Biofeedback is a technique children are taught to identify and properly relax their urinary sphincter muscle when urinating, as well as to contract the muscle effectively to maintain normal urinary control.
Biofeedback is effective in many children who:
- Do not empty their bladders completely
- Strain to urinate
- Have recurrent urinary tract infections
- Experience periods of urgency to urinate
- Continue to wet despite other therapies
A set of sensors (sticky patches) that detect muscle activity is placed on your child's buttocks near the sphincter area. The sensors are attached to a small computer that records the signals from the sensors and presents them on the computer screen for you and your child to see. The signals change as your child contracts and relaxes the sphincter muscle. This begins the process of isolating the sphincter muscle and understanding how to properly relax the muscle. The placement of the sensors and the recordings into the computer are not painful. No electric shocks pass to the patient.
In order to better assess the way your child empties their bladder, an ultrasound of the bladder is performed to measure the volume of urine at the beginning of the session and the amount left inside after urination. Also, a uroflowmetry test (voiding into a special commode) is performed to evaluate their urine flow and pelvic floor activity.
It is important that your child arrives for the biofeedback session with a full bladder. To do this, have the child drink clear liquid for one hour prior to the session. Children under seven years of age should drink at least two cups of water (16 oz). Children over seven years of age should drink at least four to five cups of water (32-40 oz).
Food & Drinks to Avoid
Your child should avoid:
- Caffeine (iced tea, soda, coffee)
- Carbonated drinks (soda, seltzer)
- Citric juices (orange, lemonade) and fruits
- Dairy products (milk, cheese, ice cream)
Constipation affects relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles. Even if your child has a daily bowel movement, they may be holding large amounts of stool in the colon, which can affect pelvic relaxation. Encourage your child to have a bowel movement prior to the biofeedback session.
Questions & Concerns
All of your questions concerning biofeedback are welcome. The more you understand, the better you can help your child overcome their bladder control problem. For questions or for more information, please call 312.227.6340.