Biofeedback

Minnesota Urology has providers who specialize in biofeedback.

Our therapists are highly skilled and have a combined total of over three decades of biofeedback experience. Beyond their professional background and clinical experience, they frequently take continuing education seminars to stay current in the field and expand their knowledge base. They also act as an educational resource for other professionals in the continence community. They communicate and work closely with the physicians to insure treatment goals are met. They adhere to the strongest ethical codes in the field.

What is biofeedback?

Biofeedback is a simple painless teaching technique, providing people with on-the-spot information (or feedback) about a particular function of their body. In urology, biofeedback therapy is often used with patients who have pelvic muscle dysfunction, which can lead to symptoms such as incontinence of bladder or bowel, urgency or frequency of urination, difficulty emptying the bladder or pelvic pain. It may also be used prior to a surgery to reduce the likelihood of developing such problems. With the help of biofeedback, a patient can retrain the pelvic muscles to reduce or resolve their symptoms. It is a teaching tool to help learn to control, strengthen, or relax the pelvic floor muscles. Biofeedback is most useful when the person is motivated, wants to take an active role in their treatment, and can follow through with directions outside of the therapy session.

How is biofeedback done?

With adults, a special sensor placed in the vagina or anus (opening of the rectum) monitors the pelvic floor muscles. With children, either a miniature anal sensor or external skin sensors (like small round band-aids) placed on both sides of the anus are used. External sensors are also placed on the abdomen to help monitor inappropriate use of accessory muscles. The sensors are connected to a computer and detect electrical signals from the pelvic floor (and abdominal) muscles. The signals from the muscles contracting or relaxing are displayed in a graph format for you to see. The job of the specialist is to guide you in finding, exercising, relaxing and using the proper muscles in the proper way. You will also learn about other management techniques such as: dietary factors, urge suppression, bladder and bowel retraining, relaxation and self-care techniques. Your instructions will be tailored to your unique symptoms. There are no side effects from biofeedback and it can be used in conjunction with other treatments such as medication and surgery. Benefits vary from person to person.

How long does biofeedback take?

A number of appointments are scheduled over approximately 2 months. Each patient is evaluated and appointments may be added or canceled depending on individual needs. During your appointments you will learn exercises and strategies to use at home. Home practice is the key to improvement! As you continue to work on your home program after you have completed your sessions, your symptoms should continue to improve.