One of the hardest parts of parenting is seeing your child in pain. Pain is treated many different ways and, depending on the cause, physical therapy is often recommended to assist with pain reduction. Today I want to inform our readers about pain conditions experienced by children that may be improved or resolved with physical therapy services.
Abdominal pain can accompany several childhood conditions such as constipation, encopresis, swallowing issues, gas, urinary tract infections, or surgeries to name a few. Often times, when the cause of pain is treated and corrected, abdominal pain goes away. However, on occasion these “belly pains” can linger on despite the original cause being corrected. This is where physical therapy comes in!
Often times, our body guards or clenches (squeezing your muscles) when we are in pain. For example, think of a time when you stubbed your toe. Your first instinct was probably to grab your toe, squeeze your muscles, or rub it. This is a sensory and motor response to pain that oftentimes makes us feel better. Over time or in cases where pain is chronic and lasts longer than the expected course, we “forget” or “lose the ability” to let go and return our muscles to their normal, resting, and unguarded state. This constant guarding and tension within muscles can lead to muscular tightness, trigger points, postural changes, and pain!
Physical therapy from a pelvic health physical therapist can work to address these issues, reduce pain, and restore normal functioning within the body. It is important to see a pelvic health physical therapist who has experience treating and addressing abdominal-pelvic conditions. Intervention techniques include gentle and corrective abdominal soft tissue work, stretching, strengthening, and coordination training. Each treatment is individually tailored to the patient’s presentation, chief complaints, and specific area of pain—with the overall goal of restoring function and eliminating pain.
Bottom and Back-sided Pain
Pediatric Pelvic Physical therapy can also address another site of pain in children: bottom and back-sided pain. There are several causes or contributing factors to bottom and back-sided pain in children. These consist of constipation, encopresis, chronic “withholding” stool or delaying bathroom use, a fall on the tailbone/back/pelvis, surgeries, sport/play injuries, or trauma in general. A trained pediatric pelvic health physical therapist utilizes an individualized treatment approach with unique interventions to address issues, restore functioning, and eliminate pain.
Pediatric Pelvic Physical Therapy
Amanda Moe is a certified pelvic health physical therapist who specializes in treating children with these types of belly, bottom, and back-sided pain. Before joining Restorations PT in Pittsburgh, PA, Amanda worked for several years at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, TX where she lead and helped develop physical therapy treatment of children with these specific pain conditions. She has been published in the Journal of Pediatrics and truly has a passion for treating children with pain and bowel/bladder dysfunction. Please contact her at 412-206-9202 for information or to schedule a PT evaluation.
photo credit: iStock.com/JackF