive care addressing the root causes and contributing factors of the condition

The Positive Impact of Pelvic Health Physiotherapy:

🌈 Physiotherapy can be life-changing for children with faecal incontinence. It empowers them to regain control over their bodies, boosting their self-esteem and overall quality of life. Additionally, it offers relief to parents who can see their child’s confidence and independence grow. If your child is struggling with faecal incontinence, don’t hesitate to seek the expertise of a pelvic health physiotherapist. With their guidance, your child can embark on a journey toward better bowel control and a brighter future! 💫🌟


To make an appointment, call our Claremont clinic on (08) 9384 1555 or click here to book online.