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What Sets Us Apart?

The Mars Clinic is the first children’s continence clinic in Queensland, and one of only a few in Australia, to utilise non-invasive, cutting-edge technology — this makes it a novel and exciting way to assess and treat common bladder and bowel problems.

In addition to standard urotherapy, the Mars Clinic uses Urostym™ biofeedback, TENS neuromodulation, non-invasive urodynamics and diagnostic ultrasound. Here’s a little bit of information about each of them...

Urostym™ Biofeedback

What is Urostym™ Biofeedback?
Biofeedback is a teaching tool and a way to enhance learning. The name biofeedback refers to signals that are ‘fed-back’ to a patient whether it is visually, through sounds, smells or stimulation. The patient then learns from this feedback and develops ways to manipulate and change the input. Biofeedback is a very useful learning tool, because it provides lots of information about the task being performed – you learn faster, more easily and with longer lasting muscle memory.

At the Mars Clinic we practice non-invasive biofeedback using a computerised Urostym™ Biofeedback machine. This technology incorporates the use of sensors, which are placed on the surface of the skin, to measure muscle activity and the computer provides an immediate audio-visual response. This system is excellent for the assessment and treatment of your child’s bladder or bowel condition, as it measures pelvic floor and abdominal muscle activity. It can be used to teach your child to relax and contract their pelvic floor muscles appropriately, to enable them to learn to toilet properly.

Urostym™Biofeedback Treatment
The Urostym™ system is frequently used in the Mars Clinic as a training device. Information from the pelvic floor muscle sensors is displayed on-screen in real-time and can be used as a program of exercises. The system is fantastic for children – the exercises are presented as computer games with animated characters, allowing your child to play a game while learning to improve the control of their toileting muscles. Games available include:

  • Monkey Dance
  • Fairy Wand
  • Fishes
  • Space Invaders
  • Ring Catcher
Each game has different levels of difficulty, to encourage progression, and different patterns of exercise are available according to the condition being treated.

 

What Treatment Should I Expect at the Mars Clinic?
Assessment and treatment at the Mars Clinic are provided by advanced-trained Physiotherapists. The type and duration of treatment will vary depending on the cause of the problem and the needs of the individual.

Urostym™ Biofeedback is just one of the many training tools used in the Mars Clinic as part of our specialist bladder and bowel assessment and therapy service. If biofeedback is indicated:

  • Training sessions of up to 30 minutes are recommended. The frequency of these sessions will be determined after the initial assessment.
  • Non-invasive urodynamics (‘wee test’) is also usually performed during these sessions.
  • Sensors, used to measure muscle activity, are placed on the lower tummy, hips and perineum.
  • An external diagnostic ultrasound may also be used as part of the assessment and treatment. Ultrasound allows your child to actually see their own muscles working and helps them to learn the correct muscle action.
  • Standard Urotherapy (non-surgical, non-pharmacological treatment) such as education, voiding and drinking programs, and practical advice and management strategies are combined with every session.

 

TENS Neuromodulation

What is TENS Neuromodulation?
TENS stands for ‘transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation’ and refers to the use of an electric current, produced by a small device, to stimulate the nerves. A TENS device is usually connected to the surface of the skin using at least two electrodes, which are positioned close to the nerve you are trying to influence. The device sends mild electrical impulses through a lead, to the electrodes, and across the surface of your skin.

Although TENS may be used for a variety of therapeutic purposes in an adult population, within the Mars Clinic it is used to stimulate the sacral nerves. The sacral nerves are located near your lumbar spine and they play a role in the control of bladder, bowel and pelvic floor muscles.

TENS Neuromodulation Treatment
Recent research has shown that using a TENS device, with electrodes positioned to stimulate the sacral nerves at a particular frequency, can have a positive role in the ‘modulation’ or retraining of bladder and bowel muscles. This form of treatment is usually taught in the clinic and then administered at home, over set time periods and using a loan TENS machine. Neuromodulation techniques taught in the Mars Clinic are pain-free, although a tingling sensation is often felt.

Assessment and treatment at the Mars Clinic are provided by advanced-trained Physiotherapists. If neuromodulation is indicated, the type and duration of treatment will vary, depending on the cause of the problem and the needs of the individual. TENS neuromodulation is an adjunct treatment and will always be used in addition to other techniques, such as standard urotherapy and Urostym™ biofeedback.

For details regarding non-invasive urodynamics and diagnostic ultrasound, please click here.

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For details regarding Physiotherapy for the management of Men’s and Women’s Continence, please view our Active Rehabilitation Physiotherapy website