Bowel Biofeedback in Persons With SCI


An injury to the spinal cord results in a number of secondary medical problems, including the inability to voluntarily control the bowels. Depending on the severity and location of the injury, remaining bowel function differs, and can include any combination of the following: constipation (prolonged stool retention), difficulty with evacuation (difficultly moving bowels), fecal incontinence (problems retaining stool until it is appropriate to move the bowels). Most of the current medications and treatment options address problems of constipation and difficulty with evacuation, but there are few options for individuals who suffer from incontinency. In this study, the investigators propose to study, in detail, anorectal muscle function in individuals with spinal injury- the investigators will do so using new technology called high resolution manometry- which will present the investigator with a 3 dimensional representation of the pressure profile of the anorectal muscles as the subject attempts different maneuvers. A subgroup with representatives of all levels and completeness of injury and anorectal muscle function will be enrolled to participate in six weeks of biofeedback training to see if their bowel function can be improved. During these six weeks, the subjects will be asked to visit the laboratory twice a week in order to be trained by the research team on how to improve their anorectal strength and function in response to visual cues. After the six weeks, another manometry study will be performed. Subjects will then be sent home and asked to perform a series of home exercises for another 6 weeks, after which they will asked to return for a third and final manometry study.

Study Start Date

July 2013

Estimated Completion Date

June 2017


  • Behavioral: Anorectal Manometry
  • Behavioral: Bowel Biofeedback


  • Neurology: Spine,Trauma
  • Physician Assistant: Neurology

MeSH Terms

  • Fecal Incontinence
  • Neurogenic

Study ID

James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center -- KOR-13-010



Trial ID


Study Type


Trial Phase


Enrollment Quota



James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Inclusion Criteria

  • Chronic SCI (duration over 1 year)
  • Able-bodied (no SCI).

Exclusion Criteria

  • Contraindication to bowel biofeedback,
  • Currently pregnant or trying to become pregnant,
  • Inability to provide informed consent.




18 Years to 75 Years

Accepts Healthy Volunteers


Study Locations and Contact Information (1)

Study Location Distance Name Phone Email
James J Peters VA Medical Center - Bronx, New York 41.7 miles Brian Lyons 718-584-9000 provides clinical trial listings in an easy to view format. All clinical trial information is pulled directly from This website does not guarantee acceptance into any clinical trial, and is not responsible for adverse events that may be incurred from a clinical trial.