Incontinence (leaking urine) isn’t a term just for aging women. Kids can have issues too! If a child sees me in the office for leaking urine (whether bedtime or daytime), the first question I will ask is about constipation. I have blogged about leaking and constipation in children previously, but this information bears repeating!
- The first problem is too hard stool puts pressure on the bladder and can cause it to leak. Picture a kid on the playground with an over full colon and a bladder that is filling. They jump or run and the pressure from their stool squeezes the bladder and urine leaks out. Or if they are laughing hard with friends and have leakage, we call this giggle incontinence. This is not necessarily from tight or weak muscles or a bladder spasm; simply the bladder is getting squished and can’t hold on to its contents!
- The second problem that can occur from the constipation is due to the muscles. If a child is constantly holding onto their stool the muscles end up having to work overtime. Then comes the time when they try to move their bowels and the muscles now have to relax, which is greatly difficult at that point, especially if they haven’t pooped in days. The stool is now so hard that the child needs to bear down to try to move the stool out. Though the muscles here can help to push the stool out, they are not in an optimal position and cannot complete their task well! We truly should move our bowels when we get the urge to move them. The peristalsis action of the colon is doing most of the work for us and we shouldn’t have to bear down much at all, that is, if your stool is soft.
Staying active, drinking plenty of water, eating enough fiber, and listening to our body’s cues to go make the biggest impact on our urinary and bowel systems. If your child is having challenges and the tips from the blog are not enough, please call 518-632-4944 to schedule a physical therapy appointment. There are many small changes that make a huge difference when dealing with incontinence and constipation in children.
Happy pooping 🙂