According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, more than 13 million US citizens have incontinence. Women are more likely to experience urinary incontinence but it also occurs in men especially after prostate surgery.
Urinary Incontinence is the leakage of urine at inappropriate times. You may have trouble holding in urine when you cough, sneeze or exert; or when holding urine during a feeling of urgency to use the toilet.
Urinary Incontinence involves the muscles of the pelvic floor. These muscles attach to the bottom of the pelvic bones forming a structure that lifts to support the bladder as well as controlling the closure of the urethra (the tube that empties urine out of the bladder).
It is essential that these muscles are strong enough to resist the pressure that is placed on the bladder when you cough, sneeze, laugh or exert.
The pelvic floor muscles are also important in inhibiting premature bladder contraction, allowing you to reach the toilet during a feeling of urgency without leaking.
Physical Therapists use their specialized medical training to completely evaluate and design a treatment program that is
individualized for each patient.
Physical Therapy can:
Give you control over your life and your bladder
Save money and embarrassment by allowing less use of pads and undergarments
Reduce use of medications for incontinence
Possibly prevent the need for surgery
Physical Therapy Treatment may include:
Education on diet and nutrition to avoid food and drinks that may irritate the bladder
Advice on how to change behaviors that make symptoms worse
Techniques to help you find the right muscles and learn to use them correctly
Exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles
Exercises to stretch and strengthen other important muscles
Ways to decrease urinary urge and frequency
Biofeedback that shows you how your muscles are working
Electrical stimulation to improve awareness and strength of the muscles
Physical Therapy is helpful for both men and women.
Physical Therapy Helps Women After Pelvic Prolapse Surgery, Study Finds:
Groundbreaking research by Dr. Rachel Pauls of Cincinnati Urogynecology Associates and the physical therapists at The Center for Pelvic Floor and Core Rehabilitation indicates that women who undergo physical therapy after pelvic prolapse surgery attain superior muscle strength, control and relaxation, all essential for urine and bowel control -- and an improved sex life
Sept 16, 2014: The American College of Physicians (ACP) developed this guideline to present the evidence and provide clinical recommendations on the nonsurgical management of urinary incontinence (UI) in women.
Recommendation 1: ACP recommends first-line treatment with pelvic floor muscle training in women with stress UI. (Grade: strong recommendation, high-quality evidence)
Recommendation 2: ACP recommends bladder training in women with urgency UI. (Grade: strong recommendation, moderate-quality evidence)
Recommendation 3: ACP recommends pelvic floor muscle training with bladder training in women with mixed UI. (Grade: strong recommendation, moderate-quality evidence)
Recommendation 4: ACP recommends against treatment with systemic pharmacologic therapy for stress UI. (Grade: strong recommendation, low-quality evidence)
Recommendation 5: ACP recommends pharmacologic treatment in women with urgency UI if bladder training was unsuccessful. Clinicians should base the choice of pharmacologic agents on tolerability, adverse effect profile, ease of use, and cost of medication. (Grade: strong recommendation, high-quality evidence)
Recommendation 6: ACP recommends weight loss and exercise for obese women with UI. (Grade: strong recommendation, moderate-quality evidence)