, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 243-253

EMG biofeedback for functional bladder-sphincter dyssynergia: A case study

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The present study utilized EMG biofeedback in the treatment of functional bladder-sphincter dyssynergia, a learned incoordination of bladder and urethral sphincter activity during voiding. The condition is usually associated with a history of painful urination due to bladder infections, surgery, or harsh toilet training. The subject was an 8-year-old girl with chronic diurnal urinary frequency, urge incontinence, and nocturnal enuresis. Treatment consisted of intensive instruction in alternately tensing and relaxing her lower pelvic musculature, as well as relaxing during voiding. These exercises were accompanied by EMG biofeedback from perianal and perivaginal surface electrode sites. Home practice consisted of the tense-relax exercise, relaxation during voiding, and self-monitoring and record-keeping. There were 17 sessions over a period of 9 months. No medication was used. Marked reduction (to normal levels) in diurnal urgency and frequency occurred by the 3rd week of therapy, and complete recovery of normal function, including nocturnal continence without waking, occurred by the 13th therapy session, 5 months after therapy began. Follow-up 1 year after therapy revealed that these gains were being maintained. Pre- and posttherapy urodynamic studies corroborated the achievement of normal urinary function.