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Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy: Urinary Incontinence in Children

It’s time to pee!

So let’s review the basic mechanism of what it takes to pee on-demand: 

As the bladder fills, the stretch receptors located inside the walls of the bladder send a message to the bladder and sphincter. In response to the message, the bladder contracts, the sphincter simultaneously relaxes and voila! But, what happens when something along this system does not behave in the way we would expect? Well, friends, in biology we must expect the unexpected, and as healthcare and rehabilitation professionals we must be prepared to treat the unexpected. 

That’s where Julie Wiebe and Shelley Mannell’s approach come's in!

Julie and Shelley start with the understanding that this system is very multilayered, and in it, there are many areas that can have a fallout, especially with regards to pediatric physiotherapy. In their work, these two experienced physiotherapists from diverse backgrounds aim to target not only what is happening locally at the pelvic floor, sphincters, or bladder, but also systemically, aiming to impact all of the complex layers and connections in their treatment approach.  

To get to know Julie Wiebe and Shelley Mannell a little better, watch this short video from Embodia’s course Pelvic Floor & Pediatrics. This course (facilitated by Maggie Bergeron, physiotherapist and Embodia co-founder and CEO) is a discussion in which Julie and Shelley answer many common questions regarding pelvic floor physiotherapy and specifically urinary incontinence in children. 

Topics discussed in this course include: 

  • Treating and assessing urinary incontinence in children. 
  • Treating and assessing urinary incontinence in children with disabilities. 
  • At what age is lack of being potty-trained considered incontinence.
  • Neuromotor readiness in pediatric incontinence.
  • How to, and what type of wedge to select for incontinence.
  • Sports medicine perspective on pediatric incontinence.

Click Here for the Full Course

It is important to note that the conversation about assessing and treating urinary incontinence in children must be different in children with disabilities; issues of incontinence must be addressed differently for each child based on their unique level of ability. The course mentioned above presents and discusses the topic of assessing and treating incontinence in children with disabilities, however, if you would like to deepen your understanding on this subject matter even further, check out two of our continuing education pediatric courses:

  1. Every Motor Event Is A Sensory Event First: Anxiety, Self-Regulation and Postural Control
  2. Early Identification of Motor and Cognitive Delays in Infants with Susan Harris

In addition, as the course mentioned above primarily discusses urinary incontinence in children, if you are instead looking for courses on pelvic floor physiotherapy that do not relate to this subject matter, we invite you to check out Embodia Academy’s extensive collection of online continuing education courses in pelvic health.


Here are a few great pelvic health courses from our collection:


Additional pelvic floor and pediatric physiotherapy resources: 

In addition to our courses, Shelley and Julie also mention a few great resources for pelvic floor and pediatric physiotherapy.

The healthcare professionals listed below are based in the USA, however, if you are not, do not let that deter you. They all have wonderful resources, videos, information and a wealth of knowledge. Besides, we now live in the post-apocalyptic world of COVID-19 in which technology bridges the gap between practitioners and other practitioners, and practitioners and patients. 

  1. Dr. Hollis Herman, a physiotherapist for more than 45 years; Holly lectures and presents courses world-wide on the pelvic floor, women and men’s health, pregnancy and postpartum, orthopedics and geriatrics and sexual medicine. She welcomes all LGBTQ+ patients. 
  2. Dawn Sandalcidi, is a physiotherapist in the field of pediatric incontinence in physical therapy, she leads national training of professionals interested in the evaluation and treatment of TMJ, back and neck, and pelvic floor muscle conditions. 
  3. Carina Siracusa, a pelvic floor therapist and the program coordinator for the oncology rehabilitation team at Ohio Health.  She also works closely with the OhioHealth Neuroscience tower where she heads up the wheelchair clinic as well as the neuroincontinence program. Check out this great video from Carina in which she discusses pelvic floor therapy for multiple sclerosis
  4. Dr. Steve Hodges, a pediatric urologist; Dr. Hodges runs alongside health journalist Suzanne Schlosberg. This site is full of great resources,  information, and free downloads for parents, medical professionals, therapists, and teachers. 

If you have any further questions about pediatric physiotherapy courses, pelvic floor physiotherapy or any of the subjects discussed in this blog, please reach out to us, the Embodia team would love to hear from you!

Click Here for the Full Course


The Instructors

  Julie Wiebe-1

Julie Wiebe, PT 

Julie Wiebe has over 20 years of experience in both Sports Medicine and Pelvic Health. Her passion is to return women to fitness and sport after injury and pregnancy. She advocates for the awareness of pelvic health issues in fitness and promotes innovative solutions for women through her blog, videos, and social media. She shares her evidence-based, integrative approach internationally with both professionals and women through live and online educational programs.

Her Diaphragm/Pelvic Floor Piston Science concepts have been successfully incorporated by rehab practitioners and fitness professionals into a variety of populations. Julie is a sought-after speaker to provide continuing education courses and lectures internationally at clinics, academic institutions, professional organizations, state and national professional conferences.

Find out more and connect with Julie at www. or via social media Twitter/FB/IG JulieWiebePT.


Shelley Mannell-1

Shelley Mannell, PT 

Shelley has 25 years of experience in treating babies, children, and adolescents with physical challenges and gross motor delays. Shelley is a Registered Physiotherapist with the College of Physiotherapy of Ontario. She is also a member of the Neuro-Development Treatment Association (C/NDT) and a contributing writer for the Cascade DAFO newsletter and a regular contributor to several blogs. Besides her clinical work, Shelley has been active in clinical research and served as a clinical faculty member at McMaster University for 10 years. Shelley has a strong commitment to continuing education and now enjoys teaching post-graduate clinical education courses to therapists across Canada.


Blog writer, editor: Nataliya Zlotnikov

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