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Clinical Trials Update
January 28, 2020

Physiotherapy Not Effective for Pediatric Constipation

JAMA. 2020;323(4):301. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.22085

Adding physiotherapy to conventional treatment for functional constipation in children had no beneficial effect, a trial in the Journal of Pediatrics concluded. Physiotherapy trains pelvic floor and abdominal muscles for better intra-abdominal pressure during bowel movements. In the study, conventional treatment consisted of toilet training, nutritional advice, and laxatives.

The study involved 245 children aged 4 through 17 years with functional constipation. The patients were randomly assigned to a maximum of 9 half-hour physiotherapy sessions focused on resolving dyssynergic defecation plus conventional treatment, or to conventional treatment alone.