The effects of a progressive exercise program with surface electromyographic biofeedback on an adult with fecal incontinence.Phys Ther. 2002 Aug; 82(8):798-811.PT
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
Fecal incontinence often compromises a person's ability to participate in work and recreational activities. Incontinence may also diminish a person's willingness to take part in social events, leading to feelings of isolation. This case report describes physical therapy designed to reduce a patient's pelvic-floor muscle dysfunction and fecal incontinence.
The patient was a 30-year-old woman whose fecal incontinence began after the complicated vaginal birth of her first child that required a vacuum extraction and episiotomy. Intervention included soft tissue techniques, electromyographic biofeedback, strength training, relaxation training, patient education, and a home program. The patient completed a questionnaire at initial evaluation and at discharge to assess her perceived limitations in functional activities. Electromyographic analysis was used to measure changes in the patient's pelvic-floor muscle control.
The social, occupational, and sexual domains, which the patient initially judged to be the most compromised, showed the greatest improvement. Electromyographic data for the final treatment session indicated improved strength, endurance, and control of her pelvic-floor muscles. The patient reported no episodes of fecal incontinence over the last month of the 3 months of therapy.
The physical therapy program may have led to improved bowel continence and greater control of the pelvic-floor muscles, resulting in greater confidence and comfort in social and work situations and less restriction in the patient's physical relationship with her spouse.