Biofeedback is a technique that teaches children to have more voluntary control over sphincter muscles. This is accomplished by teaching children strategies that allow them to relax and contract sphincter muscles at their own will. Biofeedback teaches children how to control their pelvic and sphincter muscles correctly to prevent urine loss and more efficiently empty their bladder during urination.
Biofeedback is useful for the treatment of children who:
- Have daytime urine accidents or leaking
- Strain to void
- Do not completely empty their bladder
- Have recurrent urinary tract infections
- Have a prolonged or weak flow of urine
- Have an intermittent voiding pattern
How a biofeedback training session works:
Biofeedback is a safe and non-invasive way for children to learn about the muscles in the body that help control the release of urine. Small stickers, or sensors, are placed on your child’s buttocks to record pelvic muscle activity. Your child will be able to see the activity of their pelvic muscles on a computer screen. When the pelvic muscles are tight, the computer reading will be high and when the muscles are relaxed, the reading will go down. It is our goal to keep your child comfortable and focused throughout the training session. Your child will be fully clothed and will get to relax in a comfortable chair during the training. We encourage parents to be present as well, however siblings may be distracting and could interfere with your child’s concentration.
Duration of the biofeedback treatment process:
The initial biofeedback session appointment takes about 45 minutes and follow-up sessions last between 15-30 minutes. Children vary on the number of biofeedback sessions they may need. Young children or children with developmental delays or cognitive impairments may have more difficulty understanding the process. Once they understand how their body works, teaching them how to control their muscles can be learned quickly. In most cases, the basic techniques can be learned in 2-3 sessions. However, just like any new skill, biofeedback techniques must be practiced often until they become automatic. The more your child practices these skills, the better they will become at applying them easily and successfully.