Pediatric Incontinence & Bedwetting

Myth: Children stop wetting the bed soon after they are toilet trained.
Fact: Many children will struggle with bedwetting at night – nocturnal enuresis – for years.

Many families find this problem extremely upsetting, increasingly so as the child gets older. Although bedwetting in a fully toilet trained child is not normal, it can be a common problem and treatment with physical therapy can help.

What causes bedwetting?

There are many possible causes, maybe even several involved:

  • Lifestyle factors may include drinking liquid late at night, not using the bathroom right before bed, drinking caffeinated beverages or eating a poor diet.
  • It’s extremely common for children with incontinence to also suffer from constipation, which causes problems for their pelvic floor. Correcting the constipation is a necessity.
  • Genetic factors are suspected, as this often runs in the family. Congenital bladder problems, such as a physical problem with the urinary system, are sometimes involved.
  • Some children simply take longer to develop physically.

What should I expect when I bring my child in for therapy for bedwetting?

The first session is mainly evaluation and education. Your physical therapist will perform an examination of your child’s abdomen, will palpate the external pelvic floor, and assess lower body strength and flexibility. Then the therapist will educate you and your child about pelvic floor muscles and the bladder and bowel. The therapist will review the posture for and scheduling of toileting. You will receive an informational packet about the topics discussed and any flexibility exercises deemed necessary. The second session will include a biofeedback assessment with external electrode placement on your child’s bottom so your therapist can learn about your child’s specific coordination and strength of his or her pelvic floor. The average patient comes for four to six sessions over a span of one to three months, with sessions spaced out as needed. 

Contact us to see how we can help today! Although no physician referral is needed to see a physical therapist, some insurance companies may require a referral for coverage.